Why Get a Healthcare Administration Degree?

The American College of Healthcare Executives reports steadily increased earnings and demand for people with senior healthcare administration education. For example, the mean salary for entry level managers and staff is almost $50,000 (U.S.) while middle managers earn about $61,000 on average.

Executives working in healthcare administration earn a mean salary of $99,000.

Healthcare Administration Degrees at Undergraduate, Graduate Levels

University students who want to work in healthcare administration can enter this field in several ways. For example, some students take an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration to support human resources and general operations in healthcare settings such as hospitals, nursing and retirement homes, long-term care facilities, health units and other public and private organizations.

Other students first earn an undergraduate degree as a health care practitioner, such as a nurse, respiratory therapist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist. A second degree, usually an advanced degree at the master’s level, is then earned to improve a graduate’s changes of securing a well-paid, senior level health care administration position.

Online Healthcare Administration Degrees, Traditional Degrees

A bachelor of health administration at most accredited universities takes three or four years to complete. For example, at Athabasca University in Canada, students graduating with this undergraduate degree are able to provide leadership in all areas of health services organization.

Graduates are also able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of health care economics and can apply this critical thinking and analysis to make decisions in health settings.

Master’s degrees, offered by universities both online and on-campus, lead to senior management jobs in healthcare administration with several specializations. A Masters of Business Administration, MBA, gives students a broad background in the smooth operations of organization. However, an MBA program rarely contains healthcare related courses.

A Masters of Public Health is a specialized degree that allows for the advanced study of population health, epidemiology, and the broad determinants of health. A Masters of Health Administration focuses almost exclusively on preparing students for a career as a leader in a health related organization in the private or public sector.

Graduates of health care administration degree programs find work as administrators and managers with a variety of employers, including:

  • An inpatient or outpatient mental health facility
  • Government departments of health, public health, health promotion or national defense
  • Large or rural hospitals or health regions
  • Long-term care facilities, nursing or retirement homes
  • International non-governmental organizations such as the World Health Organization, CARE and World Vision

Students considering a health care administration degree work in leadership positions that are well-paid and in a variety of roles that can easily create a lifelong suite of interesting and challenging positions.

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