Health Administration Salaries in California

If the number of Medi-Cal enrollees was a state it would be the seventh-largest in the nation with a population of nearly 13 million. Increase in healthcare demand has blossomed thanks to factors like expanded healthcare coverage from the Affordable Care Act not to mention a global pandemic. It’s an understatement to say that the need for health administrators is urgent.

According to the California Employment Development Department, seven percent of the workforce in the state is employed in the healthcare sector, which represents the most extensive part of the state economy. And it’s still growing, fast, with spending expanding by 18 percent between just 2019 and 2020 for general fund health programs.

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California is also fortunate to have a strong higher education system known for producing talented, educated individuals to fill those roles, but it’s not going to be enough: the California Future Health Workforce Commission found in 2019 that the state is likely to face a shortfall of 4,100 primary care physicians alone over the next decade.

Those staffing and organizational challenges are exactly what healthcare managers in the state will have to overcome.

Job Growth Projections for Healthcare Administrators in California (2018-2028)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California has the highest employment level for medical and health service managers in the country as of 2021, and the number is only growing. The state Employment Development Department foresees a 23.5 percent growth rate through 2028, with over 4,500 jobs per year coming open across the state. Those positions are coming both from new job creation and turnover in existing jobs.

The department finds that 75 percent of those positions are found within the healthcare industry, primarily in hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities. But there are also significant numbers of workers in independent physician and health practices, working for home health service providers, and managing outpatient care centers.

Salaries for California’s Healthcare Administrators by Location

California is also a heavyweight state for healthcare wages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median breaks six figures, coming in at $130,640 – $26,360 above the national median. Those in the top ten percent of the profession will clear $200,000 a year.

The Los Angeles area dominates the rest of the industry, having the second highest employment level in the nation for administrators. This is even more weighty when you consider that the fourth largest employment area, Riverside, is immediately adjacent to it. With a combined 17,410 jobs between them, they make up 37 percent of all managerial positions in the state, with an outsize influence on prevailing wages.

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim

  • 25thpercentile: $89,390
  • Median: $130,050
  • 90thpercentile: $207,010

San Diego-Carlsbad

  • 25thpercentile: $91,240
  • Median: $119,730

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario

  • 25th percentile: $91,670
  • Median: $125,380
  • 90th percentile: $203,070

Sacramento-Roseville-Arden/Arcade

  • 25th percentile: $89,250
  • Median: $140,280

Salaries in Greater Los Angeles are healthy, well above the national averages at all percentiles, but it can also pay to look to other parts of the state if a high salary is your goal: the highest median in the state is found in Vallejo-Fairfield, at $178,260, which makes it the top-paying metropolitan area in the entire country according to BLS:

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bakersfield
910
118320
Chico
290
120950
Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area
160
134250
El Centro
180
119290
Fresno
970
127090
Hanford-Corcoran
110
145540
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim
13900
132950
Madera
130
168090
Merced
110
113160
Modesto
NA
143570
Napa
160
115670
North Coast Region of California nonmetropolitan area
340
112600
North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area
220
133380
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura
640
124700
Redding
200
129850
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario
3510
129930
Sacramento—Roseville--Arden-Arcade
2970
145380
Salinas
280
153100
San Diego-Carlsbad
3690
132090
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward
6650
156050
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
2550
146140
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande
240
113580
Santa Cruz-Watsonville
320
171430
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara
580
116310
Santa Rosa
580
149870
Stockton-Lodi
520
136900
Vallejo-Fairfield
580
174010
Visalia-Porterville
350
101120
Yuba City
100
123850

Salaries in Greater Los Angeles are healthy, well above the national averages at all percentiles, but it can also pay to look to other parts of the state if a high salary is your goal: the highest median in the state is found in Vallejo-Fairfield, at $178,260, which makes it the top-paying metropolitan area in the entire country according to BLS:

2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for Medical and Health Services Managers.

Job growth projections sourced from the California Employment Development Department and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2018-2028) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.

Salary figures and job market projections represent state data, not school-specific information.

Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2021.

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