How Do I Start a Career in Healthcare Administration?

Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer Leigh
Doctor taking notes
Doctor taking notes

A career in healthcare administration begins with the desire to manage a large business that is involved with helping others. If you have the ambition to do that, you can begin working on the details that will qualify you to start a new career in this field. This can include an education in business management or healthcare administration, possible licensing, and experience working in the healthcare field. Once you meet these qualifications, you can begin applying for jobs to begin your career in healthcare administration.

Certain personality characteristics are needed to have a career in healthcare administration. You must have leadership skills, be adaptable, and have tolerance for handling stress. Healthcare administrators are faced with a large work load and a changing environment on a daily basis. They must deal with many employees of a hospital or organization who have a variety of wants, needs, and problems. If you do not have these characteristics, you can work to build them before embarking on your career in healthcare administration.

A bachelor's degree is the minimum level of education that will enable you to work as a healthcare administrator, though many employers prefer that you have a master's degree. Undergraduate degrees in business management, accounting, finance, or health administration will help prepare you for your role as a leader of a facility. Graduate degrees offered in similar subjects, particularly healthcare administration, will make you a prime candidate for a position. A doctoral degree is generally only necessary if you are interested in teaching healthcare administration at a college level.

Once you have received your education, you can determine whether or not you need to be licensed to begin your career as a healthcare administrator. In certain countries this is a necessary requirement, so make sure to contact your local health department to find out whether you need to take an examination to begin applying for jobs.

The next step is to gain employment in healthcare administration in some capacity, particularly if you do not have previous experience working in the field. You might have to begin at a lower-level position, such as an assistant administrator, before you are able to be hired as an administrator. Once hired, you can work for one to two years before applying to administrator positions somewhere else, or attempting to move to a higher position within your organization. A career in healthcare administration requires some experience in the field, particularly if you want to work for a large organization or facility.

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