Healthcare administration is a great field to get into if you have an interest in business and operations in the health setting. It’s also a great way to be a part of something great. The opportunities to help people on a personal level are numerous, and greater success in your job generally translates to better care for your patients.
Even though we don’t like to admit it, our salaries are very important when deciding on a potential career path. Fortunately, a healthcare administration salary is usually quite high compared to many other jobs.
The level of pay you will receive as a health administrator greatly depends on the level at which you’re working within the organization. Below, we will cover some of the basic information regarding the median health administration salary as well as salaries for specific positions.
Median Healthcare Administration Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median salary for an administrator in the health field is approximately $84,270 (2010 data).
The lowest 10% of earners in this occupation had salaries of approximately $51,280 or less. At the other end of the spectrum, the highest 10% of earners made more than $144,880 per year.
Side note: If you become an administrator, I would not recommend posting a picture of yourself holding cash. Not good for your image.
The Impact of Organization Size on Salary
If you’re looking for the most likely way to find a high salary as an administrator, your best bet is to focus on larger organizations. This makes sense logically as larger organizations tend to have better access to resources. They also tend to command more market share, thus pulling in higher paying patients and more revenue to pay employees.
The Medical Group Management Association reported the following statisitscs in terms of median pay based on organization size (# of physicians):
- 6 or fewer physicians = $86,459 median pay
- 7 to 25 physicians = $115,000 median pay
- 26 or more physicians = $150,756 median pay
It is important to keep in mind that while you may be paid more in a large organization, you will also likely be under more stress and spend longer hours at work. This is not to say that small practices are not complex, but large organizations tend to have many more moving parts to keep track of.
Hourly Pay vs. Salary Pay
An administrative role requires a great amount of dedication in terms of hours spent at work. You will often find that administrators will be on call during evenings and weekends. Due to this fact, most health administration salaries are just that, salaries.
A salaried employee is paid a specific amount per year independent of the number of hours that he or she works. This can be both good and bad. In some cases an admin will work slightly less than 40 hours per week, yet they will still be paid for those 40 hours.
However, it is quite unlikely that an administrator will work less than full time. In most cases, an administrator will work somewhere closer to 50-60 hours per work or more depending on job requirements.
Salary by Job Level
Below is a list of approximate salaries by job level. Remember that these salary numbers will vary depending on the location of the job and the size of the organization.
For example, CEOs at large hospitals can earn into the millions of dollars each year, but in most cases they will earn somewhere in the low hundred thousands. The same trend applies to most other positions.
- CEO: $350,000
- COO: $275,000
- CFO: $250,000
- CDA: $150,000
- Senior Project Manager: $95,000
- Entry Project Manager: $65,000
The benefit levels given to hospital administrators are often quite rich. Again, this will depend on the size and location of the organization. Smaller organizations may not have the funds to afford, for example, high level health plans for their employees.
Retirement options are usually in the form of a 401(k) or 403(b). Some organizations will offer a match or even double match up to a certain percentage for retirement plans. A match means that if you set aside 5% of your salary for retirement each year, the employer will also put 5% into your retirement. The 5% added by the employer is money added on top of your salary.