Health Services: Online Associate Degree

An online associate's program in health services can help you learn how to manage a doctor's office, hospital or other care facility. Read on to learn more about possible courses that include psychology and public health, as well as career options once you have earned your degree. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Online Associate's Degree in Health Services?

Health services may refer to a variety of career fields within the healthcare industry, including medical office management, health information management and medical assisting. Online associate's degree programs are generally 2-year programs that combine online coursework with practical training, typically internships, which can't be completed online. Some sample associate's degrees you could pursue include an Associate of Occupational Studies in Medical Specialties, Associate of Science in Healthcare Management, Associate of Arts in Healthcare Administration and Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology.

Throughout these programs, you will engage in the operations required to keep a medical facility functional. In a healthcare management or administration program, you would learn basic administrative skills, such as payroll accounting, spreadsheet customization and medical office management. In a medical specialties program, typically geared towards medical assisting, you would take clinical courses, such as pharmacy technology, radiology and medication administration. In a health information technology program, you would learn all the skills needed to keep accurate and updated medical records, including medical billing, medical coding and health information management. Each of the above programs would include also studies in healthcare law and policy.

Degree FieldsMedical specialties, healthcare management and administration, health information technology
Common ClassesPsychology, accounting, medical records, medical administration
Career OptionsMedical office manager, health information technician, medical assistant
Continuing EducationBachelor's and master's degrees available
Median Salary (2018) $33,610 (for medical assistants)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 29% growth (for medical assistants)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

The variety of courses you take in these programs covers topics from English and communication, to anatomy and physiology, mathematics and medical terminology. Although program content varies by degree program, courses common to most health services degree programs include:

  • Medical administration
  • Medical records
  • Accounting
  • Healthcare information systems
  • Psychology
  • Clinical procedures
  • Public health

Where Could I Work?

You could pursue entry-level employment as a medical office manager, health information technician or medical assistant, job titles that could lead to employment at a hospital, long-term care facility, clinic or physician's office. As a medical office manager, your responsibilities might include managing personnel, records and finances. If you worked as a medical assistant, you would have clinical duties, such as taking vital signs. As a health information technician, you would manage patient records, especially electronic health records, as well as bill patients and insurance companies for medical services.

Do I Need Continuing Education?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that an associate's degree and work experience could be sufficient to gain some positions in health services, particularly medical office management and health information technology. Many jobs, however, particularly in healthcare administration, require either a bachelor's or master's degree. If you're interested in pursuing a more advanced degree, you might consider a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management or Administration. In some states, a bachelor's degree would qualify you to work as a nursing home administrator or assisted living administrator.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Florida Tech

    Florida Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Terra State Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Fremont
  • Southern Nazarene University

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Bethany
  • Southeast Community College Area

    Campus Locations:

    • Nebraska: Lincoln
  • Sinclair Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Dayton
  • Santa Fe College

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Gainesville
  • Saint Johns River State College

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Palatka
  • Quinebaug Valley Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: Danielson
  • Oklahoma State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
  • Philadelphia University

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia