Hospital administrators need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in health care administration, but many hospitals prefer a master's degree in hospital administration, business administration, health services or another closely related field. A combination of past health care and administrative experience is also desirable.
In addition to schooling requirements, hospital administrators need certain skills to handle the responsibilities of the job. An understanding of medical and technical skills is essential to running hospital departments efficiently. Administrators need attention to detail and analytical skills to make decisions and problem solve effectively. Communication and interpersonal skills are also essential since hospital administrators work with a number of different departments and employees within the facility.
Administrator positions in hospitals don't require licensing, although some candidates pursue certification. The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management certifies professionals in medical management and health information management. The certification may make the candidate more appealing when applying for a hospital administration position.
Recent graduates sometimes start in the field as an assistant administrator or as the head of a department. This provides the experience needed to move into a hospital administrator position. The assistant proves her skills and learns more about the career through hands-on experience in the field.