10 Highest Paying Healthcare Administration Jobs 2021
By: Chaunie Brusie
If you are considering a career in healthcare but aren’t sure that direct patient care is the route for you, a role in healthcare administration may be just what you’re looking for.
No matter if you’re looking for full-time vs. part-time jobs or considering if you should advance on to receive your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, there is something for everyone in healthcare administration.
Read on to find out more about what a career in healthcare administration could look like, how much you can expect to earn, and what requirements are necessary to advance in this career pathway.
Why Consider a Career in Healthcare Administration?
A position in healthcare administration can allow you to combine a passion for working in the healthcare field with a broader scope.
- If you love being in a hospital, but prefer working on the administrative end, this could be a perfect fit for you.
- Or, if you know you have strengths that include managing a team, digging into finances, a sense of business savvy, and coordinating large-level medical operations, you might want to consider a career in healthcare administration.
A healthcare administration career also offers the potential to earn high salaries, and has a strong career outlook! The BLS reports a 32% job growth outlook, which is much faster than average.
What is a Healthcare Administration Career?
Healthcare Administration is a broad field with A LOT of career opportunities and paths within it. Before we dig into the highest paying positions, let’s define what healthcare administration is and explore some of the jobs available within it.
Healthcare administration, often called health administration or medical administration encompasses people involved in making decisions around a healthcare system’s business strategies. These are the people in charge of, or involved in, planning, directing, and coordinating the business activities for healthcare providers or organizations.
With this broad definition, it’s no wonder there are so many career opportunities within it!
10 Highest Paying Healthcare Administration Careers
Now that you know a little more about the field, let’s take a look at some of the highest-paying jobs available, along with their job duties, and education requirements
- Hospital CEO - $153,474
- Hospital CFO - $154,399
- Healthcare Chief Information Officer (CIO) -- $131,015
- Chief Nursing Officer - $129,572
- Hospital Administrator -- $110,430
- Nursing Home Administrator -- $106,184K
- Hospice Administrator -- $100,469
- Health Clinic Administrator - $96K
- Clinical Informatics Manager - $93,141
- Government Agency Healthcare Administrator -- $83K Annually
What is a Hospital CEO?
A Hospital CEO, sometimes referred to as the Executive Director or President of a hospital or healthcare facility, is responsible for the “quality, safety, experience, care, community relations, financial performance” of a healthcare facility” according to an actual Hospital CEO, Michael Goldberg.
Hospital CEO Salary
According to Payscale, the average annual salary* of a Hospital CEO in 2020 is $153,474.
Requirements to Become a Hospital CEO
In order to become a Hospital CEO, you’ll need a minimum of a master’s degree; typically either an MHA or MBA in Healthcare Administration. Additionally, you’ll also need a good amount of management and leadership experience before taking on this position.
What is a Hospital CFO?
Similar to a Hospital CEO, a Hospital CFO or Chief Financial Officer, is a C-level healthcare professional that manages the financial aspects of the hospital. They deal with financial risks and decision making and make sure that the hospital is run cost-effectively overall.
Hospital CFO Salary
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of hospital CFO is $154,399 as of December 1, 2020.
Requirements to Become a Hospital CFO
Hospital CFOs will also normally need a master’s degree. This can be in healthcare administration, or in accounting or finance. You’ll also need to have management and leadership experience.
What is a Healthcare CIO?
Another C-level healthcare executive is the Chief Information Officer (CIO). The CIO manages the information technology (IT) needs and computer systems for a hospital or healthcare facility. They make high level decisions around data processes, collection and strategic plans for the future of technology in their healthcare facility.
Healthcare CIO Salary
According to Ziprecruiter, the average annual salary for a healthcare CIO is $131,015 as of December 1, 2020.
Requirements to Become a Healthcare CIO
In order to become a CIO, you’ll typically need a minimum of a master’s degree. This could be an MBA, a master’s in computer science or in management information systems (MIS).
What is a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)?
A Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) is a nonclinical, administrative position within a healthcare system. They are considered the top-level nurse within an organization and they oversee other nurses and the implementation of patient care.
According to Payscale, the average annual salary for a Chief Nursing Officer is $129,572.
Requirements to Become a Chief Nursing Officer
In order to become a CNO, you’ll usually need at least a Master’s degree, typically in healthcare administration or nursing leadership.
One of the highest paying healthcare administration roles is that of a hospital administrator.
What is a Hospital Administrator?
A hospital administrator is in charge of an entire hospital and will oversee things like the hospital’s budget, healthcare delivery efficiency and department budgets, as well as PR and community outreach.
They work on both the business side of the hospital as well as in long-term strategy and patient care planning. Many hospital administrators also work heavily in the community as the “face” of the hospital and of course, work directly with the other hospital administrative team members.
Hospital Administrator Salary
According to the BLS the median average salary for Medical and Health services managers employed at hospitals is $110,430 annually. Hospital administrators generally start at somewhere around $100K for smaller hospitals and reaching well beyond that for larger-scale operations.
Requirements to Become a Hospital Administrator
What is a Nursing Home Administrator?
A nursing home administrator is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a nursing home, along with long-term planning, ensuring the nursing home or facility is meeting all legal requirements and overseeing and maintaining fiscal operations.
Nursing Home Administrator Salary
According to ZipRecruiter* the national average salary for a nursing home administrator is $106,184, but that varies widely.
Requirements to Become a Nursing Home Administrator
While not always required, many nursing home administrators have some direct patient care experience before stepping into an administration role. For instance, many nursing home administrators begin as RNs in the nursing home they will eventually manage.
Other nursing home administrators may be physician assistants, nurse practitioners or physicians. Outside of medical experience, a Master’s degree is usually required.
What is a Hospice Administrator?
As a hospice administrator, you will oversee a facility that specializes in hospice, comfort and end-of-life care. In addition to all of the duties of a regular healthcare administrator, you must also be skilled in working with both staff, patients and family members around end-of-life care. This can include personal skills such as empathy, compassion and self-care to deal with difficult emotions.
Hospice Administrator Salary
According to Glassdoor, hospice administrators make an average salary of $100,469 per year.
Hospice Administrator Requirements
Many hospice administrators have a nursing degree and license and then go on to pursue a Master’s in Health Administration in order to take on this role.
What is a Health Clinic Administrator?
Similar to a hospital administrator or a nursing home administrator, a health clinic administrator will be in charge of a health clinic. The health clinic could be as small as a local doctor’s office to a large surgical center or cancer treatment center.
Health Clinic Administrator Salary
The salary for a health clinic administrator will really depend on the size of the clinic that they are managing, along with geographical area and the speciality of the clinic. (A low-income service clinic, for instance, may not pay as highly as a plastic surgery clinic, for instance.) For this role, we can refer to the BLS average salary of around $96K for an administrative services manager.
Requirements to Become a Health Clinic Administrator
Like nursing home administrators, many clinic administrators begin with direct patient care and move up to a managerial role. An RN license may be required, as well as a Master’s degree.
What is a Clinical Informatics Manager?
Clinical informatics managers manage the clinical informatics program of a healthcare facility. They work with data to find ways to improve efficiencies and the overall quality of care in a healthcare facility.
Clinical Informatics Manager Salary
According to Payscale, the average annual salary for a Clinical Informatics Manager is $93,141.
Requirements to Become a Clinical Informatics Manager
To become a Clinical Informatics Manager, you’ll need a minimum of a bachelors degree, though a masters is preferred. You’ll also need experience in both healthcare and database management.
What is a Government Agency Healthcare Administrator?
Working specifically for a government medical agency--such as the Department of Human and Health Services or a military branch--can come with a lot of perks such as tuition reimbursement, insurance, retirement and more.
Instead of dealing with patient care efficiency and equipment budgets, you will be overseeing agency operations. Duties include managing agency-wide operations, planning for future governmental programs, overseeing budgets and staff. You may also be involved with community outreach, training and speaking with the public, such as the updates that have been released during times of an outbreak.
Government Agency Healthcare Administrator Salary
Average of $83K, according to GlassDoor*, but can reach over $100,000 annually.
Requirements to Become a Government Agency Healthcare Administrator
Most government healthcare administration roles will require a Master’s or a Doctorate degree.
What Kinds of Things Will You Do in a Healthcare Admin Career?
In a healthcare admin role, your duties could include everything from:
- Managing a team
- Setting an annual budget
- Working with providers to set business goals
- Overseeing an administration team that carries out office tasks
- Community outreach
- Recruiting and training new staff
- Creating schedules for employees
- Maintaining, organizing and analyzing records
- Participating in facility regulation
- Improving efficiency of healthcare services provided
Where Can You Work as a Healthcare Administrator?
With a healthcare administration degree, you can work in a variety of areas, including:
- Nursing homes
- Home care
- Health services
- Public health and community outreach
- Private offices
- Remote positions
The majority of healthcare administrators do work in hospitals, followed by private offices, nursing and residential care facilities and lastly, outpatient clinics.
Most healthcare administrations also work full-time, in traditional daytime 40-hour work-weeks, although occasionally, some weekend, on-call and holiday hours are needed.
Healthcare Administration Salary: How Much Can you Make?
How much you can make as a healthcare administrator will depend on what your job is (more on the highest paying ones in a bit), where you work, what degree you have and a number of other factors.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), classifies healthcare administration under “medical and health services managers.” They report on healthcare administration roles with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, so it does focus on positions that carry a higher pay. But according to the BLS, a career snapshot as a medical and health services manager with at least a Bachelor’s degree looks like:
- Over $100,000 annual salary
- Average of $48.55/hour pay
- How to Get Started in a Healthcare Administration Career
- Top Entry-Level Healthcare Administration Jobs
- Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Programs 2021
*The BLS reports a median national salary of $100,980 for Medical and Health Service Managers. However, they don't give specific salaries for many job titles within the healthcare administration field, so we've listed averages from other reputable sites. It’s important to know that these salaries are just estimates and they can vary depending on the location in which you work.
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