What is the Necessary Education for a Healthcare Administrator?

Pursuing an education for a healthcare administrator position can be a way to get started in a career field that’s in high demand. The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Qualified candidates to assist in the operations of a number of different healthcare facilities is also increasing in demand around the country. From small, rural clinics to large, urban hospitals, healthcare administrators are responsible for a number of outcomes and tasks.

Undergraduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration

The education requirement for a healthcare administrator position varies depending on the employer. However, the minimum requirement for any position in this field is likely to be a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. In a bachelor’s degree program, students get the general education and advanced course knowledge needed to handle a number of administrative operations in the healthcare field.

In a bachelor’s degree program for healthcare administration, students will take a number of different courses after completing the general education requirements. Common courses in these undergraduate education for a healthcare administrator include:

  • health information systems
  • healthcare supervisory practices
  • healthcare law
  • healthcare administration
  • healthcare quality management

In addition, undergraduate students often do an internship where they are able to gain practical experience in the healthcare administration field.

Graduate Degree Programs in Healthcare Administration

A bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement for positions in healthcare administration. Most positions, particularly those for large hospitals and other large medical facilities, will require a minimum of a master’s degree education for a healthcare administrator position.

In addition to advanced courses similar to those at the undergraduate level, graduate students will also often take courses in:

  • population health
  • measuring performance in healthcare environments
  • strategic management
  • facility design
  • healthcare leadership

Other Requirements for Healthcare Administration Positions

The undergraduate and graduate programs for education of a healthcare administrator are typically required of all candidates. Some positions might also require additional education for a candidate to be considered for a position, however. In addition to these degrees, for instance, some positions might require for candidates to have medical knowledge and a degree in a specific medical field, such as nursing. Other positions may require additional advanced degrees in financial or information systems fields, such as a master’s degree in accounting or information technology.

The specific education requirements often depend on what position a potential candidate is interested in. Career possibilities in the field of healthcare management include:

  • behavioral health director
  • admissions manager
  • director of business development
  • facilities manager
  • chief nursing officer
  • director of information services
  • chief financial officer
  • chief executive officer

For additional information, please visit the Health Care Administrators Association at www.hcaa.org/.

There’s an increase in demand for quality healthcare. The number of qualified professionals to lead healthcare organizations toward positive outcomes in operations and patient safety are also on the rise. For entry into this field, the first step is often choosing the right education for a healthcare administrator position.

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