The Lowdown on Clinical Administration Jobs
Notwithstanding the insistence of many doctors that they are the linchpin of the modern healthcare industry, support staff like clinical administrators provide valuable services in hospitals, clinics, and private practices across the country. If you’re considering a job in the medical field, consider contributing your skills to the administration, upkeep, and promotion of a medical facility or healthcare system. The following primer on clinical administration jobs outlines the education, skills, and work experience you will need to break into this fast-growing niche.
To be considered for a low-level clinical administration position like a hospital department supervisor or staff manager, you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree in business, administration, or a life science like chemistry or biology. If you want to move up in the ranks and become a clinic director or hospital executive, you’ll need a Master’s degree in the life sciences.
You might find these educational requirements a bit onerous, especially if you have a family to worry about, and there is evidence that other clinical administrators are beginning to agree. Accordingly, Master’s degrees in Clinical Administration have become increasingly popular in recent years. These degree programs bundle the practical administration-oriented curricula of an MBA program with a human-resources focus essential to success in a hospital environment.
Clinical administrators must be well-rounded, with working knowledge of financial, legal, and ethical concepts. If you have educational credentials in a life sciences field and previous employment experience either in finance or law, you’ll be an attractive candidate for a clinical administration position. Most clinics and hospitals also require their administrators to have significant past research experience, so be sure to get a fellowship or two under your belt before applying.
If you’re used to a nine-to-five kind of job, the transition to clinical administration may be rough for you. Medical needs sometimes can’t wait, so hospitals and many clinics operate around the clock. This means that you’ll need to be on call about as often as the doctors in your department. Even if you’re not on call, you may be rudely awoken in the middle of the night by an urgent phone call if there’s a problem that requires your immediate attention. You can also bet on a demanding, varied workload that requires constant multitasking.
As the need for medical services grows at several times the overall rate of economic growth, the demand for clinical administrators will only increase. In this field, you’ll enjoy above-average job security and ample room for advancement as hospitals expand and more departments open up. You’ll also be well-compensated for your hard work and erratic schedule. In addition to upward mobility as a clinical administrator, you may also enjoy a lucrative second career as a medical consultant as you build valuable experience in the field.
Clinical administration jobs are proliferating across the country, paying above-average salaries to well-qualified professionals. If you have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the life sciences or business administration and a passion for improving health outcomes, clinical administration may be your calling.
Stephen Lewis draws on his passion for education as a freelance writer who blogs for mba.norwich.edu, a site that can help you find online mba degree programs.