As the field of healthcare only continues to grow, the need for healthcare administrators does too. Healthcare administration is an important role in the healthcare industry and many people are drawn to it because it is a rewarding career path with the ability to make a real impact in healthcare. It also comes with many benefits, including upward mobility, and potentially high salaries.
In this guide, we’ll explore how much healthcare administrators make, salaries by city and state, some of the highest paying healthcare careers, and more!
Part One What is Healthcare Administration?
So what exactly is healthcare administration? Healthcare administration involves the strategic operations of the healthcare industry outside of direct patient care.
While nurses and other healthcare workers perform the 24/7 hands-on care that patients need, healthcare administrators are the ones working more behind-the-scenes. Typically, healthcare administrators will perform duties and responsibilities that range from long-term planning to budgeting to leading a team to organizing medical information.
Part Two What Do Healthcare Administrators Do?
As a healthcare administrator, you could work in a variety of settings, depending on your experience, skills, and interests.
For instance, you could work as a clinical manager in a hospital setting or you could manage a team of employees as a health informatics manager.
You do have the ability to choose what kind of work setting you would like to work in, with a baseline of skills that will include everything from leadership to critical thinking to communication.
Part Three How Much Do Healthcare Administrators Make?
As we mentioned, healthcare administrators have the potential to make substantially high salaries. A hospital CEO, for example, could make millions, while many other healthcare admin jobs can earn six-figure salaries.
Here is a sampling of some of the healthcare administrator salaries you might find in the field:
Private Practice Office Manager - $100,000+
As a private practice office manager, you would essentially be in charge of running a medical practice for a provider. According to the BLS, a medical and health services manager makes an average salary of over $100,000, although that could vary widely. A smaller office, for instance, may not earn you as high of a salary as a multi-facility one.
Nursing Home Administrator - $117,000
A nursing home administrator would hold a senior-level position at a nursing home, managing other people in leadership roles and working on the business end of directing the facility. Nursing home administrators or directors are one of the highest-paid healthcare administration roles. According to Salary.com, a nursing home administrator makes an average of $117,000.
Health Services Manager or Administrator - $100,980
This role could be a Nurse Manager, who oversees a particular unit or floor of the hospital, or an administrator in another department of the hospital, such as employee health or infection control. According to the BLS, medical and health service managers make an average of $100,980 per year.
Hospital Executive - $138,000
Hospital executives encompass anyone at an executive level working in a hospital, from finance to HR to management. As an example of one type of salary in this role, ZipRecruiter reports an annual wage of over $138,000 for a hospital vice-president.
Health Information Manager - $146,000
A health information manager has a very specialized role in the healthcare industry. In this position, you would be overseeing other health informatics specialists who are responsible for working with medical records and data. According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers make an average of over $146,000 per year.
Hospital Director/CEO - $374,000
Obviously, a hospital CEO is at the very top of the healthcare administration tier and is in charge of an entire healthcare facility. According to the Economic Research Institute, a hospital director makes an average of over $374,000 every year, although annual wages can easily reach over 1 million dollars for large hospital operations.
>> Related: 10 Highest Paying Healthcare Administration Jobs
Part Four Healthcare Administration Salaries by City & State
One of the biggest factors in salary for healthcare administrators is location. Here’s what you can expect to earn in each state according to the BLS.
Healthcare Administration Salaries by State
|State||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
|District of Columbia||$75.77||$157,590|
Highest Paying Cities for Healthcare Administrators
The BLS lists the following cities as the highest-paid for healthcare administrators:
|City||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Salary|
|New York-New Jersey||$73.84||$153,590|
Part Five Healthcare Administration Salaries by Place of Employment
According to the BLS, the highest-paid healthcare administrators work for the government, while the lowest-paid work in nursing and residential care facilities. The BLS lists place of occupation and salary as follows for medical and health services managers:
- Government: Average salary of $111,520
- Hospitals: Average salary of $110,430
- Outpatient care centers: Average salary of $95,320
- Physician offices: Average salary of $91,600
- Nursing and residential care facilities: Average salary of $86,820
Part Six How to Increase Your Salary as a Healthcare Administrator
Although on average, you can expect to earn a reasonable salary as a healthcare administrator, there are always ways that you can increase your salary. The best way to increase your salary in any role is to increase your value by adding additional skills to your resume. You can do this by:
- Pursuing advanced education: For instance, if you are a nurse looking to become a department manager, you can pursue your MSN or MBA in order to gain more managerial and leadership skills.
- Finding a mentor: If there is someone in your field that you aspire to be like, speak up! Ask them if they would be willing to take you on as a mentor so you can learn from them.
- Learning advanced skills: Even if you don’t pursue another separate degree, you can add technical skills or certifications to your resume that can help increase your value as an administrator.
- Get involved: Whether it’s a new field you’d like to move into or an advancement in your current role, it can help to get involved in new ways. That might mean volunteering to supervise the team leadership conference or signing up for more community events–there are many different options you could pursue depending on your current role and where you would like to advance to in order to raise your salary.
Part Seven How to Get Started in Healthcare Administration
If you’d like to pursue a career in healthcare administration, it can help to have an idea of where you would like to go with your carer. For instance, if you’d like to eventually be a nurse manager, you’ll need to go the RN-BSN-MSN route. However, your career path for a health informatics manager will look much different.
1.) Earn Your Degree
If you aren’t entirely sure where you’d like your career to take you, however, don’t worry––you can still earn a basic degree that can open up many doors for you as a healthcare administrator. For instance, you can focus on pursuing a Bachelors and Masters degree in:
- Public Health
- Health Administration
- Health Management
2.) Get Certified
Along with the right degree, you’ll also need to gain experience in your field and it can’t hurt to earn additional certification along the way either.
For example, the BLS lists several different certifications that can be helpful for health administrators, including:
- Certificate in medical management from the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management
- Health information management certification from the American Health Information Management Association
- Certified Nursing Home Administrator and Certified Assisted Living Administrator specializations through the American College of Health Care Administrators.
Part Eight Healthcare Administration Resources
As you pursue a career in healthcare administration, you’ll want to stay equipped with tools to turn to when you need them. Nurse.org has plenty of resources and guides to help you along the way:
- The complete career guide to healthcare administration
- How one intern worked his way up to hospital CEO
- How to earn your MBA in healthcare management
- Top 10 online healthcare administration degrees (with high graduation rates)
- Information on a Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA)
- The complete career guide on healthcare management
- Healthcare administration degrees
- Choosing an MBA vs. MSN as a nurse
- Highest paying healthcare administration jobs
Part Nine Healthcare Administration FAQs
How much do healthcare administrators make?
- A hospital CEO may make well into the millions. Many healthcare administrators make around $100,000, however.
What does a healthcare administrator do?
- A healthcare administrator works on the administrative side of healthcare as opposed to the direct patient care side. Health administrators typically have responsibilities that include managing teams, overseeing employees, dealing with budgets, and outlining fiscal responsibilities, as well as job-specific duties. A healthcare administrator in a hospital, for instance, will have different responsibilities than a healthcare administrator at an IT company overseeing medical records.
What are the highest paying healthcare administrator jobs?
- The highest paying healthcare administrator jobs include medical managers, hospital administrators, insurance directors, nursing home directors, and information technology managers.