What does a health services administrator do?

Health services administrators typically direct and coordinate the functions and staff activities at hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations. They oversee organizational strategy, financial planning, personnel administration, purchasing, public relations, contract negotiations and patient services.

What might a health services administrator do in a workday?

  • maintain and develop institutional standards, policies and procedures.
  • administer fiscal operations, such as budgeting and accounting.
  • plan and oversee marketing activities for services.
  • direct medical, nursing, allied health, technical, volunteer, clerical, service and/or maintenance departments and staffs.
  • oversee hiring and training.
  • develop or expand programs/services, such as research or rehabilitation.
  • serve as liaison to community and business leaders and the medical staff.
  • represent the organization at community events and meetings.

Developing a career as a Health Services Administrator:

In small organizations, health services administrators direct daily operations. In larger hospitals and health systems, they supervise others responsible for these functions.  Health services administrators may work in health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations, health insurance companies, voluntary health agencies, clinics, medical practices, nursing homes and other specialized medical facilities.  Some health services administrators are physicians who have received additional training in administration; others have backgrounds in business or nursing.

How much does a health services administrator make?

  • $35,000 - $165,000

How do I become a health services administrator?

Students intending to pursue a career in health services administration should prepare by taking challenging high school courses in science, math, business and English, including advanced placement courses. A graduate degree in health or business administration and significant experience are preferred but not necessary.

Where else can I learn about becoming a health services administrator?

Virginia Community Health Care Associations
2112 W. Laburnum Avenue, Suite 206 / Richmond, VA 23227
tel:  (804) 353-9101 / web: www.vacommunityhealth.org

American Health Care Association
1201 L Street N.W. / Washington, DC 20005
tel:  (202) 842-4444 / web:  www.ahca.org

Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association
4200 Innslake Drive, Suite 203 / Glen Allen, VA 23060
tel:  (804) 965-1227 / web:  www.vhha.com

American Hospital Association
155 N. Wacker Drive / Chicago, IL 60606
tel:  (312) 422-3000 / web: www.aha.org

American Hospital Association
325 7th St., N.W. / Washington, DC 20004-2802
tel:  (202) 638-1100 / web: www.aha.org

American College of Healthcare Executives
1 N. Franklin, Suite 1700 / Chicago, IL 60606-3529
tel:  (312) 424-2800 / web: www.ache.org

Central Virginia Healthcare Executive Group
VCU Department of Health Administration
P.O. Box 980203 / Richmond, VA 23298-0203
tel:  (540) 998-0803 / web:

Educational Institutions in Virginia for Health Services Administrators: