Health Services Majors: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue with a degree in health services. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary, job growth and other education information. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Career Options for Health Services Graduates?

A degree in health services focuses on the financial and administrative side of the medical industry. Three common positions you can enter with a degree in health services include medical records personnel, medical secretary and health service manager.

Medical records personnel enter data in clinical databases, use insurance codes to receive reimbursements and review patients records for completeness and accuracy. In addition to general clerical duties, medical secretaries prepare reports and create transcriptions. They may also arrange for hospital care of patients, record medical histories and process insurance claims.

Health service managers are responsible for ensuing that medical facilities meet government regulations, operations stay within budget and facility records are kept organized. As managers, they are also responsible for creating work schedules, developing department goals and improving the effectiveness of the facility.

The table below outlines these three career options for health services majors.

Medical Records Personnel Medical Secretaries Health Service Managers
Degree Required Associate's Associate's Bachelor's or Master's
Education Field of Study Health information technology or health services Health services Health administration or health services
Licensure/Certification Optional: Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) or Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) Optional: Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) Administrators of nursing homes need to be licensed
Key Responsibilities Organize medical data in electronic filing systems and insure the accuracy and security of that data Support other staff members by inputting data, organizing files and making appointments Supervise and maintain other staff members, oversee finances and keep up to date with new laws and regulation
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 15% (for all medical records and health information technicians) 21% (for all medical secretaries) 17% (for all medical and health service managers)
Median Salary (2015)* $37,110 (for all medical records and health information technicians) $33,040 (for all medical secretaries) $94,500 (for all medical and health service managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is Health Services?

Health services is the business side of the healthcare field. It covers everything from office administration to the development of public healthcare policies. In a health services degree program, you will learn how to organize healthcare systems, obtain funding, structure organizational finances and have knowledge in the latest healthcare system technology.

What Educational Programs are Available?

Degree programs are available for both undergraduate and graduate-level study. From associate degree programs all the way up to doctorate programs, health service studies prepare you to work in the various fields of health service management administration and research. Graduate certificate programs in health services are also available.

Associate's programs will prepare you to work at administrative tasks within a medical office environment, in areas such as medical billing or patient records. With a bachelor's degree, you can work as an office manager or a department administrator. A master's or Ph.D. usually prepares students to work in health services research or policy development, often in government agencies, universities or insurance companies.

What Jobs Can I Apply For?

Depending on the degree level you obtain, you can apply for jobs in medical coding, medical office administration, health agency management or health services and policy research. You can look for jobs in places such as:

  • Ambulatory care centers
  • Nonprofit health programs
  • Insurance companies
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals
  • Government public health agencies

What Tasks Will I Perform?

As a healthcare manager, you may be required to work with technicians, obtain medical and examination reports, improve medical software and work with medical coding. Some of the tasks that may be performed can include:

  • Healthcare provider analysis
  • Insurance company underwriting
  • Medical office organization
  • Healthcare access assessment

What Kind of Money Can I Make?

How much money you can make depends on your level of education and occupation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical records and health information technicians, including medical records personnel, earned a median salary of $37,110 as of May 2015, while medical secretaries earned $33,040 (www.bls.gov). In that same year, medical and health service managers earned a median annual salary of $94,500.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some career fields related to health services include human resources management, insurance underwriting and social and community service management. Human resources managers can enter the field with a bachelor's degree in human resources. They oversee the hiring of new employees and serve as a communication liaison between employees and managers. Insurance underwriters need a bachelor's degree in a business-related field. They assess insurance applications to determine coverage and premiums. Social and community service managers typically have a bachelor's degree in social work or business. They manage community events and oversee community and social services projects and staff.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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