How to Get Into Health Administration

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Healthcare is a growing industry and the need for health administrations is growing along with it. There are a variety of jobs and careers in health administration that range from manager of a private health or physician practice to chief executive officer of a large healthcare organization. In addition, there are many health care administration jobs that revolve around areas such as human resources, finance, operations and nursing or clinical care. Because of the variety of jobs that are available, there are several different professional routes that can lead to these jobs and careers.

  • Research the field in which you are interested. Talk to professionals working in your area of interest to determine if you are truly interested and suited for a career in health administration. Whether it is nursing or finance, there are health administration positions in a wide variety of areas. Learn about your area of interest, the type of qualifications that are required for those positions and the need for those positions. For example, if you are interested in nursing, check your state's requirements for education, certification and licensing.

  • Obtain the appropriate education for your area of interest. For most management-level positions and higher, at least a bachelor's degree is required. A bachelor's degree will open the door to an entry-level position, and though you may be able to work your way up in the organization or company, often times to reach higher level positions, a master's degree is preferred. In some cases, obtaining a degree in a clinical area, such as nursing or physical therapy, can open the door to management positions by working up through a company.

  • Get experience in health administration. Experience in the healthcare industry is important when trying to get into health administration. Interning under a health administration professional will teach you the valuable skills that you will need for a career in health administration, such as management and leadership skills, excellent communication and problem-solving skills and the ability to motivate others. Also, most large hospitals and healthcare organizations provide volunteer opportunities in a variety of areas through an auxillary program.

  • Pay your dues. Even applicants that hold degrees in their area of interest and some experience in healthcare may have to spend some time working in entry- or mid-level positions before working in a high-level management or executive position. Enter the industry and work your way up to the position that you desire by learning and growing in each position that you hold.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most state and private universities offer degrees in or relating to healthcare administration positions. In addition, many health care organizations offer internship or volunteer experience for those individuals interested in health care administration.
  • Specific jobs requirements vary depending upon the hospital or organization and state where you plan to work, as well as the specific area in which you are interested in working.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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