With employment in health care booming, health care administrators are expected to be in high demand in the coming years. Those with a degree in health care administration should be needed in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health organizations, consulting firms, insurance companies, managed health organizations and more. Associate degrees in health care administration can be a stepping stone into this world of patient care.
Associate degrees in health care administration
The associate degree in health care administration can open the door, while further education can offer advancement opportunities. Typical courses taken in pursuit of associate degrees in health care administration include accounting, communication, health care ethics, health care law, human resources management, epidemiology, economics of health care and more. Additionally, courses in business can be just as important as courses in health care when it comes to applying for a job or working toward a higher degree.
Career options, outlook and salary
An associate degree can lead to entry-level jobs in health care administration. Management in the office of physicians, or working as an assistant manager in a health care setting might be possible; however, advancement usually requires several years of further education.
Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow by 16 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Changes in the world of health care, such as digitizing patient records, controlling costs and improving efficiency, are contributing factors to growth. Most health care administrators will be hired by hospitals, but there should also be opportunity in other areas, such as in offices of physicians and management companies. The mean annual wage for medical and health services managers were $93,670 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Going beyond the associate degree
In most cases, a master's degree is required in order to advance in the field of health care administration. However, some people start out by gaining hands-on training in the office of a physician, and gradually earning their higher degree while advancing through the ranks. Online training can help facilitate this career path. For those who want to move into the highest ranks of the profession, a doctorate is usually the gold standard.