As healthcare facilities grow, in terms of both personnel and technological capacity, the need for talented healthcare administrators is growing as well. Data produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that healthcare administration careers are expected to rise much faster than the national average between 2018 and 2028.
Healthcare administration can be a great career move for workers in other administrative professions, but some formal education in the specific demands and terminology of the healthcare profession may be required. If you're thinking about an online healthcare administration degree, the information on this page can help.
We've got a list of the top colleges offering health administration degree programs, a rundown of what you're likely to study, a brief description of healthcare administration careers and more. Read on to get informed.
Enrolling in a healthcare administration degree program can be the first step toward a rewarding career — so it's imperative that you thoughtfully weigh your options. Whether you want to become an insurance contract negotiator, government lobbyist, medical office business manager or consultant, the right degree program can lay the foundation to help you achieve your aspirations. In order to help provide guidance when making this important decision, we have compiled lists of the best online colleges for healthcare administration on the undergraduate level. Continue reading to learn about these schools and the degree programs they offer.
HUK's Academic Focus: Herzing University specializes in education designed for adult learners by offering work-friendly class schedules and numerous online resources to help students succeed.
Featured HUK Resource: The Writing Center helps students learn how to draft effective papers from start to finish. It provides guidance on finding sources and writing essays.
Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Kenosha
HUM's Academic Focus: Since 1965, Herzing University has been helping students get the education they need to enter a variety of fields. Whether students aspire to become a member of the healthcare, technology, public safety or legal profession, Herzing University can help guide the student toward achieving their goals.
Featured HUM Resource: In order to help students deal with the rigors of balancing college with their family and work responsibilities, Herzing University offers online mental health resources.
Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Minneapolis
HUB's Academic Focus: Thanks to its flexible class schedules and variety of degree options , Herzing University offers quality career education to students who want to advance in their current career or train for a new one.
Featured HUB Resource: Students can get a head start on their job search by using the job boards offered by Herzing's career services department. The school also offers interviewing, resume writing and networking assistance, as well as career development classes.
Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Brookfield
HUB's Academic Focus: Herzing University has been dedicated to providing career education since its inception in 1965. Since that time, the school has grown to offer dozens of career training programs on the undergraduate level.
Featured HUB Resource: Herzing provides career services that help students write effective resumes and cover letters, make a great impression during a job interview and work the room during a professional networking event. Students and graduates also get access to a nationwide job database to help them find open positions.
Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Birmingham
PUGD's Academic Focus: Through the help of advisors that are part of community, civic and industry organizations, Purdue Global is able to offer degree programs designed to prepare students for the demands of the modern workforce.
Featured PUGD Resource: The school's Academic Tutoring and Support Centers provide live online tutoring for those who need assistance with writing, mathematics and science, as well as webinars to teach students about technology topics.
Healthcare Administration at Purdue University Global-Davenport
UCF Academic Focus: The University of Central Florida has been offering online degree programs for the last 20 years. Students can choose from 90 programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels that can be completed entirely online.
Featured UCF Resource: The UCF Library's online catalog and databases help students find articles in journals, newspapers and magazines. In addition, students can get a consultation with a librarian and watch tutorials to help them find the resources they need.
Healthcare Administration at University of Central Florida
HUA's Academic Focus: Founded by Henry and Suzanne Herzing, Herzing University offers career-focused degree programs that allow busy professionals to conveniently further their education to advance in their jobs. With programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels, students can move up the ladder in their current jobs or prepare for a second career.
Featured HUA Resource: Herzing University offers numerous personalized services to help students learn how to manage their time effectively, deal with the stress of earning a degree and make choices on which courses to take to help them reach their goals.
Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Akron
HUM's Academic Focus: Herzing University offers degree programs with flexible course schedules to accommodate students who are navigating their education as they continue working full time.
Featured HUM Resource: Herzing University's library services give online students access to numerous sources they can use for their assignments, including journals, ebooks, newspapers and magazines. Also, librarians are available by email and chat to help students find the sources they need.
Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Madison
UOPA's Academic Focus: The University of Phoenix is dedicated to offering online degree programs that help students learn the skills they need to enter their chosen field and develop their critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills.
Featured UOPA Resource: The school offers career services that include resume reviews, graduation transition plans and assistance with job search strategies.
Healthcare Administration at University of Phoenix-Arizona
HUWP's Academic Focus: Herzing University allows professionals to prepare for a myriad of jobs, including those in healthcare, information technology, legal services and business. These programs are conveniently offered online so that adult learners can fit their studies into their busy schedules.
Featured HUWP Resource: Students can not only get the ebooks, journals and newspapers they need from the school's library, but also assistance from a librarian on how to find and use the best sources for an assignment.
Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Winter Park
Healthcare administration degree programs can teach you about the systems side of the healthcare industry, from personnel and inventory control to computer systems and data distribution. Here's a brief explanation of some common concepts that you're likely to cover on the path to your degree:
Continue reading for more about what you can learn in an online healthcare administration programs on the associate and bachelor's level.
How long does an online associate program in healthcare administration take?
Generally, a full-time online associate program in healthcare administration can be completed in two years.
What are the requirements to start an online associate program in healthcare administration?
While most online healthcare administration colleges have specific requirements for admission, generally those who want to enroll in an associate degree program should have a high school diploma or equivalent and at least a 2.0 grade point average. Also, students may be required to earn a high score on the SAT or ACT.
This degree level helps you enter the healthcare administration field quickly. It can also be a way to prepare for a higher-level degree program. If you are already in healthcare you can earn this degree to increase your skills and other qualifications for career advancement.
The first year of a healthcare administration degree program lays the framework for future courses. During this time, you take classes that familiarize you with healthcare administration concepts, the history of the field and processes of the healthcare system.
You can also expect to take general education classes to round out your healthcare administration studies, such as coursework in English, mathematics and sociology.
Healthcare administration electives:
Further along in the health administration degree program, you can explore your specific interests by taking electives. Some of these courses may cover medical terminology, office management, anatomy and physiology, health care delivery systems or medical policy.
How long does an online bachelors in healthcare administration take?
An online bachelors in healthcare administration can typically be completed in about four years as a full-time student.
What are the requirements to start a bachelors in healthcare administration?
You are generally expected to have a high school diploma or GED, a 2.0 grade point average and a high score on the SAT or ACT. You may also be able to transfer into a four-year program if you've already earned an associate degree in healthcare administration.
Why earn an online bachelors in healthcare administration?
An online bachelors in healthcare administration can help you if you're new to the field and learning the fundamentals as well as the skills needed to land a job. A bachelor's program can also give you the opportunity to choose a specialization in order to study a specific subsection of the field. This more advanced information can help current healthcare administration professionals who are looking for career advancement.
Years One and Two
Introductory healthcare administration coursework:
When you begin a bachelors in healthcare administration program, you can expect to learn the basics of healthcare administration, including the U.S. healthcare system, healthcare information systems, health law and ethics and operations management.
General education classes:
You can expect to take general education classes in areas such as mathematics, art, psychology, sociology and English.
To build on the content of required classes, you may choose electives that cover psychology of human relations, contemporary social problems, global environmental public health and health information technology.
Years Three and Four
Exploring a specialization:
Once you have a basic understanding of healthcare administration principles, you may select a specialization that can help you meet your education and career goals.
To apply what you have learned in the classroom to real-world healthcare administration settings, you may have the opportunity to complete an internship.
Capstone course or project:
Some schools can require a capstone course or project that allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the course material. You may be required to take a comprehensive examination covering the department's curriculum.
There's a sunny job outlook for graduates of healthcare administration programs, according to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). The rapid pace at which new healthcare administration careers are being added to the healthcare workforce is a big part of that optimism, as well as a mean annual salary well above the overall national average.
Below, we'll look at some of the specifics of the healthcare administration careers to help you better understand what you can expect once you've graduated and you're ready to enter the workforce.
What does a healthcare administrator do?
Sometimes called healthcare executives or health services managers, healthcare administrators are responsible for the planning, coordination and direction of medical and health services. Some positions may entail managing an entire healthcare facility, while others may focus their attention on a specific department, a single clinical area or a select group of physicians.
Here's a short list of general duties that healthcare administrators may be asked perform on the job:
There are several types of healthcare administrators who concentrate on specific areas of healthcare management. Here are a few examples of specialized positions in the field:
How to become a healthcare administrator
The baseline educational requirement for this career is a bachelor's in healthcare administration, and O*NET reports that around 65 percent of medical and health services managers hold that level of degree.
It's also possible to get into an entry-level position in the field with a healthcare administration certificate or associate degree, but it may require previous experience as an assistant healthcare administrator, billing specialist or other relevant occupation. Close to 20 percent of working healthcare administrators in 2019 held only an associate degree.
You may not need a degree that's specifically focused on healthcare administration to land a job in the field, either. Here are a few other subjects that healthcare administrators might study, according to the BLS:
Work experience in a related role, particularly administrative or clinical work in a hospital or other health facility, is often preferred by employers hiring healthcare administration staff. Nursing home administrators, for example, often have experience working as registered nurses.
Depending on the type of facility where you find a job, it may be necessary to obtain a state license before you can officially begin working. Check with an advisor at your school for more insight into the licensing requirements in your state.
Offered by the Healthcare Administrators Credentialing Commission (HACC), the CHA credential is an entry-level certification that ensures you meet the basic qualifications for the profession.
Requirements: Four years' health administration experience for bachelor's degree holders; three years' experience for those with advanced degrees.
Exam Format: As an experiential credential, the CHA does not require an exam.
How long does the certification last: Renewable after three years
This certification is provided by the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) and focuses on the financial management of a medical facility.
Requirements: Membership in AAHAM and one year of employment in a healthcare revenue capacity is recommended before taking the exam.
Exam Format: Three sections of multiple-choice questions with a total time limit of two hours
How long does the certification last: Three years; recertification can be achieved either by retaking and passing the exam or joining AAHAM and completing continuing education units.
The American Institute of Healthcare Compliance offers this certification, which can be a benefit to healthcare administrators whose careers are focused on compliance.
Requirements: Experience with HIPAA, OSHA, insurance claims and medical coding and documentation is recommended.
Exam Format: 100 true/false, multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions with a three-hour time limit; open study materials are allowed.
How long does the certification last: Must be renewed each year; 6 continuing education units must be completed annually to recertify.
Membership in a professional organization can provide you with networking and career opportunities that may be hard to find otherwise. Here are a few of the U.S. professional groups for healthcare administrators: