Online Associates Degree in Healthcare Management

With both the demand and the cost of health care rising rapidly, the industry is in need of trained managers. Join the quest for affordable and effective health services by training for a high-demand career in health care management.

Earning associate degrees in health care management

Associate degrees in health care management form the first rung in the ladder to an administrative career. Although most management-level careers require a bachelor's degree or higher, the associate degree offers a foundation of applied management training. Health administration coursework covers electronic medical records, health care delivery, health information management technology and medical terminology. General business topics could include:

  1. Business communications
  2. Finance
  3. Human resource management
  4. Management
  5. Marketing
  6. Risk management

In addition, the two-year program includes core academics in the liberal arts and sciences, with special emphasis on relevant topics for health care management such as anatomy, physiology, statistics and lab research methods.

Career options, outlook and salary

With associate degrees in health care management, graduates may enter the workforce as health care administrative assistants or medical secretaries, or continue their education for a shot at management and leadership roles. Other than medical secretaries, most administrative and management roles require at least a bachelor's degree.

Medical secretaries or administrative assistants take care of the daily tasks that keep a medical office running, from billing to records management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the occupation is growing rapidly, with 41.3 percent increase predicted in the 2010-2020 period. Medical secretaries earned a median wage of $30,530 in 2010, according to the BLS.

Health care managers generally have a bachelor's or master's degree, and employers increasingly prefer the graduate credential, according to the BLS and the American College of Healthcare Executives, or ACHE. These managers oversee medical service delivery at hospitals, clinics or public health agencies. Medical and health services managers earned a median salary of $84,270 in 2010, reports the BLS. The profession promises strong demand, with faster than average job growth of 22 percent in the 2010-2020 decade.

Online studies in health care management make it possible to head into the workforce with an associate degree while pursuing higher education. With each degree you earn, you open the door to more management responsibility. Take the first step in your health care management career today with an associate degree.

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