Associate's Degree in Health Administration
An associate's degree program in health administration can prepare you for various office positions in healthcare. See what prerequisites are required, and learn what courses you can take. Get information on employment options, including growth predictions for this field.
What Will I Study in an Associate's Degree Program in Health Administration?
Since this type of program is designed to prepare you for gaining entry-level administrative positions in healthcare facilities or for continuing your education in a bachelor's degree program, you'll receive an introduction to the administration of healthcare services. You'll learn how to provide office and clerical support for physicians and healthcare organizations. Core studies in the healthcare field will include these topics:
- Medical billing and coding
- Health insurance
- Health information
- Medical laws and ethics
- Medical terminology
- Healthcare accounting
- Customer service
- Healthcare trends
|Common Topics||Medical terminology, medical coding, customer service, ethics, health insurance|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma, or equivalent, is required; some institutions may require drug testing and/or a criminal background check|
|Learning Environments||Traditional classroom, online, and hybrid degree programs are available|
|Potential Work Environments||Nursing home, clinic, hospital, rehabilitation clinic|
|Median Salary (2018)||$99,730 (for all medical and health services managers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||20% growth (for all medical and health services managers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Are There Any Prerequisites?
In addition to requiring a high school diploma or GED, your institution may perform a criminal background check and drug screening before admitting you to the program, particularly if the curriculum involves a mandatory externship in a medical setting. Check with your school to see if this applies to you.
Can I Earn This Degree Online?
While some schools offer this type of degree program fully online, other institutions have hybrid programs that combine online and campus studies. In the online classroom, your lectures will be presented through Web-based course delivery systems, and your tests will be administered online. A virtual curriculum may be the same as or comparable to an on-campus program, but it offers the flexibility to set your own schedule. Online programs in this field are typically offered by for-profit schools.
What Will My Employment Options Be?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the healthcare field is expected to see an increase of 11.5 million new jobs between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). Upon graduation from your associate's degree program, you'll able to choose from a variety of entry-level positions in health administration in multiple settings. For example, you may choose to work in a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation clinic, private practice clinic or other health-industry setting in one of the following positions:
- Office manager
- Admitting clerk
- Medical secretary
- Insurance and billing clerk
- Medical records