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Career Profile: Health Services Administrator

Why Is Health Services Administration a Job of Tomorrow?
Hospitals and physician offices will always need the skills of a professional health services administrator to keep the facilities operating smoothly. Employment positions for administrative and management jobs, including health services administrators, are expected to increase 12 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health services administrators make an average of $73,340 a year, although salaries can vary depending on the facility demographics and employee's education and professional experience.

What Does a Health Services Administrator Do?
Health services administrators are the leaders and managers of hospitals, physician offices and health care systems. They work behind the scenes, so instead of interacting with patients as nurses and doctors do, they handle the business components of the facility. Health services administrators play an important role in the efficiency of health care facilities. They have a wide range of responsibilities, including ensuring that the facility is always adequately staffed, creating and implementing policies and handling many of the financial aspects of running the facility. The occupation draws so heavily on business knowledge that the University of Chicago initially placed its hospital administration program in its business school rather than its medical one. Successful health services administrators need a strong background in health care as well as business management.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become a Health Services Administrator?
Health services administrators must have a master's degree in health administration from an accredited program. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education is the only entity recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to provide accreditation for master of health administration degree programs. Master's programs in health administration typically focus on general and financial management, public health, organization, and medical law and ethics, providing program graduates with knowledge and skills in both health care and business.