Guide to Getting A Health Administration Degree

Job & salary growth for health admin workers is strong through at least 2029. Read ahead for a guide to getting a health administration degree in 2021.

Demand for qualified candidates in various healthcare fields is on the rise due in part to COVID-19 and part to the expansion of Telehealth in everyday medicine. Patient appointments are now held online and in-person, effectively stretching the need for supervision over both aspects of modern healthcare. If you are someone who wants to work in healthcare but not directly with patients or in clinical situations, the job of a healthcare administrator might be right for you.

What type of degree is needed to get a job as a healthcare administrator? What workplace environments and types of jobs are available for healthcare admin graduates today? Projected job and salary growth for this vocation is strong for at least the next eight years. Read ahead for a guide to getting a health administration degree in 2021.

Healthcare Admin 101

Healthcare administration is a profession where the employee wears many proverbial hats. For example, healthcare administrators are also referred to as healthcare managers/executives and health service managers. The job entails many roles including management of daily operations for workplace options such as hospitals, medical centers/clinics, long-term care facilities and more.

Primary functions of the healthcare administrator positions are to oversee finances, staff/staffing and quality control. Healthcare admins also assist in developing plans for future expansions and improvements to their applicable facility. Broader and more integral roles are assigned to graduates with higher-level degrees. For example, a healthcare admin with a master’s degree and working for the government might be in charge of developing new (and modifying old) state or federal healthcare policies. A candidate with an associate’s degree might be offered an entry-level position handling staffing and/or overseeing medical records.

Healthcare Administrator – Degree Needed

Healthcare admin positions are available for strong candidates with associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. An associate’s degree helps you obtain entry-level positions. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is generally preferred by prospective employers and commonly required, but an associate’s degree does get you work with some organizations. Obtaining a master’s degree helps improve your potential starting salary and also increase your responsibilities. Doctoral degrees are typically used for major research & lecture projects and therefore not required for most healthcare admin jobs. Obtaining a doctoral degree is impressive, however, and bolsters your resume and qualification status as a candidate.

Type of Online Programs/Courses Leading to Healthcare Admin Degree

Online programs necessary to obtain a healthcare administrator degree commonly include health management courses. Prerequisite courses include English, mathematics and a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Other course requirements vary per institution and type of degree you pursue. Online courses often include medical terminology, epidemiology, healthcare finance/accounting and human resources management.

Healthcare administration focuses on specialized aspects of running and managing a healthcare-based business. This means certain business courses might also be required as part of your healthcare administration degree program. Contact the admissions office at your online school of choice for more specific information about courses leading to a healthcare admin degree today.

Average Tuition Costs

Average tuition costs for a healthcare admin degree vary based on in-state and out-of-state status of applicants. Tuition also varies based on school policies and the type of degree pursued. For example, total overall tuition costs for a master’s degree in healthcare administration (MHA) range between $6,000 and $36,000 for in-state students and approximately $25,000 to $75,000 for out-of-state students. Bachelor’s degree program tuition ranges between approximately $4,000 and $11,000 per year or more. 

Time to Complete

An associate’s degree takes approximately two years to complete. A bachelor’s degree takes four total years to complete and a master’s degree takes an additional one or two years more. Doctoral programs require up to several more years after a master’s degree is obtained. Accelerated curriculums might also be available at certain schools.

Nationwide Online Programs Offering Health Admin Degree Programs

When searching for online healthcare admin degree programs make sure to only research accredited online programs. Degrees from accredited schools have more credibility with prospective employees and improve your hiring potential. Some of the best nationwide online health admin degree programs today include:

  1. Herzing University (associate’s)

  2. University of Central Florida (bachelor’s)

  3. Penn State World Campus (master’s)

1. Herzing University

An associate’s degree from Herzing University helps graduates obtain entry-level positions in healthcare administration jobs. Examples of jobs obtainable with this type of associate’s degree include operations assistant, administrative coordinator/support specialist, patient service representative and medical secretary. A healthcare administration associate’s degree does not qualify you for certification but it does get you halfway to your bachelor’s degree if you choose to continue advancing your education. Tuition costs approximately $340 per credit hour and your associate’s degree is potentially obtainable in sixteen month’s time. Request more information to start the enrollment process at Herzing University HERE.

2. University of Central Florida (UCF)

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in health services administration helps graduates obtain valued and in-demand positions in major hospitals, medical facilities, long-term care facilities and even public healthcare organizations facilitated by state & federal governments. The health services administration bachelor’s degree through UCF is accredited by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration and allows graduates to pursue certifications from the Health Financial Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives. Courses cost approximately $212/$749 for in-state & out-of-state student credits respectively. Enroll in this highly credible online bachelor’s degree program HERE.

3. Penn State World Campus

The Penn State World Campus provides an excellent master of health administration degree program for students either already in possession of a bachelor’s degree in healthcare admin or commencing initial studies leading to a master’s degree. This master’s degree program takes approximately twenty-eight months to complete. Health services, financial management and leadership ethics are emphasized topics of study, as is the management of health services institutions. All prospective enrollees are required to have a prior minimum of two-three years employment experience as a condition of acceptance. At $996/credit and a forty-nine-credit course itinerary, obtaining a master of health administration degree online through the PU World Campus costs approximately $48,804 in total. Apply for enrollment to the master of health administration at PU World Campus HERE.