What is the Typical Salary for Someone With a Healthcare Administration Degree?

The average annual healthcare administration salary in 2012 was $98,460, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, 10 percent earned no more than $53,940 per year, while 10 percent earned at least $150,560. Salaries for healthcare administrators can vary significantly with employer and geographic location.

Salaries for Employers With the Greatest Number of Healthcare Administrators

The BLS data for 2012 showed that general hospitals employed the most healthcare administrators and provided an average annual wage of $104,580. Doctors’ offices were second in terms of the number employed and paid a mean salary of $97,330 annually. Skilled nursing facilities placed third, and provided healthcare administrators with an average annual salary of $82,240.

Best-Paying Types of Employers

The employer types employing the highest percentage of healthcare administrators were not the best paying, according to a report released by the BLS for 2012. Although the best-paying industries employed only a small percentage of the nation’s healthcare administrators, average salaries were significantly higher. Topping the list were companies that designed computer systems, where healthcare administrators averaged $142,210 annually. Pharmaceutical manufacturers paid an average of $142,210, and healthcare administrators working for wholesalers of drugs and druggists’ merchandise averaged $136,690 annually.

Best- and Lowest-Paying States

Salaries typically reflect the cost of living in specific locations, and the 2012 report from the BLS showed significant variation in salaries by state. The best-paying state for healthcare administrators was New York, where they averaged $114,550 per year. California was second, reporting average salaries of $113,810, while Connecticut placed third at $111,680. The lowest salaries were found in Montana, Idaho and North Dakota, where healthcare administrators averaged $74,700, $74,760 and $75,430, respectively.

Metropolitan Areas With the Highest Salaries

Often, specific areas within a state may lead the nation in average salaries for an occupation although the state does not rank among those providing the highest salaries. For healthcare administrators, the top average salary was in California, which placed second on the list for states with the best salaries; in the greater San Jose area, the average salary was $133,390. However, Massachusetts did not make the top five, but healthcare administrators in the Salem metropolitan area averaged $132,740 per year. Likewise, the state of Pennsylvania was not among the states offering the highest pay, but healthcare administrators in the greater Reading area averaged $128,240.

Best-Paying Rural Areas

Typically, salaries are lower in rural areas than in metropolitan areas, and the BLS data for 2012 confirmed the trend for healthcare administrators. The best rural area for healthcare administration salaries was in Sussex County, Delaware, where the average annual salary was $118,100. In the North Central Massachusetts rural district, healthcare administrators averaged $115,810, and in the Southeast Arizona rural district, the average annual salary was $115,740.

According to the BLS, healthcare administrators need at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, and master’s degrees are becoming more and more common. Educational requirements depend on the policies of each individual facility. However, the typical healthcare administration salary demonstrates that employers are typically willing to pay well for the services of a qualified administrator.