Top Entry-Level Healthcare Administration Jobs
Thinking of making a change to a more fulfilling, stable career? Look no further than a career in healthcare. With recent market reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealing an increase in the number of available jobs in healthcare, and many areas seeing a rise in nursing and medical school applications due to the pandemic, there has never been a better time to get into the healthcare industry.
But you don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to work in healthcare! There are plenty of other career paths to explore in the healthcare world.
If you’re interested in the healthcare sector, but aren’t completely sure where you want your career to go or would like something outside of caring for patients at the bedside, check out these entry-level healthcare administration jobs and career paths!
Top 10 Healthcare Administration Jobs to Get Your Foot in the Door
A medical administrative assistant, also known as a medical secretary, is someone who performs secretarial duties for a medical office or healthcare facility.
Administrative assistants must be familiar with medical terminology and adept at office duties. Duties include appointment scheduling, patient billing, record-keeping, and communication.
Average Salary: $30,230 to $55,620 in healthcare settings, according to BLS.
How to become an administrative assistant:
- Earn a high school diploma
- Earn a medical receptionist certificate (optional)
- Earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree (optional)
Medical assistants perform basic healthcare tasks. Those tasks include bringing patients to rooms, taking vital signs, collecting lab specimens, and communicating with providers and patients.
Some medical assistants also perform administrative duties, like record-keeping, filing, and scheduling.
Median salary: $38,270 per year, according to BLS.
How to become a medical assistant:
- Earn a high school diploma
- Complete a medical assistant certification program (about one year)
- Pass the American Association of Medical Assistants Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam
The BLS predicts this entry-level healthcare job to grow high in demand. Becoming a medical assistant is an excellent way to get started in the medical field no matter where you hope to go with your career.
Medical coders take medical diagnoses and procedures and translate them into the codes that insurance companies use for payment and reimbursement purposes.
How to become a medical coder and biller:
- Take an accredited medical coding training
- Pass the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam
- Maintain certification through ongoing education
These may be two separate roles. A medical coder may just do the coding, while a medical biller actually works with the insurance companies on billing. However, the roles may be combined into one position.
Health information technicians, or medical records technicians, are responsible for overseeing, managing, assessing, and evaluating the medical records of a medical practice or healthcare facility.
There are varying degrees of responsibility for this role, depending on certification and experience. For instance, entry-level health information technicians begin by simply inputting medical record data, while senior level technicians oversee a team.
Median salary: $47,180 per year, according to BLS.
How to become a health information technician:
- Earn an associate’s (2-3 years) or bachelor’s (4-5 years) degree in health informatics
- Pass the Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Association (AHIIMA) exam
5. Patient Services Representative
Patient services representatives work with patients who are receiving services at a healthcare facility, such as a hospital or surgical center.
These representatives record patient information, update profiles, answer basic questions, and direct patients to their healthcare services. They also handle phone calls and communication.
Median salary: $37,780 per year for a comparable position as a customer service representative, according to BLS.
How to become a patient services representative:
- Earn a high school diploma
- On-the-job training
6. Medical Executive Assistant
Medical executive assistants perform similar duties as a medical secretary or administrative assistant, but at a higher level.
This position comes with more responsibility and a larger workload. Medical executive assistants work more closely with health providers on all aspects of administration, including billing, office duties, and overseeing staff.
Average salary: $54,603, according to Payscale. However, the pay for this position can vary from $36K to $83K.
How to become a medical executive assistant: No specific degree or certification required. However, a degree in medical practice management may help you stand out.
7. Healthcare Human Resources Assistant
Healthcare human resources assistants work in the human resources (HR) department of healthcare facilities, such as a large medical practice or a hospital.
These HR assistants answer phones, manage paperwork, and perform other office duties. Much of the workload in a healthcare setting requires handling employee records, ensuring employee records are up-to-date, assisting with employee complaints or requests, and facilitating communication.
Median salary: $64,240 per year or $30.88 per hour for a human resources specialist, according to BLS. However, that position does require a bachelor’s degree. The salary for a human resources assistant is lower.
How to become a healthcare human resources assistant: As a healthcare human resources assistant, you may be able to get hired with only a high school diploma and on-the-job training. To advance in the position, however, you will most likely require additional education with the most common degree being a Bachelor’s.
8. Social and Community Service Manager
Individuals in this role work at the community level or with organizations that support public well-being and good.
For instance, social and community service managers work with a federal health department on a community nutrition program or with a non-profit organization that serves underprivileged children.
Median salary: $74,240 per year with a bachelor’s degree, according to BLS.
How to become a social and community service manager: There is no formal training to specifically become a social or community service manager. However, most people in this role have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as Public Health.
9. Medical Office Administrator
A medical office administrator is a higher-level position that isn’t always considered an entry-level position.
However, it’s possible to become a medical office administrator through a role such as a medical assistant or medical secretary. This position serves as a medical office manager in charge of running the administrative side of a medical office.
Median salary: $104,830 per year, according to the BLS.
How to become a medical office administrator:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree
- Work experience in healthcare administration
- Master’s degrees are not uncommon
Healthcare Administration FAQs
How do I get a job in healthcare management with no experience?
It’s the age-old question that everyone on the job hunt seems to face: how on earth are you supposed to gain experience in a job that requires you to have experience in order to get the job?
The good news is that the healthcare industry offers plenty of opportunities to get your foot in the door. You may have to start in an entry-level position, however, there are many different areas you could get involved in. These areas range from small family practice to high-paced surgical centers to academia.
The choice is yours. You can start small and work your way up with strategies such as:
1. Transition your skills
Do you have past experience from work in other industries, such as retail, customer service, or restaurants? Those job skills can translate well into the healthcare industry where attention to detail, professional communication, and a fast-paced work ethic are all necessary.
2. Enhance your education
If your goal is to break into the world of healthcare administration, assess where you are right now and what resources you have available to you to get where you need to go.
If you’d like to work in a medical office, maybe a Medical Assistant or Certified Nurse Assistant program make sense for you. If your goal is to become a master in healthcare billing, maybe an at-home program you can take is a great place to start.
Enhance your education with what is available and consider speaking with an HR professional or calling a local health department to see what kind of volunteer or entry-level opportunities may be available near you.
3. Gaining additional degrees and certifications
From the starting point you set for yourself, you can then gain valuable experience, all while exploring additional degrees and advanced certifications.
Don’t forget to ask your employer if they offer tuition assistance or reimbursement programs. Many healthcare facilities offer tuition assistance toward educational programs for in-demand positions.
How do I advance in my healthcare career?
Once you begin your healthcare career with an entry-level position, there are many different routes you can take to advance in your career.
Any experience you can gain in the healthcare field can be beneficial to you as you work your way up in the career.
From a role as a healthcare sanitation worker to a medical assistant answering call lights, every position holds great value for both you and the patients you will care for. Look at every role you hold as a way to learn, and be sure to take advantage by absorbing all the knowledge you can by asking questions, learning from those ahead of you, and always staying curious.
Advanced degrees and certifications
Advanced degrees and additional certifications can be the key to moving ahead in your desired career path.
There are certification programs and degrees for almost any healthcare path you choose. If you want to work specifically in healthcare administration, here are a few degree routes to consider:
- MBA (Masters in Business Administration)
- MHA (Masters in Health Administration)
- MPH (Masters in Public Health)
- BSN (Bachelors in Nursing)
- How to Get Started in Healthcare Administration
- Guide to Healthcare Administration Degrees
- Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Programs
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