Can I get Into Hospital Upper Management With Only a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration?

Students and medical professionals may be wondering whether they can get into hospital upper management with just a bachelor in healthcare administration. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an aging population means substantial healthcare industry growth until the year 2020. Obtaining a bachelors degree will open doors, but additional education is crucial to securing management positions.


Job Description

Upper management plan, coordinate and direct various health services. Hospital staff can supervise the entire program or specialize in individual departments. BLS data as of June 2013 revealed that managers receive an average annual salary of $84,270 United States dollars (USD).

Degree History

Hospital administration was not an official position until the late 1800s. Earlier patients were at the mercy of facility staff and some individuals endured highly questionable treatment during their stay. Improved health practices and the care of wealthier patients created a need to expand administrative staff. The first official administration certification program opened in New York during the 1900s at Columbia Teachers College.

Educational Requirements

The BLS indicates that a bachelors degree is the only formal education requirement needed to obtain a position in hospital management. Applicants with a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) certification can apply to traditional collegiate programs or online courses. Sample classes include:

– Health Rights and Responsibilities

– Managed Care and Health Insurance

– Health Services Finance

Unlike a traditional business management major, healthcare administration students learn how business principles affect the medical industry. A bachelor-level education offers general industry instruction, but students who pursue masters studies can specialize in areas like clinical research and medical ethics.


As previously stated, jobs within healthcare management remain plentiful for qualified candidates. Positions for bachelor's degree holders include entry-level management where candidates receive close supervision from individuals with more experience and / or education. The jobs introduce employees to future responsibilities and place them at an advantage for internal promotions. Candidates should be aware they might be competing for the positions with other employees who have less education, but more hands-on experience. Higher staffing echelons are only attainable with a master's degree.


BLS experts find that many people entering the arena of healthcare administration opt for their master's degree, quickly making the degree a basic requirement for employment. Healthcare employment boards validate this sentiment, stating that a bachelor is almost useless post-graduation. It appears the bare minimum is no longer enough to guarantee employment in a thriving industry.


Looking at all the evidence, determination and a little luck equal job market success after obtaining a bachelor in healthcare administration. Candidates need to be ambitious, hard working and honest with themselves about the positions that will be available. The degree does not guarantee immediate CEO or department chair status, but the education does provide a solid foundation for future endeavors. A bachelor in conjunction with extensive hands-on experience equals limitless possibilities for the right person.

Additional Reading:

Medical and Health Services Managers

How to Become a Health Care Administrator

Top 10 Best Online MHA Programs 2015

Top 10 Best Online MPH Programs 2015

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