Salary Outlook for Healthcare Managers and Administrations

As a hospital administrator, also referred to as a healthcare administrator or manager, you are responsible for the success of the staff and the organization as a business. In order for services to be available to patients and clients, you have to represent the hospital at board and investor meetings, maintain daily operations by following legal and health procedures, and ensuring that the facility is updated and well-stocked at all times. Keeping the doors open allows people to receive help when needed.

The full time job of a hospital administrator is rewarding both emotionally and monetarily. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), hospital administration is projected to grow 23 percent by 2022. It is exciting to be a part of a job industry knowing that the average annual income will only grow as employment opportunities continue to expand. Explore further with the links below:

Salary Overview

Generally, healthcare administrators and managers earn between $71,820 and $120,740 annually. There are several factors that can influence your salary. Location, cultural demand, education, and experience all play a role in potential income. With the right combination, you could be one of the higher paid hospital administrators who make over $160,000 per year. Take a look at the BLS’s reported national median annual salary as of healthcare managers 2012, in comparison to all other management positions.

Healthcare manager median salary in 2012 compared to other management positions

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Program

Highest Average Salary by Location

Location pays a large role in expected annual salary. While healthcare administrators and managers are needed everywhere, areas that are in greater demand will most likely pay their administrators more. There are other elements that determine demand, and may vary from place to place. Below is a list of the top five average paying states, as reported by the BLS in 2014, for hospital administrators.

  1. District of Columbia – $131,160
  2. California – $122,410
  3. New York – $121,930
  4. Connecticut – $117,680
  5. New Jersey – $115,370

In order to work in hospital administration or related field, you’ll need the right credentials in place. The schools listed below offer the education you’ll need to work towards your career goals.

American University
  • MSA
Our Lady of the Lake University
  • SACS
Creighton University
  • HLC
  • NCA
Kaplan University
  • HLC
  • NCA

Click here to see more Hospital Administration degrees

Job Demand and Salary

Hospital administrators are a vital part of the health care industry and will always be needed. However, there are specific factors that can increase not only the need for hospital administrators, but their income as well. If you would like to earn more than the averages previously listed, you will have a greater chance of doing so by working in a largely populated city. Check out which cities dominate the average pay scale of hospital administrators as illustrated by the list below with data provided by the BLS.

  1. San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, CA – $157,510
  2. Madera, CA – $148,850
  3. San Francisco, San Mateo, and Redwood City, CA – $146,580
  4. Vallejo and Fairfield, CA – $139,400
  5. Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Goleta, CA – $134,810

Healthcare administrators in highly populous cities do tend to receive greater pay than those in suburban or rural areas, yet it is not the only factor that plays into an increased salary. As you can see all of the cities above are located in California. This is due to cultural elements that help determine the demand of hospital administrators in an area such as cost of living and overall health consciousness. Cities in California have been consistently ranked as part of the top ten most health conscious cities in the United States by several organizations.

Health conscious people are focused on maintaining their overall well-being and typically visit healthcare centers and hospitals more frequently. This consequently increases the demand of health centers that will then need administrators to help run those facilities. California is not the only state that has a prominent demand for healthcare administrators and managers, take a look at the map below to see if you are in a high-income area.

Annual mean wage of health and medical services managers by area, May 2014.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Program

Increasing Salary

The city life is not for everyone, and it is not the only way to increase your income as a hospital administrator. Remember that there are always opportunities for bonuses and raises. No matter where you reside, education and job experience will also play an equally large role as location when it comes to determining salary.


A healthcare administrator must be a jack of all trades, which is why having a substantial educational background is imperative. Landing a career in hospital administration can come from a variety of degree paths, the most common ones are healthcare administration, healthcare management, and public health. Each of these have varying concentrations that will prepare students for what it takes to become a hospital administrator. Pursuing at least a bachelor-level education as a working professional is the first step toward becoming eligible for an increase in pay.

Continuing education is also vital in this career. In addition to degree programs, there are several certifications that can benefit healthcare managers. It is important to have a working knowledge of the laws and regulations, procedures, and business practices surrounding healthcare and how they vary from state-to-state. Not only does being informed enhance your overall competency, but it ensures that you will be able to keep an organization updated.


Internships and apprenticeships are great opportunities for students to beef up their resume. Once a student has completed their undergraduate studies, they may qualify to be an assistant hospital administrator at a larger facility. Hands-on experience is beneficial on multiple fronts. An assistant position on your resume speaks positively to future employers, or when the time comes for a promotion. They know that you have applied your educational knowledge in a real-world setting, allowing them to have more confidence in your abilities. That prior experience will likely lead to a higher starting salary than just a graduate degree alone.

Yes, experience will enhance your resume but job performance is what may set you apart from other job candidates. Here are several skills that will help you stand out in the event of an evaluation, bonus, or promotion.

  • Communication – Hospital administrators interact with a variety of people everyday, from patients to investors. It is important to know how to interact with each group, since you they are the face that represents that facility. A positive interaction will look favorably on the administrator and the business.
  • Proactive Leadership – This is a high-level management position, so it is crucial to be able to motivate those under you to maximize efficiency. As a leader, the hospital administrator’s demeanor affects everyone. Consistent positive and confident directions will build trust between the administrator and staff.
  • Decision Making – The decisions of a healthcare administrator affect a variety of stakeholders. It is necessary for them to be as informed as possible and have confidence in their choices.

In the health industry, doctors are not the only ones who have a six-figure annual income. The opportunity for salary growth as a hospital administrator is increasing steadily as the job market continues to expand. Education greatly contributes to the expected salary in hospital administration. Healthcare administration, healthcare management, and public health, are all degree programs that will set you on the right path to becoming a top-tier professional in hospital administration.

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