Medical Administration Careers: Salary Info & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a career in medical administration? Get real job descriptions and education requirements to see if a career in medical administration is right for you.
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Careers in Medical Administration

Medical administrators often focus on management, record-keeping and program planning; clinical duties are usually secondary. If you're interested in this field, read the table below for an overview of careers in nursing home administration, clinical management or health information management.

Nursing home administrator Clinical manager Health information manager
Career Overview Nursing home administrators oversee the staff and daily operations of homes for senior citizens. Clinical managers are in charge of a particular department of a health care facility. Health information managers are in charge of maintaining and securing records for patients.
Education Requirements At least a bachelor's, but a master's degree is commonly required At least a bachelor's, but a master's degree is commonly required At least a bachelor's, but a master's degree is commonly required
Program Length 3-5 years for a bachelor's, 1-2 more for a master's degree 3-5 years for a bachelor's, 1-2 more for a master's degree 3-5 years for a bachelor's, 1-2 more for a master's degree
Certification and Licensing Licensing is required in all states Licensing is required for certain positions Certification is required for certain positions
Work Experience Varies a good deal Varies a good deal Varies a good deal
Job Outlook for 2014-2024 Faster-than-average growth (17%) compared to all occupations* Faster-than-average growth (17%) compared to all occupations* Faster-than-average growth (17%) compared to all occupations*
Median Salary (2016) $81,760** $53,025** $51,354**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and **PayScale.Com

Nursing Home Administrator

As a nursing home administrator, you'll usually oversee the maintenance, finances and staff of senior care facilities. You'll often be in charge of hiring and firing, as well as balancing budgets. You may have clinical responsibilities as well.

Requirements

To become a nursing home administrator, you'll usually need at least a bachelor's degree in health care administration or a related field. You also must obtain Nursing Home Administrator (NHA) licensure from the state in which you intend to work; common licensure requirements include completion of a bachelor's program, clinical training and an exam. The amount of field experience you'll need depends largely on the position and employer.

Here are a few positions that were posted online in November 2012:

  • A health care management and consulting service company in Wisconsin was seeking a nursing home administrator with three years of experience, a bachelor's degree in nursing home administration or a related discipline and a state NHA license.
  • Another nursing home administrator was sought in Wisconsin to direct a county nursing home and work directly with doctors and a medical director. A bachelor's degree in public administration, business administration or a related field was preferred.
  • In North Carolina, a care facility was seeking an executive director and nursing home administrator with at least a bachelor's degree in a healthcare-related field; an advanced degree was preferred. Applicants also needed at least three years of experience.

Standing Out

Earning voluntary certification is one way to stand out from the competition. The American College of Health Care Administrators offers the Certified Nursing Home Administrator credential to candidates who hold a bachelor's degree and state licensure. Qualified candidates also need at least 40 relevant continuing education credits and must have held an NHA license for at least two years.

Clinical Manager

In most cases, clinical managers administrate specific departments in medical facilities. As a clinical manager, you may have an area of specialization related to the type of department or facility you intend to manage. For example, nursing, physical therapy and surgery are common areas of expertise. Typically, you'll deal with department budgets, daily operations, staff supervision and program planning.

Requirements

At least a bachelor's degree in medical management or a similar field is required in order to become a clinical manager. Current CPR certification and several years of experience as a professional Registered Nurse (RN) are also common requirements. Other licensure and training requirements depend on the particulars of certain jobs.

In November 2012, the following clinical management jobs were available:

  • A registered nurse with three years of experience and CPR certification was sought by a Virginia homecare organization to work as a clinical manager. Bachelor's degree-holders were preferred.
  • A medical care facility in Illinois was searching for a clinical manager with renal care expertise, customer service skills, at least one year of experience in clinical nursing and six months of dialysis nursing experience.
  • In California, a dialysis and kidney disease service company was seeking a clinical manager with CPR certification, nurse licensure from the state and at least 1.5 years of administrative and hemodialysis nursing experience.

Standing Out

Voluntary certification is available from a few organizations and can help you stand out in the job market. For example, the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) offers the Certified Medical Manager credential. In order to qualify, you need to be a PAHCOM member; you also need at least three years of relevant experience and a minimum of 12 college credits in healthcare or business administration. Through the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), you can earn healthcare management board certification. However, you must first hold a graduate degree in the field.

Health Information Manager

Health information managers work in many different sections of the health industry as record-keepers. Knowledge of medical record-keeping rules and regulations is often an important part of the job. You may be in charge of maintaining the accuracy, completeness and ease-of-use of medical information data entry systems.

Requirements

The job requirements for health information managers depend largely on the employer, although at least a bachelor's degree in medical management or a related discipline is often required. Several years of work experience in the field may be necessary as well. Some positions require that you earn Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) or Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification.

Here are three health information management positions from November 2012:

  • A health care center in California was hiring a health information manager with experience in maintaining medical records and health information. Strong computer skills were required.
  • A hospital business management company in North Dakota was seeking a health information manager with fifteen years of health services management experience and a degree in health information technology.
  • In Kansas City, MO, a medical company was looking for a health information manager with at least seven years of experience in medical records, including two as a supervisor. A bachelor's degree in medical record administration or medical record science was also required.

Standing Out

When looking for a health information manager, employers tend to seek a highly organized and focused individual. In addition to this, staying abreast of the latest technological developments in electronic medical record-keeping can help you stand out in the job market. Computer literacy and IT skills are highly valued by a number of employers in this field. Knowledge of software, like Microsoft Office Suite and Point Click Care, may be useful as well.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA: Health Care Management
      • Master of Healthcare Admin
      • Master: Management/Health Care Mgmt
      • Master of Health Informatics
      • Master of Health Information Management
      • Master: Nursing/Nurse Administrator
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Healthcare Admin
      • Health Information Management
      • Bachelor: Health Science
      • BS in Health Information Management
    Certificate
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
      • Master of Science in Health Informatics
  • Online Programs Available
    3. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
  • Online Programs Available
    4. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MSHS in Clinical Research Administration
      • MSHS in Clinical and Translational Research
      • MSHS in Regulatory Affairs
      • MSHS Clinical Operations & Healthcare Management
      • MSHS in Biomedical Informatics
    Bachelor's
      • Dual Degree: BSHS in Clinical Research Administration/MSHS in Regulatory Affairs
      • BSHS in Biomedical Informatics
      • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management
  • Campus Locations:
    5. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Diploma Program - Medical Office Specialist
      • Diploma Program - Medical Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Graduate Specialization - Healthcare Administration
      • MS - Healthcare Admin and Management
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Healthcare Admin and Management
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Health Care Admin
      • PhD in Business Admin - Health Care Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Government - Healthcare Policy and Ethics
      • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management
      • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
      • Master of Public Administration - Healthcare Policy and Ethics
  • Campus Locations:
    9. Brightwood College

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Medical Office Specialist
      • Medical Practice Management
      • Medical Office Administration
      • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist - Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS: Health Care Management

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • MBA: Health Care Management
  • Bachelor: Healthcare Admin
  • Medical Office Administration Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

George Mason University

  • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics

What is your highest level of education?

American University

  • Master of Science in Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education?

The George Washington University

  • MSHS in Clinical Research Administration
  • MSHS in Clinical and Translational Research
  • Dual Degree: BSHS in Clinical Research Administration/MSHS in Regulatory Affairs
  • BSHS in Biomedical Informatics

What is your highest level of education?

Virginia College

  • Diploma Program - Medical Office Specialist
  • Diploma Program - Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

What is your highest level of education completed?

Colorado State University Global

  • Graduate Specialization - Healthcare Administration
  • MS - Healthcare Admin and Management
  • BS - Healthcare Admin and Management

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Health Care Admin
  • PhD in Business Admin - Health Care Admin

What is your highest level of education?

Regent University

  • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Government - Healthcare Policy and Ethics
  • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education completed?