By 2020, over 40% of workers will be independent contractors.
And in that increasingly gig-based economy, many are looking to more traditional fields for stability.
And, since people keep needing healthcare, the medical field continues to be a safe bet.
A job as a health clinic administrator can bring security, a solid income, and hefty benefits packages. There is also tremendous room for professional growth and a skillset that travels well.
If you’re looking to travel the road to healthcare administration, it’s good to know what lies at the end. What does the job look like? What kind of growth can you expect? Is the pay good enough to warrant a career change? Will you ever have to stick anyone with a needle?
All perfectly valid concerns and all covered ahead. Keep reading to find the answers.
What Does a Clinic Administrator Do?
Clinic administrators are known by several names: Medical Office Manager, Medical Administrator, Clinic Manager. But regardless of the name, clinic administrators all provide the same services.
And no, none of them are medical in nature. This means you won’t be giving shots or taking blood pressure.
Medical administrative professionals are focused on the logistics of medical offices. They may work in family practice clinics or in orthopedics, pediatrics or neurosurgery. All medical offices need one.
But what do they do, exactly?
In essence, they keep medical offices running smoothly.
It’s the responsibility of the office manager to interview and hire support staff, coordinate billing and insurance, developing and maintaining office procedures, and ensuring that patient relationships are smooth.
This can mean anything from keeping the sticker drawer stocked at a pediatric office to battling an insurance company for procedure approval in an otolaryngology clinic.
There is also a significant amount of work dealing with medical records, calendars, and appointments, as well as conflict resolution with patients and keeping track of payroll and benefits if those things aren’t outsourced by the clinic in question. It’s a diverse job and one that presents a significant opportunity for personal and professional growth.
The job of the clinic administrator is to ensure that doctors and nurses can provide the best possible care by tackling the clerical side of health care.
This is the question. If you take the time to go through the schooling, change your career, will there be a job waiting for you at the other end?
Let’s take a look at the projections.
In the United States, the overall job market is set to increase by about 6% in the ten years from 2014 to 2024.
The job projections for health care administrators are more than double that number, at a projected 17%. It’s a huge increase and its due to a few things.
First of all, the population in the US is growing, and since each medical office can only take on so many patients, there is a growing need for more medical offices and, by extension, more medical office administrators.
Second, the population of America is aging. People are living longer, and as they do, more specialized care is needed to keep them living their best lives. Again, more care needed, more offices needed, more administrators needed.
And last, of all, healthcare continues to be a contentious subject in the nation’s capital. The entire industry will likely experience several shakeups in the next few years. If those shakeups provide healthcare access to even more Americans, there will be even more need for medical office administrators.
It’s a rewarding career, it’s a growing career … but what do you need to make it happen?
This is not a job you can do directly out of high school. You’ll need formal schooling.
Technically, all that’s needed for a career as a clinic administrator is a Bachelor’s degree. Often, medical offices will look for candidates with degrees in business administration or healthcare management.
Which means that standing out takes more than a BA. Most health offices require a Masters degree in health care administration or business administration, preferably with a healthcare concentration.
A Masters may not be technically required, but it is going to make you immensely more marketable in the job market. It will also increase your earning potential.
It can also determine what kinds of jobs you can take. Doctor’s offices may be more willing to hire candidates with only a BHA, or Bachelor of Health Administration.
But hospitals, which carry the bulk of both jobs and earning potential, will almost certainly require an MHA, or Master of Healthcare Administration. You may also need ongoing education and professional development to stay competitive.
So how can you get to a new career in healthcare administration?
The first step is the degree. If you don’t have a college degree, it may be time to look at taking those first steps. The good news is that many BHA and MHA programs are available in flexible, online formats.
These courses are available through both public institutions and private, non-profit and for-profit, so your options are nearly limitless.
And once you have the training, your career future is bright.
Looking for More?
If you’re ready to pursue a new career as a clinic administrator, there is no time like the present.
A growing job market, both in general and in healthcare, means that new candidates in the field are going to be highly sought after, and well compensated.
For more on taking your career to the next level, in whatever field you choose, take a look here.