Salary and Job Info for a Bachelor of Health Administration Degree
Bachelor of Science in Health Administration programs prepare students for entry-level careers in health administration. Health administrators help oversee the business, financial and clerical aspects of healthcare-providing businesses. State licenses may be required of health administrators, and certifications can be helpful for career advancement.
Health administrators can be all-purpose professionals, managing all business aspects of a healthcare business, from information management to payroll. In some cases, they opt to specialize in a specific medical administrative area like records management. These workers are also known as medical and health services managers.
Healthcare administrators are not involved with the diagnosis or treatment of injuries and illnesses. The basic tasks in this field usually focus on administrative duties like recordkeeping and client relations. Some administrators are responsible for assisting in important company business decisions. In a smaller healthcare facility, one healthcare administrator may handle all business and administrative duties like answering phones and scheduling appointments. Larger hospitals may hire multiple administrators with different areas of responsibility.
Job duties can vary if the health administrator specializes in a particular area. For instance, a health administrator who works with patient records is referred to as a health information manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), technology for this field is changing rapidly, so medical and health services managers need to remain knowledgeable about industry operations, regulations and technology (www.bls.gov).
Salaries for health administration professionals can vary based on their specific function. For example, a 2010 salary survey by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) reported the salaries for health information professionals. According to this study, the average annual salary for directors with bachelor's degrees in this field was $84,790 (www.ahima.org). This income was higher than the $65,513 earned by associate degree holders in the same career.
According to data collected by Ferris State University (www.ferris.edu), healthcare administrators with a bachelor's degree make median salaries of about $55,000-$77,000, depending on the size of their employer's practice. This data is reported for the field as a whole, rather than for areas of specialty like information or clinical management.
The BLS projects a 22% growth for medical and health services managers from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). This is larger than the expected change for other careers, and job opportunities for qualified individuals should be good. Growth for this career is anticipated because of an increasing demand for healthcare, according to the BLS.
Licensure and Certification
Depending on the specific position and job duties, state licensure may be required for health administrators. For example, the BLS reports that nursing care facility administrators need a state license in order to work. The licensure requirements for this position include graduating from a bachelor's degree program and a state-approved training program, fulfilling continuing education requirements and passing an exam.
Certification is not necessarily required for this career, but the BLS reports that earning certification can help with employment opportunities. One example of a possible certification for this field is the Registered Health Information Administrator certification offered by the AHIMA (www.ahima.org).
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