You are here:

Health Care Administrator

Career Overview

Health Care Administrators (HCAs), also referred to as health care executives or medical and health services managers, coordinate and direct the delivery of health care. They can be generalists managing entire facilities or organizations, or specialists focusing on specific clinical departments; the clinical managers have more specialized training and responsibilities than do generalists.

Large hospitals and organizations have generally got one lead administrator with several assistants who specialize in the daily decision making in various departments such as nursing, finance, health information technology, and departments like surgery or pediatrics. In smaller facilities, the HCA tends to have more intimate knowledge of the daily operations.


A Masters Degree in health sciences, public or business administration is common for generalists in this field. In some entry level positions at smaller facilities, a Bachelors Degree is sufficient; this is at the departmental level in certain organizations and in health information management. Physician's offices where business managers are used, will in some cases hire those with on-the-job experience in lieu of formal education.

HCAs of nursing facilities must have a bachelor's degree, be licensed and comply with continuing education requirements in all states; however licensure is not required in other areas of health care administration.

HCAs at large facilities are often required to have certification as a Registered Health Information Administrator, from the American Health Information Management Association.


In 2006 HCAs held approximately 262,000 jobs in the USA. 37% of these were in hospitals, while another 22% were in physician's offices and nursing facilities.

Salary Range

Lowest 10% $22.53/hour; $46,860/year

Median 50% $37.01/hour; $76,990/year

Highest 10% $63.74/hour; $132,580/year

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

College Search Tools

  • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

  • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.

  • Featured Colleges: Check out our index of featured online & campus colleges.