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Associate's in Healthcare Administration: Degree Overview

Oct 13, 2019

Students who want to study healthcare administration can earn an Associate of Arts (AA) or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in this field.

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Essential Information

Through traditional coursework and clinical labs, students in AA and AAS in Healthcare Administration programs learn how to properly manage and support the business operations of healthcare facilities. Leadership, problem-solving, interpersonal, technical, and organizational skills are commonly emphasized. To enroll in a program, applicants generally need a high school diploma or its equivalent.


Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration

The coursework in a healthcare administration associate degree program is designed to provide students with the office and administrative skills needed for their role in planning, coordinating, directing and supervising healthcare services. Studies in business, finance, communications, biology, and psychology are also relevant to the field. Some additional course topics may include:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Healthcare systems
  • Principles of management
  • Computer applications in healthcare administration
  • Human resource management

Popular Career Choices

Upon completion of an associate degree program, a graduate may be qualified for entry-level employment in a variety of medical settings, such as hospitals, clinics, residential care facilities, and doctors' offices. Popular job titles include:

  • Office manager
  • Medical administrator
  • Risk manager
  • Case coordinator

Job Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical secretaries are expected to see a 16% increase in employment from 2018-2028. As of May 2018, the BLS reported that these professionals earned a median annual salary of $35,760.

Continuing Education

The BLS reports that most positions in medical and health services management require applicants to hold at least a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration. Those positions also require experience. Master's degrees may be required as well. While graduate studies can help healthcare administrators advance in their careers, some move upwards into positions with more responsibility and higher pay through work experience.

All states require healthcare administrators who work in nursing care facilities to possess a license; however, specific licensing requirements vary with each location. Administrators who work in assisted-living facilities must also be licensed in some states. Those working in other areas of healthcare do not need to be licensed.

By earning an associate's degree in healthcare administration, students get the basic business training and medical knowledge necessary for entry-level work in the healthcare industry. However, many students choose to continue their education before joining the workforce, as higher level degrees lead to a greater number of job options.

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