Do You Need an Advanced Degree to be a Healthcare Administrator?

Healthcare administration is a great field to enter into. If you're looking to become a healthcare administrator, you will not need an advanced degree. In fact, in smaller healthcare facilities, you may need to possess only an associate's degree. On the downside, however, an undergraduate degree will result in fewer job opportunities as well as a decrease in pay when compared to the opportunities and pay levels you will come across with an advanced degree.


Associate of Healthcare Administration

You will have to look hard for schools that offer an associate program in healthcare administration. For the most part, this type of degree is offered in only a bachelor's-level curriculum or higher. When searching for an associate program, try looking for business office administration degree programs that offer some type of specialization in medical office management. After earning this type of degree, you will likely be able to secure employment as a medical secretary or medical transcriptionist, and in some instances, you may be able to fill certain healthcare administrator positions.

The coursework that you will finish in an associate program will take about two years to complete and will focus on the following topics:

– Business communication
– Medical terminology
– Healthcare management
– Medical insurance billing and coding
– Healthcare finance
– Supervision principles
– Healthcare accounting

Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration

If your have the time and financial means, you should definitely consider earning a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration. This type of credential takes about twice as long to earn when compared to an associate degree; however, even though it is not an advanced degree, it will still provide many more employment opportunities than an associate's degree will; these career paths are also ones that come with extremely good pay.

The coursework you will complete in this type of program will focus on the following topics:

– Marketing
– Public relations
– Operations management
– Personnel management
– Accounting and finance
– Medical records management
– Medical ethics
– Healthcare economics

In smaller healthcare facilities, you will be able to secure employment as healthcare administrator with a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration. If you are wanting to work in a larger facility, you will need an advanced degree; however, other popular career paths that you can follow with a bachelor's degree include those of an:

– Assistant administrator
– Assistance department head
– Health information manager

Advanced Degree in Healthcare Administration

If you choose to earn an advanced degree, it will take you about one to three years after you earn your bachelor's degree. Your pay level is likely to increase by 20 percent or more with an advanced degree, making this credential something you should definitely consider earning. Your coursework in an advanced program will focus on the following topics:

– Health program evaluation
– Biostatistics
– Advanced health research
– Disease prevention

All in all, when entering into the profession of a healthcare administrator, you will benefit more from earning an advanced degree. On the upside though, if you don't want to earn such a degree, an associate's or bachelor's degree will suffice for some healthcare administration job positions.

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