Career Paths Within Health Care Administration
Health care administrators oversee wellness planning for patients and communities. Their duties vary depending on their work environment, yet their responsibilities are relatively similar in various settings. On average, these professionals earn almost six figures annually, and the field is growing rapidly. Administrators are often responsible for managing entire facilities, and take on many roles after pursing infinite paths towards qualifying for the career.
Roles and Responsibilities in Health Care Administration
An article on the Public Health Online website reveals that various institutions count on administrators to oversee the policies and procedures outlining health related care for individual patients, targeted groups or communities.  The medical executives continually balance needs and resources, while making decisions that benefit the masses. These professionals work intimately with frontline caregivers and arrange preventive education to reduce illnesses. The executives efficiently coordinate these many activities to help institutions maintain the best possible wellness for all.
It is the administrator’s duty to understand their patients’ issues and the current operational environment. Also, the specialists participate in many high-level meetings, from shareholder gatherings to regulatory proceedings, which help shape institutional policies nationwide.
Health care administrators typically manage all organizational staff members. Additionally, they ensure that a facility’s human resource department sufficiently fulfills its responsibilities and operational efficiency is at its best in areas such as accounts receivable and inventory.
Health Care Administration Income and Career Forecast
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that in 2015 the average annual income for health care administrators was nearly $100,000.  The Bureau forecasts that job openings for the position will increase 17 percent by 2024, outpacing all other occupations – a growth surge attributed to the Baby-Boomer population’s coming of age.
An Explore Health Careers website reports that health care administrators do not routinely work in direct patient care.  Instead, institutions charge the executives with shaping the policies and procedures that define the caregiving environment. Despite this, medical directors share the desire to produce the best possible patient outcomes with frontline medical personnel.
A Day in the Life of a Health Care Administrator
A BLS career overview labels health care administrators as the epicenter for all medical facility activities.  Depending on a facility’s size and policies, a medical director may oversee an individual unit or an entire organization. The legal and scientific environment in the medical field changes regularly, and it is the administrator’s duty to keep their organization up-to-date with all new developments.
The Explore Health Careers article states that these work requirements apply in all the various settings that institutions employ health care administrators such as hospitals, convalescence centers, public clinics or private practice offices.  Medical executives may also find employment in industries such as pharmaceuticals, health insurance, medical supplies or consulting. Some administrators work in the public sector for agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, professionals in this field have access to a vast peer network to learn about new trends and advance their careers.
The Roads to Health Administration
Public Health Online suggests that there are many paths to a health administration career.  The education required to fill the administrator role positions job candidates for many vocational possibilities. Job hopefuls may find employment in private practice, medical research or ambulatory services, where the current Community Health Program, Inc. chief executive officer Bryan Ayers started his career. An interview with the CEO, who wanted to help those who needed healing, revealed the he entered the medical field by volunteering at a local ambulance service. After working as an EMT for some time, he went on to continue his education in health care administration, eventually earning a Master’s degree in the field and subsequent employment as an administrator.
Individual patients and entire communities benefit from the skills that health care administrators use to promote wellness, and institutions rely on the executives to coordinate the many important tasks required to produce positive patient outcomes. In various settings, administrators fulfill similar roles, yet their supervisory scope can vary from one business unit to an entire practice or organization. Invariably, institutions compensate these professionals with salaries well above the national average and offer them many interesting and diverse career choices.
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- PublicHealthOnline.org. Healthcare Administration Careers. PublicHealthOnline [Web Page]. Available at: http://www.publichealthonline.org/healthcare-administration/#context/api/listings/prefilter. Accessed 2016.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. Medical and Health Services Managers: Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [Web Page]. Available at: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm. Accessed 2016.
- ExploreHealthCareers.org. Health Administrator. ExploreHealthCareers.org [Web Page]. Available at: http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Career/56/Health_Administrator. Accessed 2016.