Career OverviewThe hospital administrator may also be known as the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital. His or her role is to coordinate all aspects of the day-to-day operation of the hospital as well as plan, coordinate and implement long-term plans for development and ongoing services. The hospital administrator is the most senior management position within the healthcare field and he or she will report directly to the board of directors or executive director, depending on the structure of the facility.
The hospital administrator is responsible for financial planning, budgeting, staffing and patient care and satisfaction. He or she must be familiar with most of the aspects of the hospital or healthcare facility, and may often be an individual with some clinical experience or management experience within the healthcare field.
A hospital administrator usually works standard business days although they may be required to attend weekend or evening meetings. The hospital administrator must be able to work in a team environment and foster a sense of unity and professionalism within all aspects of the hospital or healthcare facility. Excellent communication skills, the ability to work on several projects at one time as well as negotiation and management skills are all required.
A strong financial background is an asset for a hospital administrator as they will be largely responsible for managing budgets and implementing financial decisions of the board of directors. Experience in accounting or business management is a strong asset for a hospital administrator.
Career RequirementsSeveral years of experience working as a mid or upper level manager in conjunction with a Masters in healthcare or business administration are usually the minimum requirements for a hospital administrator. Many job applications require 10-15 years of management experience within the healthcare field to apply for a hospital administrator position. Additional training in financial planning, accounting, computer technology or human resources is considered beneficial.
Those hospital administrators with clinical experience may be physicians or individuals with Masters or PhD level training in the various clinical aspects of hospital administration.
Job OutlookThe role of a hospital administrator is very specialized and requires many years of training and experience. There is a constant and average demand for qualified hospital administrators as those currently employed retire or move into other positions or careers. There are usually more applicants than positions for these jobs because they are so high profile and have a very high salary.
The United States Department of Labor indicates that the consistent demand for hospital administrators should remain at its current level until the year 2014.
Career TrackHospital administrators in very large hospitals may be eligible to move into chief executive or chief financial officer positions. They may also decide to move into self-employed businesses to act as consultants or business analysts for other hospitals or healthcare facilities. This option allows a hospital administrator to work with multiple hospitals in various locations at the same time.
CompensationThe size of the hospital, location, and experience of the hospital administrator all determine the salary range. Most hospital administrators have a yearly salary of between $150,000 and $300,000, plus bonuses that significantly add to the total. Those hospital administrators in very large hospitals and those in private facilities may earn in excess of $400,000 per year.