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How to Become a Hospital Administrator

Most people acknowledge the important role that doctors and nurses play. However, there are also other essential roles, behind the scenes, that help facilitate these roles. Hospital administrators, for example, are responsible for ensuring that a hospital is running smoothly and effectively.

While becoming a doctor or registered nurse may seem like challenging career paths, becoming a hospital administrator can relatively straightforward. With a proper definitive guide, you can easily acquire information about the best courses to help you succeed.

You will have a much easier time obtaining the position with the proper guidance and reference material, which you can find below.

What Is a Hospital Administrator?

A hospital administrator is an expert who ensures a hospital’s or health facility’s operations are smooth and effective. They can work individually or in a team to ensure the medical facility is offering efficient practices.

The work of a hospital administrator is versatile. They can work in any setting or industry. Some of the different areas where a hospital administrator can find employment are:

  • State hospitals
  • Nursing homes or medical facilities
  • Government policy positions
  • Private medical services
  • Home health centers, and
  • Health insurance companies

What Does a Hospital Administrator Do?

The role of a hospital administrator is crucial in any medical facility. The primary roles and responsibilities of an administrator are:

Evaluate Reports

The hospital administrator prepares personnel reports and evaluates them for performance reviews.


An administrator serves as a liaison between governing boards, human resources, department managers, and medical staff. They organize, control, and coordinate the services administered as per board regulations.

Recruiting Personnel

Hospital administrators are responsible for recruiting new professionals in the facility. They are well versed with the regulations and standards of the facility and therefore handle enrollment procedures. They also screen and consent to new personnel.

Stock Checking

They are responsible for monitoring stock usage by personnel. They are also charged with making orders for depleted resources on time.

Prepare Records

Not only do they prepare medical records, but they also store them safely. It is vital that hospital administrators understand technology and how it translates information into tangible medical data. They keep documentation regarding patient visits in a timely and accurate manner.

Quality Assurance

Hospital administrators are the gateway to efficient services. They ensure that there is standard practice by doctors and nurses. It is crucial to check on the compliance of certain medical practices to regulations in the state. The hospital administrator is well placed to determine the current laws and regulations.

Formulating Policies

Trained hospital administrators are essential in the creation of public health policies. They can easily lobby to influence changes in the existing policies by the government. They use their hands-on work experience and expertise to change the dynamics of healthcare.

It is easier to influence the community, organizations, and lawmakers to adopt practices that favor the healthcare system.

Organize Public Relations Activities

Hospital administrators are in charge of planning public relations and C.S.R. activities. They actively participate in fundraising and community health planning.

Financial Role

Hospital administrators are responsible for fiscal performance. They prepare annual budgets, review expenditures, and create financial reports.

Essential Hospital Administrator Skills

The main role of a hospital administrator is to ensure there is a quality standard of practice by hospital personnel. It is essential to combine technical know-how and valid skills to manage the institution properly. Here are the vital skills you must have to become a hospital administrator:

Extensive Industry Knowledge

It is a highly competitive career. For you to become successful in your work, you need to be on top of your game. The healthcare industry is volatile, and there are constant changes and developments. You must receive quality continuing education, make relevant connections, and hone additional skills.

Critical Thinking

This job demands people to make informed decisions by taking into account compliance issues and work objectives.

Team Player

A hospital administrator is in constant communication with different personnel. This makes it important for one to have a healthy relationship building capacity. The administrator must be a team player.

Quick To Adapt

This is a crucial skill to keep up with the dynamic nature of the healthcare systems. You must be willing to usher in new strategies or ideas whenever necessary.

Strong Ethical Perspective

Hospital administrators must have high ethical standards. Many decisions will rely on your moral compass; therefore, it is essential to be morally equipped to deal with challenging issues.


Last but not least, a hospital administrator must have leadership skills. It is their role to deliver the best quality services at all times. It is an essential skill to excel in the role.

Hospital Administrator Salaries and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a hospital administrator's average pay to be over $98,000 per year. The salary is expected to increase due to the increase in demand for administrators. They estimate that the healthcare industry will have over 4 million jobs compared to any other industry. This is due to the unprecedented growth of older Americans.

The role of a hospital administrator is crucial in the daily operations of a hospital or clinic. The position is at a high level of authority and responsibility. This makes it essential to possess specific skills and education levels.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Hospital Administrator?

A hospital administrator must have a bachelor's degree in any relevant field and a master's degree in health service administration. This may take up to five or six years of study. You will also need to gain relevant experience and get certified.

The duration one takes to complete the studies and attain relevant experience varies. It is not a relatively short time, but one can adjust the time frame as they see fit. Most hospital administrators start by being administrative assistants.

How to Become a Hospital Administrator: A Step-by-Step Guide

Becoming a hospital administrator is the best career choice you will make. It is a gratifying job that pays well and can be very fulfilling. To become a hospital administrator, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

You have to sign up for a relevant bachelor's degree. There are programs available for becoming a hospital administrator. You can pursue a degree in nursing, healthcare administration, or general studies focusing on patient care. The courses will help you learn more about medicine and still gain relevant management knowledge.

Step 2: Master’s Degree

Having an advanced degree in health management can easily land you a job. There is a MBA in Health Management course available that deals with different issues in health.

For instance, you can concentrate on population management, healthcare strategies, senior services, or data management. These are key areas in healthcare management. You can choose from any of the following master’s programs:

  • Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Health Administration
  • Master of Public Health with Health Administration focus
  • Master of Health Administration

Step 3: Certification

Hospital administrators need to get certified. However, the state does not need to license you. Gaining a professional certificate validates your experience, skills, and education level. For board certification, there is the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and Certified Medical Manager (C.M.M.).

Step 4: Relevant Job Experience

Practical experience can improve your chances of employment or promotion. It is beneficial to get field experience before or after your master's degree. There are plenty of small hospitals looking for graduates to fill in temporary positions. These serve as excellent platforms for learning more.

Some graduates get administrative fellowship opportunities to obtain hands-on experience. This is an excellent chance to find mentors within the industry.

Required Education to Become a Hospital Administrator

To become a hospital administrator, you need a bachelor's degree in nursing or business administration or any other relevant field. There are multiple choices for undergraduate degrees that focus on health management services.

Employers require hospital administrators to have a master's degree due to the executive nature of the position. Comprehensive knowledge is essential in understanding the daily operations. Professionals from different industries can also develop the required skills to become an administrator.

Best Programs and Courses to Become Hospital Administrator

There are plenty of programs and courses available to help you become a hospital administrator. Here is the list:

Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Management and Leadership

  • Provider: Westford University College
  • Cost: N/A
  • Time: 10 weeks
  • Prerequisite: N/A

It is a great program to attain knowledge and skills pertaining to be an effective manager in the healthcare sector. You will understand more about how organizations operate and their management.

Healthcare Management

  • Provider: Cornell University
  • Cost: $1278 per credit
  • Time: 3 months
  • Prerequisite: 60 credits

It is an excellent course to learn about the business side of hospitals. You will learn about budgets, management, and healthcare regulations.

Master's in Health Informatics & Data Science

  • Provider: Georgetown University
  • Cost: $ 2,139 per credit
  • Time: 10 weeks
  • Prerequisite: 42 credits

The curriculum focuses on healthcare systems management. It features multiple seminars, supervised internships, and pairing with executive mentors. You will require a minimum of 42 credits to complete the program.

Hospital Administrator Certificates

Getting certified is vital to validating your existing knowledge and skills. To demonstrate your expertise consider these certificate courses:

The Certified Medical Manager

This certificate course is offered by the Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management to industry professionals. You will have certified that you have the appropriate medical skills to distinguish yourself as a professional. The PAHCOM code of ethics ensures that every professional maintains a high standard of competency, integrity, and honesty.

This certification will indicate that you will pursue excellence in your practice by upholding the hospital's rules and laws of engagement. It is only available for professionals with two years of experience and twelve college credit hours.

Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management

American Hospital Association provides it to create outstanding membership of healthcare professionals. You can renew the certificate after three years by taking another exam.

Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)

American College of Healthcare Executives provides this certificate. Its main agenda is to ensure that you have relevant knowledge and skills to attain a successful career. It is most suitable for professionals who aspire to be in the I.T. operations of the hospital.

The Health Information Technology Certified Manager

Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management provides this certificate for professionals with a minimum of two years of experience. This exam has over 200 multiple choice questions and a three-hour time limit. It helps recognize medical and health service managers with skills, knowledge, and experience.

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management

The primary aim of this certification exam is to help professionals in healthcare financial services validate their skills. It is an excellent platform to develop your career.

Should You Become a Hospital Administrator in 2021?

There is an increasing demand for hospitals, treatment centers, and clinics to provide standard quality care. This is a challenge as the number of patients is growing daily. Hospital administrators are essential in acting as a gatekeeper to quality services. It is a very competitive industry, and hospitals are seeking highly qualified individuals.

Yes, you should; this guide is instrumental in showing you how to become a healthcare administrator. In addition to the high demand for such professionals, there is also the potential for a high salary and with the increase in demand for professionals to manage hospitals, the salary is also increasing. A career in hospital administration can also be very fulfilling on a personal level.


Why do hospital administrators make so much?
Given their job description, hospital administrators are the gateway to success for hospitals. For a hospital to make profits, they need to hire an expert hospital administrator who will control the expenditure of the hospital.
What should I major in to become a hospital administrator?
Earning a relevant degree is essential in becoming a hospital administrator. There are online degrees in healthcare practice and management or general degrees with healthcare as the basis.
How do I become a successful healthcare administrator?
Earning a relevant degree is essential in becoming a hospital administrator. There are online degrees in healthcare practice and management or general degrees with healthcare as the basis.
Is a master’s in healthcare administration worth it?
You should get a master's degree in healthcare administration, it is worth the commitment. This career path is very lucrative, and doing a two-year program can land you better prospects.
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