Courses in healthcare administration associate's programs explore office practices, including patient scheduling and billing, as well as business fundamentals, such as accounting and computer basics. Work experience is often part of the programs' curricula.
Associate's degrees in health care administration programs generally take 2 years to complete, and an internship is commonly required. The only prerequisite for the program is possession of a high school diploma or GED.
Associate's Degree in Healthcare Administration
As with many health care programs, applicants may be required to pass a criminal background check, which can include fingerprint scanning. Some other prerequisites include the completion of specific coursework such as psychology, English and medical terminology. For those applicants who are lacking any of the educational prerequisites, some programs may substitute work experience in a related field. A supervised clinical externship is often a final requirement for an AAS in Health Care Administration.
- Medical terminology
- Human structure and function
- Medical transcription
- Computer information systems
- Management principles
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
One career option for graduates of an associate's program is medical secretary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical secretaries could expect 21% growth in employment opportunities from 2014-2024, and the median salary for the occupation was $33,040. Salaries vary with the size and type of the facility, which might include a hospital, physician's office or nursing home.
Health care administrators complete a considerable amount of training. While associate's degrees in health care administration are widely available, even most entry-level health care administration positions require a bachelor's degree at minimum. Though a master's degree is preferred, a graduate with a bachelor's degree may qualify for an entry-level position in a smaller department or facility. Some credits from the associate's degree program may transfer to a related bachelor's degree program.
Work experience in the field may make up for the lack of a higher-level degree with some employers. Depending on the state and facility, it is also common for graduates to take and pass a licensing exam prior to employment. Additional degree programs include the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration, the Master of Health Administration and the Doctor of Health Administration programs.
An associate's program in healthcare administration covers the fundamental clerical skills needed for an entry-level career. However, graduates of these programs may need to pursue a higher degree to obtain a manager position, as even entry-level health care administration positions require a bachelor's degree.