The growing sophistication of cardiovascular medicine is spurring hospitals' demand for administrators to oversee centralized services, the American Academy of Medical Administrators said.
The average salary for cardiac administrators rose 11% to $57,021 this year from $51,304 in 1991, it said. That was the last-and the first-year in which the academy conducted a salary survey (July 1, 1991, p. 28).
Meanwhile, membership in the academy's cardiac division, the American College of Cardiovascular Administrators, grew to 1,400 this year from 900 in 1991. More than 750 of its members responded to this year's survey.
Cardiovascular services, such as angioplasty, are the most profitable product line at many hospitals today. Admissions have grown at a rate of 15% a year in the 1990s, said Thomas O'Donovan, AAMA president.
According to recruiters, some hospitals might be forced to offer salaries $20,000 to $30,000 above the average to lure qualified administrators, he said. This is true in all regions of the country.
Cardiovascular administrators in the western states, such as Washington and Idaho, notched the highest average salary at $66,166. Administrators in central states, such as Kansas and Louisiana, reported the lowest average salary at $53,039.
The average salary of women, who made up 60% of respondents, lagged behind that of men by $2,542. Men earned an average salary of $58,477, while women made an average of $55,935.
Administrators without degrees earned almost as much as those with bachelor's degrees. A master's degree, however, added about $5,000 to the salary of the average administrator.