Health Services Administration Career Opportunities

What Can You Do with an Online Health Services Administration Degree? 

Politically, personally, and culturally, health care is one of the most important topics in American life today. As the country moved into 2018, an Associated Press-NORC poll found nearly half of all Americans considered health care to be the most important issue facing the country — outpacing taxes, immigration, and climate change.

If you’re hoping to play a role in this ever-changing, always complex field, an online degree in Health Services Administration is a great place to start.

Promising growth in employment opportunities

Thanks in large part to the baby boomer population reaching retirement age in record numbers, the demand for health care services will continue to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of medical and health services managers will grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

As more physicians, nurses, and other health care workers are trained to meet the ongoing need and more medical procedures are performed in more health care facilities, the demand for skilled managers will continue to grow.

Common duties of health services administrator

Health care professionals’ day-to-day tasks involve directing, supervising, and planning the delivery of medical treatment to patients. Health care administrators use their skills to organize the human resources available and oversee a facility’s operational policies.

Depending on the size of the facility, health care administrators may manage all of the operations, as in the case of a private physician’s office, or oversee a specific department in a large hospital or clinic.

Some of the most common duties include:

  • Improving efficiency and quality in delivering health care services.
  • Developing departmental goals and objectives.
  • Organizing and developing health care policies.
  • Recruiting, training, and supervising staff members.
  • Creating work schedules.
  • Staying abreast of regulations to maintain organization compliance.
  • Managing the finances of the facility, such as patient fees and billing.
  • Preparing and monitoring budgets and spending. Maintaining records of the facility’s services.
  • Representing the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards.
  • Communicating with members of the medical staff and department heads.

Best jobs for health services administrators

An online B.S. in Health Services Administration prepares you to step into entry- and mid-level administrative and operational positions. It also prepares you for a master's degree program, which is often necessary if you aspire to move up to upper-level position. The BLS notes: “Candidates with a master’s degree in health administration or a related field, as well as knowledge of healthcare IT systems, will likely have the best (job) prospects.”

Some possible career paths include:

Medical office manager in a private physician's practice: Many solo practitioners need a hands-on medical office manager to oversee clerical employees and billing issues. In most cases, a B.S. will prepare you for that role and its administrative responsibilities.

Medical group practice management: As medical technologies advance, services previously administered in hospitals will become in-office procedures. As medical group practices become larger and more complex, the need for qualified administrators will grow.

Hospital administration: Larger healthcare facilities often have many assistant administrators that oversee clinical departments, including surgery and nursing. These top-level executives report directly to a governing board and focus on broader issues, such as department coordination, facilities planning, and community relations, while overseeing a team of managers who handle daily operations.

Nursing home administration: A master’s degree and certification is required for this position, which involves managing staff, admissions, finances, care of the facility, and the care of nursing homes’ residents.

Positions with insurance companies: A strong background in medical and business practices make health services administrators good candidates for health- and injury-related insurance positions. They may work as underwriters, conduct risk analysis, or handle claims management.

Other career options include administration and management positions in:

  • Human resources
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Medical manufacturing firms
  • Family services and child welfare
  • Mental health facilities
  • Public relations
  • Education

Learn more about this and other online bachelor's degrees offered by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

About this Author
Hope has worked with online students for more than five years, telling their stories and sharing tips for succeeding as an online student.

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