How do I Become a Health Services Administrator?

Jodee Redmond
Jodee Redmond

A health services administrator is responsible for the day-to-day running of health-related businesses. Medical practitioners use their knowledge of the healing arts to care for their patients, but there is a business component to health care as well. The role of the health services administrator includes both of them.

If your career goal is to become a health services administrator, you will need to get the appropriate training first. To successfully take charge of a health care facility, you will need to have a good understanding of business, as well as the particular challenges associated with enterprises in the health services sector. To get qualified for this type of work, you will need to complete a degree program at college or university.

If you want to get qualified for a junior position and become a health services administrator, you may want to consider working toward either an Associate's or a Bachelors degree. Students who enroll in these programs would be taking courses in health sciences, such as anatomy and physiology, law, marketing, financial management, employee benefits, and communication. You may also choose to concentrate your studies in a specific area, such as health management, long term care, or gerontology. Completing this program would qualify you to work in a smaller facility or in a health services department of a large hospital, nursing home, or extended care facility. Some graduates from this program find work in medical practices employing several doctors.

To get the qualifications you need to become a health services administrator who is department head or a manager of a facility, you would want to consider a working toward a Master's degree program in business administration, health services administration, public administration, or public health. All of these programs would help to prepare you for a career in the health management field. Some students who enroll in a Master's degree program are currently working in the field and want to qualify for a promotion or are interested in expanding their knowledge of this subject area.

At the Master's degree level, a student who wants to become a health services administrator would take courses in health care policy, financial management, organizational psychology, and managed care. Some graduates from this program work as researchers, teachers, or independent health services consultants instead of taking positions as health services administrators. Several institutions offer an online Master's degree program. This option gives students the flexibility to study while working full-time.

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