Hospital Administrator Career Plan

If you want to become a hospital administrator, you have made an ambitious career choice. It will help to begin early.

  1. Consider joining the Health Occupations Student Association to increase your knowledge of health care issues and to develop public speaking and presentation skills. Participate in other activities that will build leadership and people skills. Professional organizations note that medical facilities want well-rounded candidates who can communicate face to face (as opposed to those who just look good on paper). Most people have hobbies or beliefs that they are passionate about. Join a club and consider running for office

  2. Take a general college prep curriculum with some honors courses. You might consider AP economics and psychology. Earn the kind of grades that will make you competitive.

  3. Find a mentor early on. If you are a member of a group that’s underrepresented in health care, check with the Area Health Education Center to see what resources they can point you toward. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is also invested in increasing diversity in health care.

    Look into summer internships opportunities while still in high school. You might want to check out Learn and Serve America, a governmental site. You’ll get valuable experience doing community service, and you’ll also have more material for your college applications.

  4. Enroll in a college program at the undergraduate level. Continue to look for internship opportunities and consider joining a professional organization.

  5. Now it’s time to prepare for and research grad school programs. Consider where graduates are employed, and whether staff members are published. Since your goals are particularly ambitious, you may want to do a combined degree program. You can, for example, simultaneously get an MBA and a health administration degree. You will probably not be enrolling in a track that is specifically for hospital administrators, but you’ll want to know that the school can accommodate you when it comes to internships and mentoring. You may also become a student associate of the American College of Healthcare Executives. This will allow access to career and professional resources.

  6. You will generally do a one year internship. At this point, you will have professional contacts that could lead to permanent employment. Also utilize professional memberships, job boards, and LinkedIn.

Personality Traits: Hospital administrators are well-rounded with a wide array of talents including financial skills and interpersonal abilities. It’s good to be a problem-solver and a bit of a visionary.