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What can you do with a healthcare administration degree?

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This article has been vetted by University of Phoenix's editorial advisory committee. 
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Mark Johannsson

This article was reviewed by Mark Jóhannsson, DHSc, MPH, Dean, College of Health Professions

This article was updated on March 14, 2024.

 

Healthcare administration is one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in the U.S. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management careers in medical and health services are projected to grow by 28% between 2022 and 2032. Health administration is critical to the effective functioning of healthcare systems, so it’s no surprise the job growth for these roles is projected to grow.

We spoke with Mark Johannsson, DHSc, MPH, dean of the College of Health Professions at University of Phoenix, to discuss what exactly health administration is:

Mark Johannsson, Dean of the College of Health Professions

Mark Johannsson, DHSc, MPH

Dean, College of Health Professions

 

“The field of health administration is the framework, the underpinnings on which the U.S. healthcare system is hung. Although what most people consider ‘healthcare’ is what is more visible — the doctors, nurses, techs, etc. — but the truth is the vast majority of jobs are found within the diversity of health administration, but they are less visible. Health administration careers look like the people who help design the healthcare facilities, run the facilities, create the systems that guide the delivery of care, ensure delivery and quality of care, manage the reimbursement systems that fund healthcare, work in drug manufacturing operations, pharma sales, waste management operations. That is health administration.”

If careers in healthcare administration interest you, earning a health administration degree can be a good first step. A degree can lay the groundwork for several careers in the healthcare field, including practice manager roles, by providing relevant skills and information. This, combined with relevant work experience, can prepare you for a variety of positions that involve managing, directing, and planning and coordinating business activities within a field that affects many people’s lives. Let’s take a closer look at health administration degrees and careers.

Salary ranges are reported by the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics, and are not specific to University of Phoenix graduates. Further, these national ranges may include earners at all stages of their career and may not accurately reflect entry-level wages or variations by region. Your earning outcome may vary. University of Phoenix does not guarantee salary level.


Prepare for the fast-growing healthcare industry. Start earning your degree. 

What is a healthcare administration degree?

A healthcare administration degree is great for students interested in business management and healthcare policies. There are many similarities when looking at healthcare management vs. healthcare administration but they are not the same thing. Healthcare administration tends to emphasize operations and patient experience, while healthcare management handles an organization’s overall financial health and strategic direction.

At University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration is a four-year, 120-credit online program. Students take 17 general education courses, 17 core education courses focused on improving their understanding of healthcare, and three electives.

Once their core courses are complete, students focus on their healthcare interests by selecting one of the following elective tracks:

  • Health administration: In this track, you’ll explore management, finance, legal and ethical parameters and learn about risk and quality management. Other essential topics include human resources and information systems.
  • Lifespan management: This track equips you with essential knowledge and skills to manage programs. You’ll also learn how to develop strategies to market services and ensure compliance. Other topics of study include financial viability and quality management.
  • Health information systems: This track explores database concepts and information networking. Other topics include project management for health information systems.

In addition to the bachelor’s degree, University of Phoenix offers a master’s in health administration and a Doctor of Health Administration. These programs prepare students for further professional growth with a wide range of new skills that can apply to a variety of careers within the health administration sector.

University of Phoenix also offers a combined Master of Health Administration/Master of Business Administration program. The program length, which is two and a half years, covers curriculum aligned to skills needed to step into a leadership role. 

Healthcare administration careers

We’ve established that earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree can prepare you to pursue a role in this field. But what healthcare administration careers are available? Many of the following roles are subsets of the health services management profession, which accounts for similarities between job outlook, salary and job duties. As of May 2022, medical and health service managers earned  between $64,100 and $209,990 annually, according to BLS. We’ll dive deeper into the different subsets and what their job overview looks like.

Health manager

Overview: Health managers may also be referred to as medical and health services managers. Their primary duties include overseeing parts of the healthcare system, ranging from specific clinical areas or departments to entire facilities. They develop goals and objectives for the facility and help ensure compliance with laws and regulations. Health managers must also recruit and supervise staff members, creating work schedules that allow the facility to run smoothly.

Education requirements: Health managers usually need a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation, typically in health administration. 

Health information management director 

Overview: Health information management directors ensure databases for patient records are complete and accurate. They also help ensure that this information is accessible only to authorized personnel.

Education requirements: Health information management directors might be required to have an associate or bachelor’s degree. If seeking leadership positions, you may benefit from a master’s in health administration.

Practice administrator 

Overview: Practice managers and administrators have many shared responsibilities, but administrators focus more on the business side. They might oversee the operations for larger group medical practices, entire hospital departments or multispecialty medical clinics. In addition, their duties often involve higher-level administrative decisions, strategic planning and financial management.

Education requirements: Practice administrators typically have a bachelor’s degree or master’s in health administration, depending on employer needs.

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Jobs in healthcare management 

How do I start a career in healthcare administration?

A common pathway to enter the healthcare administration field is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration.

It’s possible for healthcare professionals who have a clinical background to use online degrees to gain the necessary business skills to help them thrive in this role.

Nye Clinton, PhD, MBA, associate dean in the College of Health Professions at UOPX, shares: “As our population ages and the healthcare field rebounds from the challenges caused by COVID there is an increasing demand for healthcare administrators. Ensuring that those roles are filled with qualified applicants prepares the healthcare industry as a whole to effectively adapt and improve.”

What you’ll learn with a healthcare administration degree at UOPX

Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration online at University of Phoenix can help you embark on a rewarding career path in healthcare administration. In this program, you’ll learn the principles of dealing with such aspects of healthcare management as:

  • Electronic health records
  • Strategic planning
  • Business communication
  • Organizational behavior
  • Financial management

The program also covers medical terminology for healthcare professionals, healthcare professional development including career planning and professionalism, overall healthcare management necessities and more.

Get started on your health administration degree

What makes pursuing a degree from University of Phoenix worthwhile? For starters, UOPX offers exceptional flexibility. For students with a job or jobs, children, caregiving responsibilities and other life pressures, online courses offer maximum convenience with 5- to 6-week courses taken one at a time and asynchronous class structures. (Deadlines exist, but you can meet them without attending classes at set times.)   

In some cases, students can earn their healthcare administration degree without starting from scratch. University of Phoenix offers the potential to turn real-life work experiences into college credits, saving time and money.

Graduates of UOPX bachelor’s degree programs also receive the Career Services for Life® commitment, which includes one-on-one career advisement throughout their careers.

Other health administration degree options are:

Master of Health Administration: Learn career-relevant skills for leadership roles in healthcare administration.

Master of Health Administration (Comptency-Based): If you already have a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration or a related field, and you have professional experience, this degree program allows you to progress through the master’s program in less than a year. Strong self-discipline and time management skills are essential for this program in which you demonstrate skills you already have so that you can focus on learning new skills.

Master of Health Administration with a concentration in Health Care Compliance and Privacy: This degree program helps students learn how to navigate healthcare laws, rules and regulations.

Master of Health Administration/Master of Business Administration: With foundational skills in business management and health administration, this two-and-a-half-year program is ideal for aspiring business healthcare leaders.

Doctor of Health Administration: Learn how to take a big-picture approach to healthcare administration with this terminal degree program, which teaches students how to understand and respond to economic fluctuations, legislation and more.

Online healthcare certificate programs: Explore five different certificate programs to enhance your knowledge in subject-specific areas, such as health information systems and medical records.

To learn more about how our programs — including our health administration degree — can open doors for your career, request free information today.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Fairbanks is a freelance writer with a background in SEO content creation and blog article development

 

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