According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), several healthcare administration careers ,including health and medical services managers, are expected to grow at a faster than average rate. This combined with plenty of room for advancement, and one of the industry’s most competitive wages, makes seeking employment in this exciting field a wise choice. After weighing your options, and doing your homework, you might be left with a very simple question: How do I become a successful healthcare administrator? Here is a quick guide to help you navigate the waters of healthcare administration, and why seeking your graduate degree is a smart decision.
Learn About the Field
Before seeking employment in this ever evolving field, it’s critical to understand the day to day undertaking of a common healthcare administrator. The job description will vary depending on the institution, but in general a healthcare administrator is involved in almost every facet of a clinic, hospital, lab or even nursing home. You’ll be expected to balance the budget, hire and retain employees, create and implement policies and most importantly, ensure that the patient’s needs are met.
Completing Your Bachelor’s Degree
To obtain an entry-level position, it’s critical to earn at least a Bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, health management or any number of related fields. While you’re in the trenches, take this opportunity to not only beef up your knowledge base, but also make a few invaluable contacts within the field. Pay attention to keep your grades up, and seek employment during the summer, in order to remain competitive when it comes times to either enter the job market or apply to a graduate program.
Earning a Master’s Degree
Many potential employers won’t even give your resume a second look unless they see that magical phrase: Master’s in Healthcare Administration. This is especially true if you plan on advancing in the field, or seek an executive position. Health care administration masters degree programs are extremely selective, and competition is fierce for the limited positions, so it’s critical to not only present a stellar academic background, but also provide excellent references. While in graduate school, it’s also crucial to land top summer internships, which could lead to your first job outside of college.
Landing Your First Job
You’ve completed your schooling, and now it’s time to land your first position. No matter what your education level, it’s a good idea to either seek an entry-level position, or a job that’s outside the field in order to gain experience before seeking your dream job.
If you’re having trouble landing your first job in the real world try relocating or applying for a position in an urban area. The majorities of new positions being created in the healthcare administration field are found in large, metropolitan areas, so keep your options open and be prepared to pack up and move to find your first break.