Health administration professionals have always been important, but their role has become even more vital to the success of healthcare organizations recently.

Healthcare administrators face more challenges than ever in overseeing the complex organizations that are the business of medicine. Because of recent healthcare reform initiatives – most notably the Affordable HealthCare Act – healthcare leaders require an even stronger set of skills and knowledge than in the past.

A Master of Healthcare Administration degree can help professionals build and enhance their skills needed to succeed in leading healthcare organizations. Programs, such as the online Master of Healthcare Administration at Boston College, offer competency-based education to allow students to master the skills that employers demand of their leaders and managers.

The hard work of becoming successful in health administration comes with rewards. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 17 percent growth in the number of healthcare administrators and managers between 2014 and 2024. Also, the median annual pay for those in health administration reached $94,500 in May 2015, according to the BLS.

What skills do the best healthcare administrators have? Read the list below.


The complexity of healthcare systems and the regulations that govern them means health administration comes with more challenges than ever.

Those who take on the job of health administration must bring the skills of good leadership to their position. Not only must they possess a thorough knowledge of the business side of healthcare, but they also must work well in teams that function across organizations. Administrators provide critical management and leadership to guide all phases of operations.

Analytical Skills

The changing landscape of healthcare means administrators must have the ability to assess, understand and adhere to an ever-increasing web of regulations. President-elect Trump has vowed to eliminate the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010 and replace it with something different. What will this mean for healthcare systems and organizations? Using strong analytics to predict and forecast the impact of changes is a critical skill for today’s administrator.

Health administrators will need to use comprehensive data systems, including electronic health records, to continually improve their organization’s operations and performance.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Communicating effectively is an essential skill for today’s healthcare leader. Nothing gives employees more concern than leaders who do not communicate well with their staff.

Communication helps assure happy and productive employees who will work well with leadership. Letting employees know the direction in which the organization is moving is essential to leading change. Smart leaders communicate decisions and goals in a comprehensive and consistent manner.

Good leaders understand the jobs duties of their employees. Attaining a thorough knowledge of the various jobs within the organization, including empathy for the challenges workers face, makes a leader much more effective.

Technical Skills

Healthcare facilities increasingly use electronic health records to classify and code medical records. Healthcare administrators need to keep on top of current trends in healthcare information technology, including advances in available software to support these critical systems. This also applies to the latest available technology for medical tests and equipment, an area that evolves rapidly as new technologies emerge. Being able to assessing the cost-effectiveness of new technologies is an important skills for today’s leader.

Successful healthcare administrators have a wide range of skills. Their jobs come with many challenges, but the rewards are many, including the satisfaction of providing patients with the best healthcare possible.

Honing the above skills through completing a quality graduate program is a crucial step towards becoming a successful healthcare administrator.