Accredited Online Health Administration Degree Guide for 2018

Health administration professionals perform a variety of clerical and operational management activities within hospitals, medical clinics, and other healthcare settings. While there are numerous careers health administration graduates can pursue, they all exist to facilitate the smooth operation of healthcare organizations. Health administration majors can choose to concentrate in special areas of interest, such as healthcare informatics or management, which can help to prepare them for a specific career in the field.

Check the Guide to Accreditation in Higher Education to learn more about accreditation and how to determine if the program you select meets the necessary standards.

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Associate Degree

Pursue an Associate in Health Administration to land an entry-level job within the field or satisfy undergraduate enrollment requirements.

  • Credit hours/length of study: 2 years
  • Coursework: ethics, human resources, health information systems, finance, healthcare law
  • Employment prospects: medical records technician, medical secretary

Bachelor’s Degree

Earn a Bachelor’s in Health Administration if you want to prepare management roles in the healthcare industry.

  • Credit hours/length of study: 4 years
  • Coursework: health services administration, ethics, human resources, health information systems, finance, healthcare law, medical terminology
  • Employment prospects: medical services or human resources manager

Master’s Degree

Choose to pursue a Master’s in Health Administration if you want to supplement your undergraduate education and pursue higher-paying positions,

  • Credit hours/length of study: 1-2 years
  • Employment prospects:  health services manager, training and development manager
  • Coursework may include: 
    • Healthcare Delivery Systems offers students an overview of the U.S. healthcare system. Key concepts such as health organizational structure, the evolution of health insurance and patient rights are explored.
    • Medical Ethics provides students with an in-depth look into codes of conduct governing the healthcare profession. Students discuss patient confidentiality and strategies for addressing common ethical dilemmas in healthcare, in addition to examining clinical cases to determine appropriate protocol in challenging situations.
    • Healthcare Economics students benefit from exposure to the financial and accounting principles unique to healthcare management. In addition to accounting and microeconomics concepts, students learn about health-related financial trends and costs related to evolving medical technology.

Doctoral Degree

Pursue a Doctorate in Health Administration to become a top-level executive within a healthcare system or healthcare professors at a college or university.

  • Credit hours/length of study: 3-4 years
  • Employment prospects: chief executive officer in a healthcare system, college professor


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A health administration degree is a promising choice since career opportunities are vast and demand for qualified professionals is outpacing the rest of the country. The most popular career choices in the health administration field are medical and health services managers, medical records and health information technicians, medical transcriptionists, healthcare insurance underwriters, and medical secretaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services managers can expect to earn $84,270 per year, and employment opportunities are expected to increase by 22 percent through 2020, which is much faster than all other occupations. Medical records and health information technicians can anticipate earning an annual salary of $32,350 per year and expect 21 percent job growth through 2020.

Some jobs include:

  • Chief Executive Officers provides oversight of a hospital or health system to ensure quality care, profitability and adherence to healthcare regulations. Job growth in this field is anticipated to be slower than average through the year 2020, with an increase of 3 to 9 percent expected.
  • Health Services Managers plan and implement all health services and programming offered by a hospital, clinic or government agency. Employment in this field is expected to flourish, with projected job growth of 20 to 28 percent by 2020.
  • Community Service Managers direct health services outside of the hospital and clinical environment, most often planning programming and overseeing outreach services at the community nonprofit level. In the year 2010, community service managers earned a median salary of $58,660, with the top 10 percent earning $96,920 or more. Job growth of 27 percent is expected by the year 2020.

Additional jobs for which your degree might qualify you:

  • Healthcare Manager
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Medical Secretary
  • Medical Transcriptionist


Health administration scholarships typically require students to have at least a 3.0 GPA, with some expecting even higher academic performance. As a result, you should work to be in good academic standing both before applying and after winning a scholarship, in order to remain eligible.

Many health administration scholarships are also available to students in other health fields, such as medical assisting or laboratory technology, and are often offered by healthcare foundations or community organizations rather by than individual schools. This means that competition for these scholarships is likely to be higher than average, as the pool of applicants includes students from several schools. Start by applying for scholarships unique to health administration or unique to your school before moving on to these general health scholarships. Apply early to a broad selection of both general and healthcare-specific scholarships to exhaust all possibilities of funding for your health administration courses.
Contacting the financial aid office of a specific college or university is a good way to get more detailed information.