Interested in a lucrative career in healthcare administration? Consider these seven tips to help you prepare for a career in the business of healthcare.
Have an Impeccable, Neutral Record
Most upper-level healthcare administration positions are at some level political. At the very least, they will involve communicating with diverse stakeholders with oftentimes conflicting goals and opinions. Successful candidates have a professional and personal history that is free of controversy, ethical question, or political agenda.
Earn an Advanced Degree
There is no specified degree for healthcare administration. However, it is almost universally necessary to obtain a graduate degree from an accredited program. Consider options such as an online master’s degree in health informatics to fast-track your new career.
Leverage your Clinical or Research Background
Frequently, healthcare administration executives begin as clinicians, including nurses and doctors. A clinical or research background demonstrates a strong knowledge of important healthcare industry knowledge, such as insurance procedures, laws, and ethics. While supplemental education or certification may be necessary for high level positions such as hospital administrator, a healthcare background positions you well.
Intern with Key Healthcare Administrative Bodies
Not every internship is created equal. If your goal is to work in upper level hospital administration, public health agency administration, or international policy, it is important to find well-suited and prestigious internship opportunities. These may include entities such as the World Health Organization, Doctors without Borders, or the Mayo Clinic.
Demonstrate Progressive and Impressive Leadership Qualities
The highest paid healthcare administrators are born leaders, typically with a history of exhibiting those skills throughout their entire lives. It is your goal to become a hospital administrator, you should already be working towards being chief resident, head nurse, or student union president.
Learn about Strategic Planning
While strategic planning may not have been part of your curriculum depending on your educational background, it will most assuredly be part of your interview process. Read, research, and be prepared to discuss the topic with authority.
Prove You are Committed
Having too many varied jobs on your resume may be a hindrance. In healthcare administration it’s important to show that you are committed. Long-term care facilities present very different challenges than research facilities, for instance.
Healthcare administration can be challenging, rewarding, and a critical part of the global healthcare system. Leadership, education, experience, and character will go a long way towards your success in the field.