In recent years, technology has contributed monumental changes to the field of education. With these changes, more people have been given convenient access to college education. This change has not only affected the lives of individuals seeking further education, but it has also had a huge effect on the job market. As more people are given the opportunity to graduate with college degrees, more graduates are competing for open positions in the field.
For those with bachelor's degree, the increase in new graduate can mean that there is only one option to move forward in their career path - getting a higher degree. Obtaining a higher level degree not only increases earnings, but also increases career potential in all.
Those with master's degree will find that employers are more than willing to hire them. The medical field is no different. As one of the most popular careers paths for individuals, the medical field is constantly gaining new professionals.
What is Healthcare Administration?
Take a moment to consider what goes in to the daily operations of a healthcare facility. There are hundreds of patients seen daily in busy hospitals, large numbers of employees carrying out their required duties and unseen policies in play to ensure that people receive a great quality of service. Also, things that may not be so apparent are the behind-the-scenes practices that ensure that patient data is stored correctly, scheduling and training for employees is completed timely and decisions about change are made by hospital officials. Professionals that are interested in healthcare administration may play a role in ensuring that these duties are carried out accurately and within certain time frames.
The field of healthcare administration can include concepts such as hospital management, finance, informatics and general communication. Each of these skills can contribute to how well you manage your daily duties in a healthcare setting, even in positions that are specific to each of these areas. The administrative side of healthcare may also include a look into the planning and coordination of healthcare activities at the state and local levels, which can mean influential career options for those that complete the degree program.
If you have an interest in becoming a part of one of the largest career fields in the U.S., health administration may be the right degree direction for you. In this field, you can potentially influence the quality of healthcare organizations in your area, making for a great quality of service for people around you. Our team of experts has arranged this guide to help you learn more about this field and what it can mean for upcoming professionals. Read along below to see the benefits of choosing this field and what type of work you could be involved with on a daily basis.
The George Washington University’s (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences offers online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) programs for healthcare professionals, including a BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management.
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Healthcare Administration Career Guide
The bachelor's level is the most popular for individual in healthcare administration, meaning that it takes some extra effort to stand out from the crowd. Those that work hard to obtain a Master's degree in Healthcare Administration can absolutely bypass the common crowd and be subjected to even more open doors throughout their professional journey. Every state has a master's program in this area, making it a convenient choice for students with traditional or online learning goals.
Where Can You Work with a Degree in Healthcare Administration?
There is a lot to be known about the healthcare field. Beginning with health policy, professionals in this field must know what is required of medical professionals and organization, as well as how to operate accordingly. In addition to policy, medical personnel must also maintain a high standard of care when working with patients in a clinical setting. Behind the scenes, financial data is stored and processed and employees are constantly being hired and trained. All of these topics may bring to light the diverse nature of this field and the many different professionals that are involved with ensuring that healthcare organizations operate according to plan. If you want to know which fields are most common for healthcare administration graduates, take a look at the example list below this section.
- Medical Hospitals/Laboratories: Obtaining a degree in healthcare administration can potentially set you up for careers in leadership in the healthcare field. While this may seem pretty straightforward, there are many diverse options within the healthcare field for you to choose from. Graduates of healthcare administration can become management professionals in medical hospitals, dental care centers or even specialty care clinics that focus on dentisty or ophthalmology.
- Government Agencies: Healthcare is one of the largest employers in the country. Not only is it a popular place for upcoming professionals, but it is also a branch of society that receives a lot of attention from the U.S. Government. There are branches of the government that are concerned with public health, epidemiology, healthcare planning, insurance and wellness. Each of these departments require educated professionals that can provide leadership and direction to large teams of professionals.
- Private Businesses: Businesses that provide healthcare supplies and insurance are important to the healthcare field. Blending health-related care with the field of business often requires education in both fields. Students that are interested in working with organizations that complement the healthcare field could benefit from achieving a degree in healthcare administration.
What Other Areas of Specialization Are There For This Degree?
The best way to jump-start your career in healthcare administration is to choose a specialization that is closest to your interests. There are many subfields that are present within the field of healthcare administration, each requiring a diverse set of skills for those that are involved with them. One of the most popular concentration options for upcoming students is within the area of management, since this is where the higher paying positions often reside. Specialty fields such as technology and finance are also popular options for professionals that are interested in being a part of this incredibly influential field. As you read through the specialization examples below, try to consider what would be a better fit for what you are skilled in or what seems interesting to you.
Health Administration Focus Areas
- Informatics: Technology has played a role in the further development of the healthcare field. Computer programs and tools are available in the clinical setting, which can make patient records and billing much easier for professionals working in this domain. Choosing a degree specialization in informatics can help you learn more about these technologies and how to work with them on a day-to-day basis. Those that choose to go this route can work as leaders with extra expertise with healthcare software and troubleshooting.
- Finance: One vital aspect of the healthcare field that can make or break an organization is finance. There is money constantly coming in and out of hospitals, both through patient payments and regular overhead. Specializations in finance can help professionals understand how money management, budgeting and tax preparation can help keep a medical facility on track throughout the years. Professionals in this field can be a part of human resources teams or work in the financial departments of large hospitals and medical facilities.
- Hospital Management: A lot of people enrolling in healthcare administration degree programs may be interested in pursuing management positions in the healthcare field. Hospital management specializations can provide information that is relevant to the regular maintenance and leadership within hospitals, providing a well-rounded knowledge in employee management, finance and organizational policies.
Degree is Necessary Regardless of the Career in Health Admin
Having a degree in healthcare administration will provide career opportunities for a lifetime. Those in this field have found that there are career openings in various aspects, dealing with the many different topics included in the healthcare field. Graduates seeking career opportunities working in development or implementation of employee-related strategies will find a fitting career in human resources or employee training.
Individuals with an interest in patient relations will be fitting for community health or insurance specializations. There is truly a career for people of every personality. Work experience paired with an accredited degree program will provide for even more opportunities as an individual progress through their professional career. The most popular career positions with a degree in healthcare administration vary in their overall job responsibilities and requirements.
Since this degree program provides a versatile set of skills, there are numerous possibilities for graduates. Depending on their desires, there are careers from entry-level to top-level positions seeking qualified professionals with the most preferred education. For those interested in a medical career outside of traditional nursing or doctoring, a career in healthcare administration is definitely an excellent choice.
Consider the Job by Education Level
Your level of education can say a lot about the types of jobs you can pursue in this field. Bachelors degree earners are best suited for entry-level positions in the healthcare field, since most graduates at this level are just getting started in the field and are in need of professional work experience. Those that pursue masters level or above may have the option to pursue more profitable options, such as leadership positions in the healthcare field. Our team of educational experts has provided a list of common career titles by degree level below for you to review.
- Bachelors: Hospital Financial Analyst – $84,300 on average per year (BLS).
- Masters: Medical and Health Services Managers – $98,350 on average per year (BLS).
- Doctoral: Administrative Services Managers – $94,020 on average per year (BLS).
Educational Requirements for Healthcare Administrators
The educational foundation for healthcare administration is highly diverse. Students in healthcare administration master’s programs will find that they are highly concentrated on both employee and patient relations. These two different aspects are the most vital for this career field, since employees and patients are the main source of movement through medical facilities.
A middle party is needed to ensure that patients are being treated fairly and ethically while employees are receiving ample support throughout their careers. This field is highly focused on management as a primary source of concern. During a master’s program, students will be trained to effectively manage and lead a team of several employees. Since this program has such a leadership-oriented curriculum, jobs in management and leadership are a likely draw for master’s level graduates.
A Note on Online Programs in Healthcare Administration
Since the beginning of educational programs, people in society have been looking for ways to make the degree-earning process easier. It is not always convenient for students to set aside years of their lives to pursue a degree. Technology and human advancement has made convenience a better path to degree acquisition, through the use of computer systems and the internet. In this day and age, more professionals are taking these alternative routes for their education. There are many convenient options for pursuing a meaningful degree other than the traditional means that most people are familiar with. Online degree programs in healthcare administration are a great way for you to become educated in this highly regarded field without having to sacrifice your precious time at work or with your family. If you are looking for good quality online degree programs, you can start by reviewing the list below to see if you might be interested in the schools provided.
- Southern New Hampshire University – Online BS in Healthcare Administration
- Penn State University – Online MS in Healthcare Administration
- A.T. Still University – Online Doctor of Health Administration
Top 5 Jobs in Healthcare Administration
Healthcare administration is a career field that goes beyond the scope of traditional medical field opportunities. Healthcare administration specialists work hard to ensure that proper procedures are followed for patients and employees alike. These professionals are trained in some of the most effective management strategies in the country.
The knowledge of the healthcare field paired with a management specialization paves the road to success for thousands of graduates each year. In this field, professionals will be subjected to the many different aspects of the medical field, including patient information, employee relations, and healthcare/insurance maintenance. Individuals with degrees in healthcare administration are found in many different areas throughout a medical facility.
Since this degree program provides such varying information, professionals in this field are a great fit in many different positions. Some of the most popular choices for professionals include those that work with patient health, employee maintenance, and overall supervision.
The curriculum in this field focuses heavily on management and maintenance of important information. Those in this field are the best at the creation and implementation of strategies to improve the overall quality of a workplace and the effectiveness of its employees. The most popular careers for individuals with degrees in healthcare administration are listed below.
The Top 5 Careers in Healthcare Administration
1. Social and Community Support Manager
Community health is a huge aspect of the medical field. Social and Community Support Managers work alongside doctors and outside community support services to ensure that programs are created that encourage good health throughout the community. These programs can be a part of educational institutions or for public health in general.
These professionals are called upon by companies and organizations to provide insight into different health-oriented practices that will contribute to health lifestyles for everyone. According to the BLS, professionals in this specialization earn around $62,740 per year on average. Most employers require that professionals have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration prior to applying for this position.
2. Training and Development Manager
Healthcare administration specialists are needed in varying aspects of the medical field, including employee relations. In order to properly train the influx of new medical professionals, medical facilities employ training and development managers to develop and implement important training practices.
As new employees enter the workforce, managers will provide important training materials or on the job training that will contribute to more effective workers overall. These professionals are vital to the success of upcoming healthcare professionals. The BLS reports that training and development managers can earn around $101,930 per year on average, making this a highly sought out field for upcoming healthcare administration degree holders. The minimum requirement for this field is a bachelor’s degree.
3. Health Insurance Specialist
As one of the most popular positions for entry-level professionals, health insurance specialists work with patients to ensure that medical procedures and office visits are reported accurately to insurance agencies. Health insurance specialists meet with patients to discuss the proper procedures for reporting claims to insurance and determining payment plans or methods.
These professionals are a very important part of the financial branch of the medical field. Specialists in this field must have in-depth knowledge of medical terminology and important health care codes. Professionals working in this division of the medical field can expect to earn around $35,900 per year on average (BLS, 2015). Although most organization require that applicants hold at least a bachelor’s level degree, there are some organizations that readily accept associate’s level professionals.
4. Human Resource Manager
As a specialist in both healthcare and employee management, those with degrees in healthcare administration are a perfect fit for human resource managers. Working in hospitals or other medical facilities, these professionals assist employees with benefits, pay, and training requirements.
These professionals provide first hand support to employees throughout a medical facility. Professionals working in this field earn $102,780 per year on average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salary varies depending on location and experience. The minimum requirement to obtain a career at this level is a bachelor’s degree. Some organizations require that applicants hold at least a master’s degree if no previous experience has been acquired.
5. Hospital CEO
As one of the highest medical positions available at the administrative level, Hospital CEOs are typically healthcare administration specialists. This position usually requires years of experience working in the healthcare field, alongside a bachelor’s or higher degree in healthcare administration.
This is one of the highest positions available in medical facilities, providing management to all departments within. Since this degree program includes the business and medical aspect of the medical field, its graduates are first to be considered for positions this high. In this position, professionals will oversee the entire operation of hospitals or medical facilities. As a CEO, aspects from business to patient care are considered equal priorities that are vital to the success of hospitals. These professionals earn around $102,750 per year according to the BLS.
Quick Guide for Healthcare Administration
Below, we have assembled a “quick glance” of resources for anyone considering healthcare administration.
Top Skills & Understandings
- Interest in patient relations
- Ability to understand the use of technology in healthcare
- Understanding of healthcare processes, systems, and laws
- Personnel Management and scheduling
- Ability to forecast projections for the future