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How Do I Become a Healthcare Administrator?

By Whitney Leigh White
Updated May 17, 2024
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To become a healthcare administrator, many employers will require you to hold a master’s or doctorate degree, which makes it beneficial to take industry-related courses as early as high school. There are a large number of colleges and universities offering programs to become a healthcare administrator, and some curriculums are even offered online. In the United States, if you are seeking a healthcare administrator job in a nursing care facility, you also have to obtain the appropriate licensure. A willingness to work long hours along with being insightful and people-oriented are just a few characteristics that you should have in order to become a healthcare administrator.

If you know as an adolescent or young adult that you want to become a healthcare administrator, begin your studies in high school. To help prepare for your college years, take classes that focus on psychology, communications, and business administration. Another great way to prepare for this career is working in a healthcare facility through a high school co-op program or simply volunteering in your spare time.

A two-year degree in healthcare administration is often sufficient enough to become a healthcare transcriptionist or healthcare secretary. To acquire an entry-level position as this type of administrator, most employers require no less than a bachelor’s degree. For senior management positions, it is best to obtain a master’s degree that focuses on healthcare economics, human resource management, health policy, or another sub-field within the healthcare industry. To become a healthcare administrator with a doctoral degree, extensive course studies must be completed, and many of these curriculums require the completion of a publishable dissertation. A doctoral degree in this field expands career opportunities, making it possible for you to become a college professor, hospital administrator, or another advanced placement within the industry.

In the US, if you become a healthcare administrator that works in a nursing care facility, you have to become licensed through the state in which you work. The minimum amount of education to obtain this type of licensure is a bachelor’s degree. In addition, you have to pass a comprehensive exam and complete a state-approved training program.

The job duties that you perform as a healthcare administrator are large in number and must be performed according to government regulations. Leadership skills in this industry are essential, as well as an ability to work in stressful environments. Most healthcare facilities manage patients’ data in digital databases, making it important for your computer skills to be top-notch. If you become a healthcare administrator on an executive level, it is likely that you will work long hours and be on-call as well, requiring you to have superior time management skills and to be able to manage stress well.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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