3.5 trillion dollars are spent in the healthcare industry every year. While that number is bad news for most consumers, it’s great news for people that are working in healthcare.
This is because more money in an industry means higher pay for workers. Look no further than a healthcare administrator’s $110,000+ per year salary to appreciate that point.
Are you looking for a career change? Do you want to do something that’s not only rewarding from a monetary standpoint but also from a fulfillment perspective? If you answered yes to those questions, kickback and keep reading.
Below, you’ll learn how to break into the healthcare business as a healthcare administrator which could completely change the trajectory of your life.
Step 1: Understand What a Healthcare Administrator Does
Before you throw your career eggs in the healthcare administrator basket, it’s important to know if the job is a good fit for your sensibilities.
Healthcare administrators are managers that are in charge of healthcare organizations. They conduct oversight, create/audit budgets, hire and more.
Successful healthcare administrators are natural leaders and are extremely organized. People that are stress-prone might not love this role given the volume of challenges that can occur in a healthcare setting.
Step 2: Pick a Degree Program
Healthcare administrators need to hold a bachelor’s degree to be considered for employment. This comes in contrast to many other health positions where only the certification is necessary (nursing for example).
There is such thing as a BA/BS in Healthcare Administration so, to streamline your journey into this field, seek out a program that offers that degree specifically rather than settling an adjacent degree and trying to work your way into an administrative role.
There are internet-based programs like this course for online students. There are also in-person degrees that can be pursued at any number of brick-and-mortar universities.
Step 3: Decide on Whether or Not to Pursue a Master’s Degree
Given the competitiveness of the healthcare field, particularly when it comes to healthcare administration positions, many people choose to get a master’s degree prior to looking for work. Having a master’s degree is not required to become a healthcare administrator. It will, however, boost your odds of being hired.
If you don’t want to commit to an extra two years to school in a master’s program, look into healthcare administration roles in rural areas. They are more likely to accept bachelor’s candidates than larger cities are.
If you build enough experience in a small market, you can eventually transfer to a large market if that’s your goal.
Step 4: Start Applying for Jobs
With your degree(s) in place, it’s time to start applying for healthcare administration work. Applying for an administrator position isn’t unlike applying for any job. You simply go to a healthcare provider’s website, search for open positions and apply for roles that you see.
If you’re not aware of who major healthcare providers are, here’s a helpful list.
You can also go on popular medical job boards like MedicalJobs.org or Medzilla.com to find positions.
Step 5: Pick up Extra-Curricular Certifications
Once you’re hired as a healthcare administrator, you may have broken into the healthcare business but your work isn’t done. You’ll want to keep growing your skills as a professional. That way, you can maximize your annual raises and keep an eye out for other administrative positions that may offer more.
The best way to achieve those ends is to look into getting relevant certifications. Speciality certifications are not required to become a healthcare administrator. They can create leverage when it comes to growing your career though.
Certifications that are worth looking into include:
- Certified Revenue Cycle Professional
- Certified Medical Manager
- Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality
- Certified in Healthcare Compliance
You can get additional certification recommendations by talking to a manager or by exploring additional options online.
Step 6: Get Involved in Your Field Outside of the Workplace
Networking is everything in the healthcare business. If you want to keep cultivating new opportunities and climbing your earnings ladder, you’ll want to meet new people.
There are several professional organizations that exist within the medical niche, like the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management and the American Medical Association.
You can also join less formal associations through social media platforms like LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a “groups” feature that allows professionals to communicate in private environments. By being a voice in these circles, you’ll build your reputation as an administrative professional and will learn a lot.
Bonus Step: Consider Other Healthcare Fields
If you read through all of this information on how to become a healthcare administrator and have determined that the role isn’t right for you, that’s okay! There are a number of healthcare positions that are worth exploring, many of which we’re sure you’ll love.
Remember, starting a new career isn’t just about money. It’s about doing something that you enjoy so you love coming into work every day. Don’t settle for anything that brings less value to your life.
Enter the Healthcare Business As an Administrative Professional and Make Waves
The healthcare business is always looking for fresh faces and new ideas. Why let somebody else be that fresh, revolutionary persona when it could be you!
Use our tips to start forging your path into the world of healthcare administration. If you find that you need more inspiration or advice as you navigate your journey, feel free to read more of the content on our mom-centric blog!