The average healthcare administrator salary is $98,350 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The driving factor behind high healthcare administration salaries is that healthcare administrators and management play a vital role in keeping any healthcare organization, from hospital to clinic to nursing home, operating effectively and profitably. And between evolving healthcare systems, technological updates in information governance, and regulatory shifts in health laws and policy, the supply of healthcare administration professionals with the proper advanced education and qualifications hasn’t yet caught up with demand.
Because healthcare is a broad field that spans a wide variety of workplace scenarios, a healthcare administration salary depends on several factors:
Healthcare Administration Salary by Workplace
Healthcare administrators are needed in a multitude of work settings that can extend broadly beyond the traditional hospital setting (as illustrated above). Healthcare managers are needed in hospitals, clinics, private practice offices, long-term care facilities, and even veterinary offices and health insurance organizations. While you’ll find opportunity in any and all of these fields, there are some major trends dictating the increase in both demand and salary for skilled healthcare management.
Long-Term Care Facilities
As the United States population continues to age and regulations dictating long-term care quality are regularly scrutinized and improved, the need for strategic leadership within nursing homes and assisted living communities will rise. Because of this, nursing home administrators rank high in earning potential, with a median base salary of $110,603 (according to Salary.com).
An aging baby boomer population not only affects long-term care facilities, and they’re also not the only group affecting demand for skilled hospital administration. There has also been a noted increase in volume within hospital and emergency care settings. According to a 2018 study from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (H-CUP), emergency department visits for patients aged 45 to 64 years rose 20% between 2006 and 2015. Skilled healthcare administrators are vital to address this increase. Due to this demand, an average national hospital administrator salary is $120,540.
Perhaps the broadest professional option across any region is the private practice manager. According to the most recent American Medical Association practice benchmark survey, 47.1% of physicians owned their own practice, and 55.8% of all practicing physicians worked in a setting wholly owned by physicians. Nationally, that’s an incredible number of private practices in need of administration and management. Additionally, private practices are not limited to urban areas or major cities–they’re found in any geographic region across the country. Depending on the location and size of the office, private practice managers can make an average of $60,000 to $105,800 a year, according to data from glassdoor.com and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Healthcare Administration Salary by Job Title
The salary a healthcare administrator can earn varies depending on their job title. A high-level administrator in a private-sector insurance environment may procure a higher salary than the manager of a non-profit clinic, and factors like benefits, profit sharing, government-sponsored pensions, and bonuses should be factored in as well. Below, you’ll see some examples of salary ranges by title.
Healthcare Administration Salary by Organization Size
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the size of the healthcare organization is a major factor in determining healthcare administration salary. The median salary in an organization with 26 or more doctors is $150,726. In practices of seven to 25 doctors, healthcare administrators can expect to make $115,000, and in locations with fewer than seven doctors, salaries averaged $86,459.
Healthcare Administration Salary by Region
Just like the type of organization, location can play a major factor in a healthcare manager’s salary. The illustration below depicts the consistent need nationally and also highlights multiple areas where pay is highest.
According to Monster.com, the top five states with healthcare administration job opportunities are:
- New Jersey
- New York
Predictably, the five top-paying states for healthcare administration jobs follow the demand:
- New Jersey
But it’s important to remember that, even in the states where salaries don’t rank highly, pay for these roles is generally favorably commensurate with cost of living.
Healthcare Administration Salary by Education
According to 2017 research performed by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), managers in healthcare-related fields are expected to have a master’s degree in healthcare management or administration before entering a leadership role. The difference in salary potential between candidates with a bachelor’s degree and those who hold a master’s degree lies mostly in the job opportunities that will be available to each audience.
Healthcare administration roles are available to those without a graduate degree, but they’re limited to mainly entry-level positions or mid-level roles in smaller organizations or in less populated areas. A bachelor’s degree with a healthcare administration focus is intended to provide the foundational knowledge for a professional career in healthcare management; to navigate the complex organizational structure of a leadership role, more focused education is required.
A healthcare administrator might be called upon to manage any (or all) of the tasks and duties outlined above. Candidates can enhance their value by obtaining a multidisciplinary master’s degree, with coursework on each of the topics they might face.
University of Wisconsin offers an online Master of Science in Healthcare Administration. Start your journey.
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