In AAS programs in health services administration, students learn how to handle clerical and other administrative tasks required for the smooth functioning of a healthcare organization. It is important to note that not all programs that offer this training have the same title, and interested students may also look for associate degree programs in health services management or office administration with a specialization in medical offices. Some associate degree programs may also be listed as Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS), and degree requirements may vary. In order to apply to any of these programs, prospective students must have a high school diploma or GED.
Associate Degree in Health Services Administration
Coursework can include basic office administration training, such as computer skills, keyboarding, and transcription, though it can also focus on topics specific to the healthcare field. Common course topics include:
- Computer skills for health services
- Ethical and legal aspects of health services
- Health services management
- Managed care and health insurance
- Managerial accounting
- Spreadsheets and database computer applications
Popular Career Options
Graduates are generally prepared to apply their knowledge and skills in medical offices, insurance companies, managed care companies, and other healthcare environments. Within these institutions, there are a number of careers available. Some of these are generalist positions that cover a variety of administrative tasks, while others focus on various administrative specializations. Examples of possible careers include:
- Medical office administrative assistant
- Medical transcriptionist
- Medical records and health information technicians
Job Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical secretaries are expected to see a 21% increase in employment from 2014-2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. As of May 2015, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $33,040, according to the BLS.
From 2014-2024, medical transcriptionists are expected to see a 3% decline in employment, while medical records and health information technicians are expected to see a 15% increase in employment, which is much faster than average, according to the BLS. As of May 2015, the BLS reported that medical transcriptionists earned a median annual salary of $34,890, while medical records and health information technicians earned a median annual salary of $37,110 for the same time period.
While an associate degree may be a useful credential in obtaining a position as an administrative assistant or medical secretary, those looking to advance in their careers will likely need more schooling. Some programs can provide the foundation for bachelor's degrees in healthcare management or a related field. According to the BLS, a master's degree in health administration is the standard credential for medical administrators who plan and supervise the delivery of health care (www.bls.gov).
Through interdisciplinary training in business and medicine, AAS in Health Services Administration and similar degree programs provide the necessary training for administrative and secretarial work at medical institutions.