Health care administrators, also known as health services managers, have a demanding job. In as much as they are responsible for the day-to-day operations in hospitals, they have to be available at all times and be familiar with changing technology, industry regulations and the most efficient way to deliver health care services to patients. Entry-level salaries for health care administrators depends on the employing industry.
Although a four-year college degree is generally acceptable for health care administrators just starting out, health care administrators often earn graduate degrees, a standard of the industry. They can earn a master's degree in a number of areas: public health or public administration, health services administration or business administration, health sciences or long-term care administration. In addition, some health care administrators earn doctoral degrees in health administration and obtain licensure or certification.
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Even though health care administrators can earn as much as of $145,000 a year, entry-level health care administrators in the 10th percentile of wage earners gross $51,280 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest publication for 2011. And although the median income for health care administrators is $84,270, entry-level health care administrators in the 25th percentile earn $65,650 a year.
Best Paying Industries
Health care administrators looking to earn the highest entry-level salaries should consider working in information services or scientific research and development services. These industries pay the highest salaries. For instance, while entry-level salaries are somewhere between $51,000 and $66,000 a year, the average annual salary for health care administrators in information services is $151,940, and the average annual income for health care administrators in scientific research and development services is $138,420.
If the mean salaries are any indication, entry-level health care administrators earn the highest salaries in a state of Massachusetts and Washington, where the mean salaries are $112,670 and $109,670, respectively, the BLS reports. These states are followed by Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut, with average salaries of $109,580, $108,090 and $107,380 — respectively.
Best Opportunity for Employment
More health care administrators are employed in California than in any other state, with 27,300. New York follows with 27,260. Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio round out the top five states for health care administration employment.