A career in healthcare administration involves combining health policy, business and science to manage financial and human resources. This career path involves managing the business and non-clinical functions that are involved in operating a healthcare facility. Healthcare administrators serve as vital authorities who oversee the non-medical facets of healthcare organisations. Therefore, these professionals play a huge role in any medical organisation. A healthcare administrator works in places such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. Starting a career in health administration would be an ideal fit for you if you are passionate about the healthcare sector and creating a quality environment for patients and staff.


As a healthcare administrator, you can work in other places besides a hospital. You can work in places such as pharmaceutical companies, behavioural health clinics, health insurance providers and consulting firms. Pursuing a career as a healthcare administrator will give you the ability to change people’s lives by providing the best possible patient experience. However, you need to have the right skills and knowledge before you become a healthcare administrator. You also need to earn the right degree and gain the right foundation that will allow you to thrive in this career.


In this piece, I will walk you through the steps and processes that are needed for starting a career in healthcare administration.


How to Start a Career in Healthcare Administration

  1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

    Firstly, you need to obtain a bachelor’s degree. This is a headstart for your career in healthcare administration. Additionally, this degree will give you the foundational knowledge in administration and healthcare systems. Therefore, you should look for accredited programs that provide a wholesome knowledge in healthcare administration. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in disciplines such as healthcare administration, healthcare management, Business administration or a related field.

  2. Gain Work Experience

    You need to gain work experience to become a professional in this field. You need to graduate to gain these work experiences. This experience can be gained through internships, volunteering and part-time jobs. You can apply to places such as hospitals, healthcare facilities and clinics. This experience will give you an in-depth knowledge of the field and improve your skills.

  3. Gain Leadership and Management Skills

    It is very important that you develop your leadership and management skills while pursuing this career path. These skills are very valuable to your success as a healthcare administrator. Therefore, you should develop these skills through workshops, personal and professional development and seminars.

  4. Pursue a Master’s Degree

    This may not be a compulsory requirement for most employers. However, it can be a good advantage to your career. A masters degree will give you access to valuable opportunities and also enhance your career prospects. You can consider getting a masters degree in areas such as a Master of Health Administration (MHA), Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a healthcare concentration. These programs will give you an advanced knowledge in healthcare administration, policy, finance and leadership.

  5. Obtain Professional Certification

    You can consider getting additional professional certifications that are related to this field. These certificates can enhance your credibility and demonstrate your expertise. Additionally, it can improve your knowledge in healthcare management and leadership.

  6. Join a Professional Association

    You can register with professional associations in the industry. This will enable you to network with colleagues and experts which is vital in your career growth. This can help you have access to growth opportunities. Additionally, you can attend industry events, and connect with other consultants to broaden your network and boost your visibility.

  7. Commit to Continuous Learning

    Healthcare administration is an evolving field that necessitates staying current with the latest industry developments, norms, and guidelines. Therefore, you should get involved in continuous learning throughout your career by taking advantage of educational opportunities, webinars, and industry publications to expand your knowledge and skills.


Certifications for Healthcare Administrators

  1. Certified Healthcare Executive (CHE)
  2. Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM)
  3. Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE)
  4. Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS)
  5. Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP)
  6. Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)


Types of Healthcare Administrators

  1. Nursing Home Administrator

    Nursing home administrators manage long-term care facilities. They supervise areas such as staff, manage finances, ensure regulatory compliance, and protect residents’ well-being and safety. Additionally, they collaborate with families and medical professionals to create an encouraging atmosphere for older people.

  2. Hospital Administrator

    Hospital administrators are in charge of managing hospitals’ general operations. They are in charge of overseeing departments, liaising with medical personnel, making sure regulations are followed, and preserving high standards of patient care.

  3. Health Information Manager

    Health information managers are responsible for the management and protection of patient health information. They handle responsibilities such as managing electronic health records (EHRs), ensuring data accuracy and privacy, and putting in place information systems to support efficient healthcare operations.

  4. Clinic Administrators

    Clinic administrators oversee the day-to-day operations of outpatient clinics and medical practices. Additionally, they manage staff, ensure efficient workflow, and collaborate with doctors to provide quality care to patients.

  5. Health Service Managers

    Health services managers have a broad role that includes overseeing the operations of multiple healthcare facilities. They could work in places such as hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, or public health agencies.

  6. Healthcare Compliance Officer

    Compliance officers work to ensure that healthcare organisations follow legal and regulatory requirements. Additionally, they create and implement compliance programmes, conduct audits, and train employees about compliance policies.


Universities in Africa that offer Healthcare Administration

  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  2. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  3. Makerere University, Uganda
  4. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  5. University of Ghana, Ghana
  6. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  7. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  8. University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  9. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
  10. University of Gondar, Ethiopia
  11. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  12. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  13. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  14. University of Malawi, Malawi
  15. Jimma University, Ethiopia
  16. Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania
  17. Cairo University, Egypt
  18. University of South Africa, South Africa
  19. University of the Free State, South Africa
  20. North-West University, South Africa
  21. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  22. University of Zambia, Zambia
  23. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  24. Alexandria University, Egypt
  25. University of Yaounde I, Cameroon
  26. University of Limpopo, South Africa
  27. Moi University, Kenya
  28. University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  29. Mekelle University, Ethiopia
  30. University of Benin, Nigeria
  31. Mansoura University, Egypt
  32. Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda
  33. University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  34. University of Botswana, Botswana
  35. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria
  36. University of Calabar, Nigeria
  37. Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
  38. Assiut University, Egypt
  39. University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  40. Hawassa University, Ethiopia


Pursuing a career in health administration can open up a range of unique opportunities for the industry and related job prospects. Therefore, you can evaluate your possibilities after determining your areas of competence. You need to have a strong background in health management. This will enable you work with facility in the healthcare sector. Additionally, you should acquire the required set of skills and experience in the area you wish to work as a health administrator.


Good luck!

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