How to Find a Job in Healthcare Administration

How to Find a Job in Healthcare Administration

Healthcare administration is a growing field with lots of opportunities for qualified individuals. If you have recently completed a degree program in healthcare administration or you are considering the field, you may be wondering what you need to do to find a job. There are several ways that you can find a job in healthcare administration, including networking, volunteering, and starting with an entry level position. Keep reading to learn how to find a job in healthcare administration.

Getting Ready to Apply

Research jobs. One of the best ways to get your job search started is to do some research. Use career search databases to find out what types of healthcare administration jobs are available in your area (or in areas you would like to live). As you conduct your research, think about which jobs match up with your qualifications. Save jobs that are appealing to you and make notes about which ones you like best and why.[1]
Healthcare administration jobs are available at hospitals, nursing homes, research facilities, insurance companies, and within the private sector. Think about what type of organization you would like to work for as you conduct your research on available jobs.

Apply for a professional membership. Consider joining the American Association of Healthcare Administration Management (AAHAM), the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) or the Association for Healthcare Administration Professionals (AHCAP) to enhance your qualifications. Joining these associations will enhance your resume and it will also provide you with networking opportunities, access to a members only job lists, and access to webinars.[2][3]
Look into fellowships with healthcare organizations as well. Many of them offer fellowships, which can be a great way to gain experience.

Find out if you need a certification for the job you want. Most healthcare administration positions do not require any sort of certification, but there are a few exceptions. If a special license is required for the position, the job posting should include this information. You can also check your state’s requirements since they may vary from state to state.[4]

Create a resume. Since your resume is the first thing that employers will see, it is important to make sure that it makes you look like a great job candidate. Your resume should include your contact information, a brief paragraph that summarizes your qualifications, a list of your professional experience, education, special certifications and licenses, and professional organization memberships.[5]
Look at sample resumes to get ideas for how to format your own resume.
If you are a recent graduate of a healthcare administration program, visit your university’s career center to get help with writing your resume.

Network as often as possible. Talk to people who are already employed as healthcare administrators to expand your network. Ask former professors about events for healthcare administrators and attend conferences relevant to your intended profession. For example, you could attend the American Association of Healthcare Administration Management’s National Institute.[6]
Another good way to network is to ask your friends and family if they know anyone who works in healthcare administration. If so, ask to be introduced to the person so that you can talk to them about their job.
When you network, don’t ask people if they can help you get a job, just try to get to know them. Ask how they like their job, how long they have been there, and what advice they have for someone who is just starting out. Be kind, polite, and gracious when people share their knowledge with you.
Keep in mind that making these types of connections may not lead to a job right away, but it may be part of the reason why you get a job offer later on.

Searching for a Job in the Medical Field

Learn about the variety of positions available to healthcare administrators. While many hospital jobs are available to healthcare administrators, you can also look for jobs with other healthcare providers in your area. Healthcare administrators can be found at any of the following medical services:[7]
Group physician practices.
Nursing homes and elder-care facilities.
Home healthcare organizations.
Outpatient care centers.
Mental health organizations.
Rehabilitation centers.

Search for jobs. There are thousands of healthcare administrator positions available across the United States, but it can sometimes be a challenge to find a job in your area. Watch your local paper’s classified section for information on local jobs and check with local healthcare providers, such as hospitals and clinics. You should also perform daily searches of job search websites to see what jobs are available in your area.
Check healthcare providers’ websites. Some businesses are large enough that they post a "Jobs" or "Careers" section on their websites. You can often apply for these jobs by sending your resume and cover letter directly to the company’s hiring manager. If no jobs are available, check again in a week or two.[8]
Visit large job search sites. While the jobs listed on Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed, SimplyHired and Craigslist are highly competitive, they will show the high profile jobs in your area. On some of these websites, you can request to receive alerts about relevant jobs so that you can apply to them as soon as they are posted.

Apply for entry-level healthcare administration jobs. If you are a recent graduate of a healthcare administration program, you may need to spend some time working in an entry level position to gain experience and additional skills before you can land your dream job. Keep in mind that starting with an entry level position is a normal part of professional development. These jobs are often easier to get and you may advance quickly depending on your abilities.[9]
To find entry level positions, look for job postings that include terms like “assistant” in the job titles.
You may also consider looking into post-graduate fellowships to gain experience.[10]

Seek promotions and pay raises. You may be able to get promotions within your organization if there are enough opportunities. If there are not enough advancement opportunities and you no longer feel challenged, you can look for higher level positions with other companies after spending a few years in an entry-level position. Check the job posting descriptions to determine whether or not you are qualified for a higher level position.[11]

Look for jobs in the private or corporate sector. If you prefer to work in a nontraditional healthcare setting or if you are having trouble finding jobs in traditional settings, consider applying to work for a private organization. Depending on your personal career interests, you can focus on business administration or conducting scientific research into the effectiveness of medications. Healthcare administration graduates are qualified to find jobs with:[12]
Healthcare management companies.
Pharmaceutical companies.
Biotechnology companies.

Consider working with a healthcare administration recruiter. Healthcare recruiters can help healthcare administrators find good jobs, but this option is not for everyone. Entry level healthcare administrators are better off seeking a job on their own, but experienced healthcare managers may benefit from the help of a healthcare recruiter. If you are an experienced healthcare administrator seeking a management position or if you are a recent MBA graduate seeking employment in an upper level healthcare administration position, then a healthcare recruiter might be able to help you.[13]

Consider consultancy. After establishing yourself in the field, you might consider becoming a healthcare consultant. You can use your expertise to advise healthcare providers on management techniques and advanced training for staff members. This employment option will require you to work on a project by project basis, which can be exciting. But keep in mind that you will also have to seek out clients, which can be stressful for some people.[14]

Getting an Education in Health Care

Earn a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration or a related field. To have a career as a healthcare administrator, you will need to earn a degree in healthcare administration or in a related field. Healthcare administrations students take courses in public health, health services, and health administration. Depending on what type of healthcare administrator you would like to be, you may also need to seek additional training.[15]
Look for a program certified by the Association of University Programs in Healthcare Administration (AUPHA). AUPHA-certified programs have high standards, including a requirement that their students complete a 120 hour internship in a healthcare setting.[16]

Begin an internship while in college. Completing an internship is essential for getting hands on job experience and finding a job after you graduate. Some programs even require students to complete an internship before they can receive their degrees. Discuss your internship options with your academic advisor or the internship coordinator at your university.[17]

Consider a graduate degree. While there are many entry level positions available to healthcare administrators with bachelor’s degrees, a healthcare administrator with a master’s degree can seek higher level positions, such as healthcare manager or director positions. Some upper level healthcare administration jobs may even require applicants to have a master’s degree to advance.[18]
Keep in mind that an advanced degree may not stand in for practical experience. Even with a master’s degree you may still need to start out with an entry level position if you do not have much work experience. Therefore, you might consider waiting to obtain a master’s degree until you have 5 or more years of work experience in healthcare administration.

Volunteer your services. To get your foot in the door with an organization that you’d like to work for after graduation, you can also consider volunteering. Taking a few hours out of your week to volunteer at a hospital or long-term care facility that you’d like to work at someday will provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your skills and get to know some people who already work there. The impressions and contacts you make may help you to land a job with the facility later on.[19]
Next Post »