2020 Best Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration Programs
Although there is some overlap between general business administration and healthcare administration classes, hiring managers in the healthcare field often prefer to hire candidates who have focused their education and work experience on managing hospitals, medical practices, and other healthcare facilities. Graduates with this specialized, advanced knowledge can expect to earn an annual salary of just over $100,000, on average. The following is a ranked list of online bachelor’s programs, which aspiring healthcare administrators can use to find a program that fits their needs. Keep reading to learn more about degree levels, accreditation, and the overall job outlook for healthcare administration professionals.
2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration Degrees
Students seeking an online bachelor's degree in healthcare administration will find that these 24 colleges offer the best value based on affordability and alumni salaries. At #1, Florida International University charges $10,376 per year for their Bachelor of Health Services Administration. Charter Oak State College offers distance learners a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration for $12,570 per year. Alumni reported a mid-career salary of $78,200.
2020 Online Colleges Offering Healthcare Administration Degrees - Ranking Details
Online Healthcare Administration Degree Overview & Career Information
Online undergraduate certificates and associate degrees are available specifically in healthcare administration as well as in related fields such as medical transcription, medical office administration, and healthcare informatics. These types of programs teach the skills necessary for managing the large amount of information, record keeping, and communication that is common in the healthcare environment. It’s wise to look for a program that emphasizes technological proficiency, since information technology is growing in importance in healthcare settings.
Bachelor’s degrees in healthcare administration are available in healthcare management, healthcare informatics, and public health. These programs typically delve deeper into the history and structure of the healthcare system and its repercussions on patient care. Programs that focus on management include courses that discuss the business aspects of healthcare settings, such as healthcare finance, staffing, and marketing.
Online master’s degrees and graduate certificates are great preparation for entering management and administrative roles in care settings. These programs build on undergraduate work and are often aimed at individuals with a year or more of professional experience in healthcare. Courses cover topics like organizational behavior, managed care, personnel administration, and quantitative methods. Graduate programs often include an internship or fieldwork requirement, where students work in a healthcare setting.
Doctorates may focus on specific aspects of healthcare administration, such as healthcare policy, leadership, or business. These programs typically require that applicants have significant experience in roles such as a clinical care professional, administrator, or policy professional. These programs require a lengthy project, thesis, or fieldwork assignment that allows graduates to function at the highest level in their particular healthcare administration area.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Healthcare Administration
Bachelor’s degrees in healthcare administration cover the healthcare policy knowledge and unique business skills required for leadership in healthcare settings.
These four-year online degrees require roughly 120 credit hours of work. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED and will need to provide high school transcripts. Some schools will also require standardized test scores and may have minimum GPA requirements for new students.
The curriculum in the healthcare administration bachelor's program teaches students how to ethically and efficiently manage a hospital, skilled nursing facility, outpatient care center, or another healthcare setting. Core administrative classes discuss healthcare finance, human resources and personnel management, healthcare IT, and marketing for health services. Other classes provide a legal and ethical framework for the sensitive business of managing a healthcare facility.
Along with courses focused on the administrative and business aspects of healthcare, students also study the history of the healthcare system, healthcare policy, and relevant social science topics. Many online healthcare administration bachelor’s programs also require a hands-on practicum experience in a hospital, physicians' office, or another healthcare setting in the student’s local community.
A bachelor’s in healthcare administration is the minimum educational requirement for most entry-level jobs in medical and health services management. About 40 percent of healthcare administrators are employed in hospitals. Doctors' offices, home health services, nursing care facilities, and outpatient care centers are also large employers. Graduates interested in advancing in the healthcare administration field may want to consider getting a master’s degree.
Before applying to online healthcare administration degree programs, prospective students should verify that the schools they are considering are regionally accredited. Accreditation is an important designation granted to schools that meet national educational standards for academic programs, faculty members, current research programs, and other resources. While attending an accredited program isn't a requirement for employment, having an accredited degree on your resume may increase your chances of being hired. In addition, only students attending accredited institutions are eligible for federal financial aid. Transferring credits is also much easier and, in some cases, only possible if you have earned those credits at an accredited school. The US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation each offer a free database of recognized schools, programs, and accrediting agencies.
In addition to regional accreditation, schools can receive programmatic accreditation for specific degree programs they offer. The predominant programmatic accrediting agencies for healthcare administration-related degree programs include the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Degree programs that have received programmatic accreditation from one of these organizations have met industry standards for education that will help ensure students are prepared for careers in the field.
For more information about the benefits of accreditation, please visit our comprehensive accreditation hub.
Licensing is not a requirement for individuals seeking to practice in the field of medical and health services management. The exceptions to this are for nursing facility administrators, who must be licensed in all US states, and assisted-living facility administrators, who must be licensed in some US states. Because licensing requirements for these administrators aren't uniform across all states, it's best to inquire about details from the department of health in the state where you wish to practice.
Graduates of online healthcare administration degrees go on to work in a wide range of industries and workplaces including healthcare clinics, health insurance companies, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Some may also work at public health organizations, universities, or research institutions.
Jobs in the healthcare administration field can take a variety of forms; people may end up working directly with people or working on more macro-level issues in a planning capacity. Some common job titles for graduates of healthcare administration programs include administrator, assistant administrator, clinical manager, and information manager. Some titles may include the terms “medical” or “health services.” With experience and education, healthcare professionals can move into executive positions within hospitals, health management systems, or a related facility.
Frequently Asked Questions About Healthcare Administration Degrees
How much can I expect to earn with an online degree in healthcare administration?
The median annual salary for medical and health services managers with bachelor’s degrees is $100,980 as of May 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Healthcare administration professionals are in high demand, as the number of jobs in the healthcare sector is expected to increase by 18% over the next decade.
What kind of degree do I need for a career in healthcare administration?
According to ONET Online, there are positions in medical and health services management available to professionals with a bachelor's degree in this field. However, some employers may require a master's degree in health administration, health management, nursing, or business administration. Employers are generally looking for professionals who have an education in healthcare management, human resource management, and business administration, as well as sound communication and technology skills.
Where do healthcare administrators work?
More than one-third of healthcare administrators work in hospitals. Other professionals find employment in outpatient care centers, medical practices, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities. A growing trend in the healthcare field is to allow medical and health services managers to work from home for some or all of their work weeks.
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Accessed December 11, 2014. http://www.abhes.org.
- Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. Accessed December 11, 2014. https://www.cahme.org.
- Council on Education for Public Health. Accessed December 11, 2014. http://www.ceph.org.
- Medical and Health Services Managers. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor. Published January 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm.