Is An Associate’s Degree In Healthcare Worth It?

The demands for higher and higher levels of education just keeps increasing. In general, a bachelor’s degree earns about as much respect at an interview as an associate’s degree used to. So what degree do you need to meet entry level requirements in the field of health care management? Is an associate’s degree in health care management even worth getting anymore?

You hear all of the time that demands in health care are still rising, making it a very stable job market. If you enjoy paperwork and managing others, as well as being part of an industry that provides a very meaningful service to the public, you may just be an excellent candidate for working in health care management.

What Does A Health Care Manager Do?

Health care managers have many other titles that describe what they do including medical manager, health service manager, health care executive and health care administrator. Whatever the name, the tasks are all very similar. These are the people who do a lot of the behind the scenes work. They may manage an entire hospital or other large facility or they may only manage a specialized department or clinical area of a facility. Doctor’s offices and other medical practices where a group of physicians work together, such as a birth center where multiple midwives practice together, are other places that healthcare managers work their magic. They help to set schedules, authorize supply orders, hire and train staff, create budgets, negotiate insurance claims and so many other things. In general, they pick up a lot of loose strings.

What Personal Skills Does A Healthcare Manager Need?

A healthcare manager needs to be detailed and able to multi-task while keeping a clear head. He needs great people skills as it will be his job to hire and fire employees. A firm but flexible personality will also be a great help while dealing with insurance companies, clients, and supervisors.

Where In Healthcare Are Associate’s Degrees Still Viable?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,  the job outlook for nurses is growing and will continue to grow from 2010-2020 by 26%. On the job training is available and only clinical experience is required for hiring after attaining an associate degree. At last count, the number of available associate degree nursing jobs was 2,737,400. The median pay for this job is about thirty-one dollars per hour.

Like associate degree nurses, the educational requirement to be hired as a radiation therapist, dental hygienist, nuclear medicine technologist, or medical sonographer is only an associate’s degree.

Job Outlook, Pay and Requirements For Healthcare Management Positions

Healthcare managers actually need more education for an entry-level position than all of the jobs listed above. While those jobs need only an associate degree, healthcare managers need to possess a bachelor’s degree just to get hired. The demand for healthcare managers is still high, looking to be 22% between 2010 and 2020.

Don’t turn your nose up at healthcare management just because of the higher education requirement. The median pay for this position is about $85,000.00! That annual income will pay back those student loans quite handily.