Hospitals depend on controllers to forecast their annual revenues and expenses and oversee the budgeting of various departments. Hospital controllers also manage the development of financial reports, including income statements and balance sheets. If you want to work as a hospital controller, you need a bachelor's degree. In return, you can expect to earn a salary averaging more than $100,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary of a hospital controller was $113,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. To become a hospital controller, you need a bachelor's degree in finance, business, accounting or economics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies controllers as financial managers. It indicated that most financial managers, or controllers, have at least five years of experience in their respective fields or industries. Other important requirements include an attention to detail and math, analytical, organizational and communication skills.
Average salaries for hospital controllers varied considerably across the United States in 2013, according to Indeed. In the Northeast, they earned the lowest salaries of $97,000 in Maine and the highest of $137,000 in New York. They made $73,000 to $122,000 in Hawaii and California -- the lowest and highest earnings in the West. If you were a hospital controller in the South, you'd earn the most in Washington, D.C., or the least in Louisiana, at $135,000 or $97,000 per year, respectively. In the Midwest, you'd make the highest salary in Illinois or the lowest in Nebraska or South Dakota -- $125,000 or $84,000, respectively.
Hospital controllers earn more in California, Washington, D.C., and New York because housing and living costs are typically higher in those states and district. For example, if you earned $115,000 as a hospital controller in Columbus, Ohio, you'd need to make $150,416 in Sacramento, Calif., to maintain the same living standard, according to the CNN Money cost of living calculator. In Buffalo, N.Y., you'd have to make $131,149 to enjoy the same living standard as in Columbus, or approximately 14 percent more. You'd likely earn more as a controller at a larger hospital, which would generate more revenue to support your higher salary.
The BLS projects only a 9-percent increase in employment for financial managers through 2020, below the national average of 14 percent for all occupations. The services financial managers and controllers provide, such as planning and coordinating investments, will continue to be in demand, which may increase job opportunities for hospital controllers. These jobs are contingent on economic conditions, however.