Online Masters Programs in Health Services Administration

ASO Staff Writers
Updated July 12, 2023
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The healthcare field is a vast sector encompassing multiple disciplines, and it continues to grow with every technological advancement and medical breakthrough. Health service providers include administrative support professionals like medical transcriptionists, clinical support workers like phlebotomists, and physician assistants. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an overall 18% growth rate for the healthcare industry, with 2.4 million new job openings from 2016-2026.

In this positive job climate, many professionals choose to maximize their employment opportunities by earning a health services administration online master’s degree. Read on to learn how an online master’s degree can expand your career options and salary potential.

What to Know About Online Master’s in Health Services Administration Coursework

Similar to on-campus learners, students pursuing a master’s in health services administration online typically complete 32-50 credits in around two academic years. Accredited colleges and universities make no distinction between their onsite and online programs, with the latter maintaining the same academic rigor and degree requirements as the former.

Many master’s in human services administration curricula include a required ethics course. These classes introduce health services administrators to legal and ethical issues in the healthcare industry. Some core curricula also include courses in financial management to equip health service administrators with budgeting strategies and strong financial decision-making skills.

Additionally, some online master’s programs include an internship or applied learning component. Usually arranged at an approved healthcare facility near the student’s home, these opportunities allow candidates to develop and strengthen their leadership abilities and communication skills through practical experience in real-world settings.

What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?

Most distance learners must develop a practice-oriented capstone project or thesis before earning their health services administration online master’s degrees. Typically, capstone projects require candidates to address an existing health services concern or common workplace challenge. Students who elect to write a thesis use scholarly research to examine a particular topic within human service administration. Some master’s programs also expect students to pass a comprehensive exam or complete an internship prior to graduation.

How Can I Choose a Quality Online Master’s in Health Services Administration Program?

It is important to verify any potential school’s accreditation status before you select a master’s in human service administration online program. Institutional accreditation ensures that a school meets high academic and ethical standards, while programmatic accreditation reviews individual degree offerings. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversee accrediting bodies in the U.S.

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) is the only accrediting body in the U.S. and Canada to approve graduate-level healthcare management programs. CAHME evaluates programmatic criteria like curriculum, institutional support, research activity, and faculty development opportunities. Completing a CAHME-accredited program assures future employers that you are a competent, knowledgeable health services administrator.

Career Opportunities With a Master’s in Health Services Administration Degree

A master’s in health services administration can open up a variety of rewarding career paths. While it is possible to secure some of the following jobs with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree means increased responsibilities and higher salaries. Graduate students who pursue a specialization like finance or research may also enjoy unique employment opportunities related to their academic focus areas.

Career Profiles

Medical and Health Services Managers

Large-scale healthcare providers usually retain several medical and health services managers, with each one in charge of a particular department or clinical service area. In smaller healthcare operations, a single health services manager is often charged with maintaining an entire facility. A medical and health services administrator’s duties typically include preparing budgets and monitoring spending, improving healthcare service quality and delivery, and developing, implementing, and evaluating policies and programs.

  • Median Salary: $99,730 per year
  • Currently Employed: 352,200
  • Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +20%

Social and Community Service Manager

Many social and community service managers with a master’s in health services administration assume executive responsibilities. They set policies, manage stakeholder expectations, and spearhead fundraising activities. These managers must evaluate programs and services to ensure that each is effective and appropriate. Often, they represent their organizations before government, national, or international agencies.

  • Median Salary: $65,320 per year
  • Currently Employed: 147,300
  • Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +18%

Operations Research Analyst

Operation research analysts who work in healthcare settings monitor variables associated with healthcare services quality, including costs and funding sources, personnel and professional staffing, and technology use. Using staff reports and data culled from various sources, operations research analysts help healthcare facilities remain profitable without compromising the quality of their services.

  • Median Salary: $83,390 per year
  • Currently Employed: 114,000
  • Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +27%

Human Resources Manager

Health services administrators often work in large healthcare facilities, ensuring that professional and support staff meet patient needs and deliver quality services. They perform employee and departmental evaluations and provide opportunities for clinical and support staff to maintain and upgrade their skills.

  • Median Salary: $113,300 per year
  • Currently Employed: 136,100
  • Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +9%

Financial Manager

Health services administrators with a strong accounting or finance background often work as financial managers for healthcare organizations. These professionals craft policies and develop strategies that support long-term financial viability for their organizations. They must analyze healthcare trends to anticipate challenges and create timely and appropriate financial plans.

  • Median Salary: $127,990 per year
  • Currently Employed: 580,400
  • Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +19%

What’s the Expected Job Growth for Health Services Administration Careers?

The rapidly growing healthcare industry drives demand for trained health services administrators, adding roughly 2.4 million jobs from 2016-2026. Overall, healthcare occupations are projected to see an 18% job growth rate, with a slightly higher job growth rate of 20% for medical and health services positions. Individuals with a master’s degree, particularly those interested in leadership positions in healthcare, have a positive employment outlook.

Professional Organizations for Careers in Health Services Administration

Professional organizations offer a wealth of resources for students and professionals. Along with networking events like conferences and seminars, these organizations sponsor continuing education opportunities, mentoring programs, and scholarships. Some feature members-only job boards and career development services for recent graduates.

How to Pay for a Master’s in Health Services Administration Degree

While the cost of higher education can be daunting, there are many funding opportunities available to students pursuing a master’s degree in health services administration. Some companies offer tuition assistance programs, which cover employees’ work-related education expenses. Additionally, many private companies and professional organizations sponsor scholarships and grants like the opportunities below. Unlike loans, scholarships do not have to be repaid, making them an ideal funding source.

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