Online Degrees in Health Care Administration
The emerging generation of health care administrators faces the challenge of efficiently directing the explosive growth in care against a backdrop of rising costs. In other words, successful professionals in the field need to be able to combine strong business fundamentals with an understanding of effective health care delivery.
Certificates and undergraduate degrees can get students started in the field, but most large institutions require a master's degree for health care administration positions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the health care industry will add 3.2 million new jobs during the 2008-2018 decade. The BLS reports that there were 283,500 medical and health services managers working in the U.S. in 2008, with 38 percent working in hospitals, 19 percent working in physicians' offices and the rest employed by home health care services, the federal government, insurance providers, outpatient centers and elder care facilities.
Jobs for managers and administrators are predicted to increase by 16 percent between 2008 and 2018, for a net increase in 45,400 positions, the BLS reports.
Health service managers start training early and keep learning
Health managers are divided by training and experience into health care executives, health care administrators, clinical managers, health information managers (technology) and departmental administrators.
Colleges and universities offer campus and online degrees in health care administration as well as certificate programs. The curriculum at the associate degree or certificate level is primarily designed to provide a basic understanding of medical office administration, including insurance, billing and software. Graduates may take jobs as office or records managers, but opportunities for advancement are limited with this degree.
The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) reports that some graduates from bachelor's degree programs may find entry-level positions in health administration or middle management roles in large organizations, but recommends that career administrators complete a master's degree. The BLS also reports that a master's degree or MBA degree with a specialization in health care administration is essential for executive-level employment or positions at larger health care facilities.
Graduate degree courses include specialized training in health care policy and law, marketing, organizational behavior, human resources and more. For those specializing in health information, a graduate degree and/or Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential is required by many employers.
Health care services pay administrators based on the type and size of the facility, region and the candidate's education, experience and responsibility. Medical and health services managers earned a median wage of $84,270 in 2010, according to the BLS. The top employers in the field paid the following wages:
- Medical and surgical hospitals: $99,570
- Offices of physicians: $91,820
- Nursing care facilities: $79,010
- Home health care services: $84,710
- Outpatient care centers: $89,200
The highest wages in 2010 were paid by pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies, medical equipment and supplies manufacturing companies, and scientific research and development service companies, according to the BLS.
- Health care employers will add 45,400 new jobs for administrators between 2008 and 2018.
- Medical and health services managers salaries can top out at over $145,000.
- Health care administrators are needed in hospitals, physicians' offices, extended care facilities and medical research laboratories.
Online Degree Programs in Health Care Administration
Earn a Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master's or Doctorate for less at Baker College Online.
At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.
Capella courses focus on real-world application, so you’ll gain skills and knowledge you can apply right away.
Continue your education with Strayer University.
Make a difference with a graduate degree from DeVry University's Keller Graduate School of Management.
- Graduate Certificate-Health Services Management
Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.
Thanks to Florida Tech offering intensive degree programs 100% online, students located all over the world have the opportunity to access the same world-class education as those who attend classes on the main campus in Melbourne, Florida.