With the ever-changing regulations and technology in the health-care industry, administrators need hospital – or health-care – consultants to help them comply with health-care legislation, and increase operational efficiency in their hospitals. Some hospital consultants specialize in areas such as patient care or marketing. Many work for consulting firms that specialize in the medical or hospital industry. Hospital consultants earn salaries averaging above $100,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
Hospital consultants earned average annual salaries of $111,000 as of 2013, according to the jobsite Indeed. Most hospital consultants have bachelor's or master's degrees in hospital administration or business, and at least five or more years of experience in hospital administration or consulting. Other essential requirements are a technical knowledge of medical practices, attention to detail, and analytical, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, management and computer skills.
Salary by Region
In 2013, average salaries for hospital consultants varied significantly in the four U.S. regions, according to Indeed. In the Northeast region, they earned the highest salaries of $134,000 in New York and the lowest of $96,000 in Maine. Those in the Midwest made $85,000 to $120,000 in South Dakota and Illinois, respectively. These health-care consultants earned $95,000 to $131,000 per year, respectively, in Louisiana and Washington, D.C., which were the lowest and highest salaries in the South region. In the West, they made the most in California and least in Hawaii – $121,000 and $77,000, respectively.
A hospital consultant may earn more in certain industries. For example, in 2012, medical and health services managers, who hire and work with hospital consultants, earned some of the highest salaries of $112,830 at specialty hospitals, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Specialty hospitals can include cancer and cardiac-care institutions. Hospital consultants may also earn more at these specialty hospitals. They earn more in New York and Washington, D.C., because living costs are higher in that state and district. A hospital consultant earning $110,000 in Des Moines would need to make $263,903 in New York City to maintain the same living standard, according to CNN Money's "Cost of Living" calculator. That same professional would need to earn $172,839 annually in Washington, D.C.
The BLS doesn't forecast jobs for hospital consultants. It does project a 22 percent increase in jobs for medical and health service managers through 2020, which is faster than the national average of 14 percent for all occupations. Hospital consultants may also enjoy an above-average number of job opportunities because their primary clients are medical and health service managers, or hospital administrators. Growth among seniors and baby boomers should increase the number of patients in hospitals. This growth creates a greater need for organization and management in hospitals, which may increase job opportunities for hospital consultants.