MHA (Master of Hospital Administration)

Hospital administrators ensure that hospitals operate efficiently and that medical staff members are adequately trained and supported. Equipped with a broad range of responsibilities, hospital administrators must be equally well-versed in the fundamentals of health care delivery and business management. 

If you’re a practical, project-oriented person looking to start a career in health care but who prefers a role that doesn’t include face-to-face patient contact, then you might consider a career in hospital administration. 

In this article, you’ll learn more about hospital administrators, what they do, how much they earn, and what you need to do to become one. At the end, you’ll also find a suggested course to help you get started on the path to this impactful career today. 

What is a hospital administrator?  

A hospital administrator is a professional who oversees the daily operations of a hospital by planning, directing, and coordinating health services. While other health care professionals like physicians and registered nurses (RNs) provide care directly to patients, hospital administrators ensure that the health facility itself functions smoothly and that the medical staff is properly supported and trained. 

Hospital administrator duties 

Hospital administrators play an important role in the delivery and functioning of health services within a hospital. While the exact duties they perform vary from role to role, here are some of the most common duties that you can expect from the job:

  • Directing and supervising the work of medical staff

  • Establishing organizational goals

  • Planning and implementing programs, such as human resources (HR) administration

  • Overseeing finances and related operations, such as budget planning, authorizing expenses, and creating financial reports

  • Communicating with staff, departments, and board members

  • Hiring and training staff

  • Monitoring resource use and allocation

  • Ensuring that facilities are up to standard and meet current regulatory requirements

Hospital administrator salary 

Hospital administrators earn a much higher than average salary in the United States. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for medical and health services managers – the job category under which hospital administrators fall – is $101,340 as of May 2021 [1]. Glassdoor, meanwhile, puts the estimated total pay for hospital administrators at $88,553 as of October 2022 [2]. 

These salaries are higher than the median annual salary in the United States for all professions, which the BLS noted was $45,760 as of May 2021 [1]. The exact amount you can expect to earn, however, will likely vary based on your work experience, education level, geographic location, and employer.

Hospital administrator job outlook 

The job outlook for hospital administrators is very positive. 

According to the US BLS, the number of job openings for medical and health services managers is expected to grow by 28 percent between 2021 and 2031, adding approximately 56,600 new jobs annually throughout the decade. This is significantly higher job growth than the average for all occupations in the country, which the BLS puts at five percent [3].  

An aging baby-boomer population, in particular, has driven an increased need for medical professionals capable of providing health care and managing health systems in the country.