Healthcare management, like most careers in health, is one of the fastest growing sectors in employment. Whole most are somewhat familiar with the roles of doctors and nurses, management works behind the scenes to keep a hospital, clinic, or assisted living facility running smoothly. Healthcare management degrees combine healthcare-specific skills with a solid business foundation in finance, accounting, communications, resource management, and regulations to provide a well-rounded knowledge base on which to build your administrative career.
If you’re looking for a career field which allows you to help others while working in an office environment, a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management may be the perfect path to your dream job. Although your degree won’t qualify you for many positions in upper management, it is an excellent foundation on which to build your career and gain valuable experience, whether you decide to continue your education or not.
- The starting salary is typically excellent, especially compared with other fields and lesser degrees.
- There is a critical employment need for healthcare fields, so you should easily find a position after graduation.
- Your options to advance are plentiful as you gain experience, and you can easily switch to a different healthcare management position.
- Many programs offer online degrees, so you can more easily merge your studies with your current life situation.
- Many healthcare employers offer paid tuition or tuition forgiveness if you choose to work while earning your degree.
- Most schools require an internship as part of your studies, which will give you valuable experience for your resume and possibly a permanent position after graduation.
- As with many management positions, a master’s degree is the norm employers look for when hiring. This means you may be passed over for employment or advancement if there is a candidate with a higher degree.
- Earning a bachelor’s degree can be expensive and hard to achieve on a limited income.
- Many are discouraged by the time involved in earning a degree, especially if they’re already in the workforce.
- Many professional special certifications require you to hold a master’s degree as part of earning the certification.
- Some people do not learn well online yet find it hard to meet the schedule of face-to-face classes.
Certificate vs. Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management
When learning about healthcare management, it’s important to understand the difference between a certificate program and certification. A certificate program is typically a gateway to employment within the field in an entry-level position, while a certification shows you have completed specialty training and work hours in a specific area. Although many healthcare management certifications have educational requirements, some allow work experience to take the place of a degree.
It’s important to note that, while some certifications don’t require a degree, the same does not hold true for employers. The majority of healthcare facilities require at least a bachelor’s degree for management positions, with a master’s preferred above a bachelor’s.
What Healthcare Management Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?
When looking at various programs, you may become confused by the degree titles. Basically, there are two types of bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Arts (BA). In addition, the program title may use other terms instead of “management”, such as “administration”. While the title terms may be interchangeable and determined by a look at the required curriculum, the degrees have a more subtle difference.
A Bachelor of Science degree usually has more focus on the technical aspects of the field and may be preferable if you’re looking at specific areas such as medical records or information technology. You can expect more profession-specific coursework in the core subjects and typically a more immediate entry into the field.
A Bachelor of Arts degree provides a more well-rounded education that includes coursework in social sciences and humanities and may be preferable if you’re planning on entering field such as public health or healthcare policy. Degree holders will have more training in critical thinking skills as well as a more well-rounded education.
Admission Requirements to Enter a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management Degree Program
While specific admission requirements will vary from school to school, in general you can expect to be required to hold a high school diploma or GED as well as a GPA of 2.5 to 3.0. Most schools require high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, your SAT or ACT scores, and a fee with your completed application by the application deadline date. In general, the more elite the school you apply to, the higher the admission requirements will be; you may also need to submit a separate application to the healthcare management program and meet specific prerequisite requirements. You can find the exact requirements for each college on the admissions page of their website.
How long does it take to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Management?
If you attend school full-time and take the recommended course load you can expect to graduate in four years. That being said, a bachelor’s degree requires 120 credits, so if you attend part time it may take you considerably longer. Conversely, if you opt to test out of subjects you are already fluent in combined with streamlined 8-week courses, you might finish the requirements in two or three years of diligent work. The key to success is to define what will work best with your personal lifestyle and choose the option which best meets your needs and be adaptable to future changes if needed.
Potential Careers in Healthcare Management with a Bachelor’s Degree
- Nursing home administrator:
This administrator oversees all internal operations of a nursing home facility, including both administrative and clinical aspects. They may oversee staff management, patient care, budget issues, and marketing and may serve the same position at licensed residential care and assisted living facilities. Nursing home administrators are also referred to as long-term care administrators. Their median salary is around $91,800 per year.
- Hospital administrator:
In a hospital setting, the administrator oversees the medical facility processes to make sure the operations of the business run smoothly. They oversee staff, provide employee training, facilitate the budget, and create growth plans for future facility expansion and development. They are also charged with ensuring compliance with all local and federal laws. Their median salary is around $87,500 per year.
- Health services manager:
The health services manager works in a medical business or healthcare facility to plan and implement various services and programs. They advise on reimbursement policies, manage databases and patient information, compile business strategies, and coordinate the day-to-day operations of the business including recruitment, hiring, and training of new personnel. Their median salary is around $64,500 per year.
- Medical Practice Manager:
A medical practice manager manages the staff, budget, and other daily operations within a medical practice. They may oversee payroll, records, and patient scheduling, and ensure the billing and insurance interfaces are functioning and used properly by staff. They may also implement procedures and programs to make the facility run more smoothly. Their median salary is around $61,200 per year.
- Healthcare consultant:
A healthcare consultant may be charged with a wide variety of tasks, depending on the individual client. These include researching and identifying problems and possible solutions within the facility, interviewing employees, and conducting meetings with upper management to discuss findings and solutions. Healthcare consultants are typically hired by larger or private healthcare organizations via contract rather than directly although some of the larger facilities have full-time consultants. Their median salary is around $78,300 per year.
Options to Advance
Your options to advance once you’ve earned your undergraduate degree are practically endless, but you should plan to continue your education once you enter your field of choice. Most larger facilities prefer to hire those who hold or are working towards their masters’ or doctorate degree; in addition, you should also familiarize yourself with specific certifications that are pertinent to your career of choice. For example, you can earn your master’s degree with a specialization focused on your area of expertise such as marketing, finance, information systems, patient care services, human resources, staff relations, or nursing administration. Certifications showcase your expertise and competence in a specific skill set, such as Certified Health Care Compliance, Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management, and Certified Healthcare Financial Professional.
With a higher degree, experience, and certifications, you may qualify for top positions in the healthcare industry such as Hospital Chief Financial Officer (CFO), which has a median salary of $136,205 and a top salary of $224,000 plus bonuses.
Colleges That Offer Traditional Bachelor’s Degrees in Healthcare Management
The University of New Hampshire
UNH has been a well-regarded research school since 1866. With 11 schools and colleges, they offer over 200 degree programs. The health management program consists of 128 credit hours as well as a 400 hour internship, making it one of the best programs available in New England.
- BS in Health Management and Policy
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota offers a specialized program with an emphasis on business management. Situated on the western coast of Lake Superior, UM-Duluth is one of the major campuses of the state university system.
- Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA) with a specialization in Health Care Management
California State University
Cal State in Chico is ranked as one of the best universities in the west and offers both lower class sizes and lower tuition rates than most universities. With over 300 programs, the campus is diverse and focuses on sustainability initiatives throughout the campus.
- BS in Health Care Administration
Texas State University
San Marcos, Texas
The largest campus in the Texas State University system, TSU has a signature Healthcare Management program which includes passing the Healthcare Administrator exam before graduation. Two practicum internships are optional at one of the best value colleges in the country.
- Bachelor of Health Administration
Central Michigan University
Mt Pleasant, MI
The program at CMU includes 54 credit hours in core health and business courses as well as electives. One of the largest institutions in the country, CMU is also a public research company, which complements the health administration degree nicely.
- BS in Healthcare Administration
Colleges That Offer Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Healthcare Management
Southern New Hampshire University
SNHU offers a health management concentration to their online degree program, allowing graduates the best match of patient care and technology. Students also take coursework in healthcare IT infrastructure and healthcare data management for a full knowledge base of health administration.
- BS in Healthcare Administration
Colorado State University-Global Campus
CSU-Global has a complete online degree program that covers all aspects of healthcare administration and offers 18 specializations so that each student can customize their degree area of concentration in the areas that best match their personal goals and interests.
- BS in Healthcare Administration and Management
Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global strives to personalize their online degree programs to each student, providing easy access to a world-class higher education. Tailored to working adults, the Purdue program is one of the most popular because of the range of scheduling offered.
- Bachelor in Health Information Management
DeVry offers a robust program with a specialization in Healthcare Management, making it one of the most well-rounded programs available online. Easily adaptable to both full-time and part-time students, they have a well-organized online support network to allow more interaction between instructor and student.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon adds leadership and professional coursework to its online program to help working students achieve leadership growth while earning their management degree. The curriculum has a higher ratio of core classes to allow graduates to easily segue into their new management roles.
- Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
- Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
- Bachelor of Science in Public Health
Healthcare Degree & Career Paths