Health Care Administration Associate Degree
A career in healthcare administration will help you oversee the efficient operation of a medical facility. An associate's degree program can start you on your way. Learn what associate's degree programs are available, what classes may be included, what your online options are and what jobs you might be able to get. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Kinds of Associate's Degree Programs Are Available in Healthcare Administration?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are over 80 schools that offer associate's degree programs in healthcare administration and management (www.nces.ed.gov). You can earn an Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Occupational Studies or Associate of Arts in healthcare administration or medical office administration. Programs can consist of 50-108 credits and usually take 18-24 months to complete.
What Classes Will I Take?
During a healthcare administration associate's degree program, you'll learn about medical office procedures and current healthcare issues. Typical courses that you can take include medical billing and coding, medical terminology, psychology, healthcare accounting and healthcare law. You also might develop keyboarding and database management skills. Most programs include an externship, which you can complete at an approved healthcare facility.
How Might I Learn Online?
You may be able to complete a healthcare administration program online. Technical requirements normally include a computer with high-speed Internet access and a DVD-ROM drive. You may need a microphone, headset and additional hardware plug-ins. If your online program contains an externship, you might need to mix online courses with in-person meetings. You also might need to take your final exams on campus.
What Are Some Common Career Possibilities?
With your associate's degree in healthcare administration, you might work as a medical secretary, executive administrative assistant, medical transcriptionist or medical office manager. Your job responsibilities and wages can vary, depending on the type and size of medical practice where you work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that medical secretaries earned a median yearly salary $30,530 as of May 2010, while executive administrative assistants made a median salary of $43,520 per year (www.bls.gov). Medical transcriptionists received an annual median income of $32,900 during this same time.
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