What Does a Hospital Administrator Do?

A hospital administrator is responsible for planning, directing and coordinating medical and health services in a hospital. This position is a specific type of healthcare administrator.

Responsible for clinical units and departments within an entire hospital, a hospital administrator’s role can vary on the size of the institution. In larger hospitals, there may be several administrators. Duties typically include the following tasks.

  • Recruit, train and manage staff, including assistant administrators, doctors, nurses and interns.
  • Act as a liaison between medical staff, governing boards and department heads.
  • Plan budgets and set rates for health services.
  • Develop and plan programs and services for scientific research and preventive medicine.
  • Help with the education of new doctors.
  • Create, maintain and evaluate policies and procedures around areas like quality assurance, patient services and public relations activities.
  • Ensure the hospital is compliant with new laws and regulations.
  • Represent the institution at investor meetings or on governing boards.

Career Growth

Employment of healthcare administrators is projected to increase 17 percent by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is much faster than the average for all occupations (7 percent) and all management occupations (6 percent).

The large and aging baby boom population, characterized by people remaining active later in life, will increase the demand for medical services. “This increased demand should create greater needs for physicians and other healthcare workers, medical procedures, and healthcare facilities, and therefore greater needs for managers who organize and manage medical information and healthcare staff,” the BLS says.

Hospital administrators and all healthcare administrators should experience strong career growth.

Salary Potential

The median annual wage for healthcare administrators is $94,500, according to the BLS. The highest 10 percent earn more than $165,380 and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $56,230.

The BLS includes salary information for the top industries in which healthcare administrators work. Those who work in hospitals earn more than any other industry.

  • Administrators in hospitals earn $102,060.
  • Administrators in government earn $101,190.
  • Administrators in offices of physicians earn $85,600.
  • Administrators in home healthcare services earn $82,430.
  • Administrators in nursing and residential care facilities earn $78,540.

How to Become a Hospital Administrator

Many hospitals require applicants to have some work experience, either in an administrative or a clinical role. Educational requirements can vary, but most administrators have at least a bachelor’s degree. “However, master’s degrees are common and sometimes preferred by employers,” the BLS adds.

Campbellsville University’s online MBA in Healthcare Management prepares students for leadership roles in healthcare. Graduates can pursue careers in hospital administration, as well as management and administration roles in medical offices, clinics and more. The program is offered fully online to accommodate students’ professional and personal schedules.