How Long does it take to Complete an Online Master’s in Healthcare Program?

With a Master's of Healthcare Administration, you can get a job in nearly any medical facility, but you may not know that you can actually start and finish one of these programs online. These programs are perfect for those who want to go back to school after taking a few years off and those who can't sacrifice time away from their current careers. You can interact with other students, complete assignments and even talk with your professors from your home computer, computer at work or even a library computer. While you likely have some questions about what you can do with a degree of this type, you might want to know how long it will take to earn your degree.

Resource: The Top 10 Best Online Master's in Healthcare Administration Programs (MHA)

Full Time vs. Part Time

The average length of time it takes to earn a graduate degree is two years, but the amount of time really depends on the topic. Professional MBA programs let students take advanced courses and graduate in just 18 months or less, but students in a counseling program that has a residency requirement may spend three years or more working on their degrees. Earning a Master's of Healthcare Administration will usually take you two years as a full time student. Full time students take three or more classes every semester. If you take fewer classes and/or enroll as a part time student, it may take three to four years to graduate.

Classes You'll Take

While undergraduate degree programs usually have general education courses that you must take, most healthcare administration programs primarily consist of classes on the topic. You may take a few classes on research and writing, and most programs have a thesis component as well. Depending on where you go to school, you may have the option of working on a research project or doing an internship in your city in lieu of writing a thesis. These programs will also include classes on communicable diseases, emergency situations, budgeting and medical marketing.

Where You Can Work

With the healthcare administration degree that you earn, you can apply to work in a number of different medical facilities. Nurses sometimes go back to school to get an advanced degree that they use when applying for nursing manager positions in local hospitals. While hospitals are usually the top employers, you may find work in a smaller clinic, an HMO, a medical billing office, doctor's office or counseling center.

Administrator Salaries

Some students worry that they'll earn less when they get a degree online than they would with a traditional degree, but there is no real difference between what you make in this industry. Employers base your pay on the type of degree you have, their budgets and the amount of experience you have. Payscale found that executive managers in the healthcare industry earn between $42,000 and $67,000 a year and that hospital administrators and executive directors can earn as much as $100,000 a year. You may find that you can earn more based on your job title.

Hospital administrators are responsible for ensuring that a medical office operates properly, abides by federal confidentiality laws and that all workers have the supplies they need. You can earn one of these degrees from a local school, but you can also get an online Master's of Healthcare Administration.

Additional Resources:

The Top 10 Best Master's Programs in Healthcare Administration 2014

Top 20 Affordable Master's Degrees in Healthcare Administration 2015

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