How to Become a Hospital Administrator

The job of a hospital administrator is not an easy one. But if you want to reach for the top in the health care industry, this is a good career goal for you. You may have to start at the bottom rungs of the ladder first, as administrative assistant, staff advisor, or personnel director, but with time others will notice your ability and you may get a chance to obtain this status.


The general requirements for being a hospital administrator is a Master’s degree in Business Administration or Health Care. You should start with obtaining your graduate degree from an accredited institution then working your way up the ranks.

Typical Education

The typical education route would be to obtain an M.B.A. in Business Administration or a Master’s in some area of health care.

An Alternate Route

How to Become a Hospital Administrator

The general requirements for being a hospital administrator is a Master’s degree in Business Administration or Health Care.

An alternate path to take to reach your goal as a hospital administrator is to become a doctor, then a chief surgeon, then ask to be moved to a hospital administrator position. While many administrators in the hospital environment are chosen from the managerial pool, some do come from the doctors’ staff, as they show their ability to not only be a star physician, but also to lead others in the hospital to do the same. The overall goal of a hospital administrator is to ensure the smooth operation of the hospital and staff morale is one of the areas doctors can often excel in. Most hospital administrators though are not doctors, but focus on business administration skills.

Steps to Becoming a Hospital Administrator

If you think you have the skills and ability to becoming one of the highest paid employees of a hospital, perhaps this is the career for you. Here are some important steps to take to reach your goals:

1) Get a graduate degree in Business or Health Care. A successful hospital administrator has both a strong background in the business field and organized health care. A combination of both is even better. Most hospital administrators have an M.B.A. in Business Administration.

2) Gain experience in the health care environments. Any work you do in the health care field will be to your advantage. So get entry level positions in health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ clinics, or other medical facilities, and work up through the ranks.

3) Continue your education. To continue climbing to the level of hospital administrator, get as much education as you can to keep up with the trends in health care and public administration. Attending professional workshops, keeping a work journal, and continuing development opportunities are all good ways you can keep growing in your career.

4) Network with hospital employees. Developing great rapport with employees, as well as patients, doctors, and other administrators will greatly increase your chances of success as a hospital administrator. Remember that this position requires a "bird’s eye view" of the operation of a hospital or care facility. So it will help you to improve your public relations with all aspects of the organization.

5) Work on management skills. Ultimately, the hospital administrator is a manager first and foremost. Remember to focus on your management ability, talk to other hospital executives and express an interest in management opportunities. If they think you are someone who should be "groomed" for the job, they may be happy to take you under their wing and help you to achieve your goals.

To achieve your goal as a hospital administrator, work on management skills, as well as communications, interpersonal skills, and business skills.

High School or GED
1 to 5 years
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
For anyone wishing to use their business degree and cross over into the helping professions, this is an excellent way to do it. It can be a rewarding and challenging career for the right person. Start with a solid education from a college you trust in Business Administration to start on your path!

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