Health Services Administration - How to Become a Health Services Adminstrator

Health Services Administration

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Health Services Administration Overview


Health services administration professionals work to build programs that improve health conditions for families, communities, and individuals both inside the U.S. and internationally. America is working vigorously to build up its public health sector, offering many career opportunities to health services administrators in the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the federal government.

Public health professionals prevent disease and promote health in various ways, including working out healthy lifestyles, researching and implementing programs, and educating the public. They are in high demand and the job has excellent career opportunities.

The health services administration field focuses on bringing science, business, and policy together to produce excellent outcomes in managing public health resources, both human and economic. Database management, creating medical policies, and directing health services are some of the possible career paths available. A health services administration degree opens the door to handling the financial, economic, marketing, policy analysis, planning, and organization that public health care urgently needs.




Health services administration is a broad career path that covers many areas of expertise, so their responsibilities vary, including:

  • Improving health services administration efficiency and delivery quality

  • Staying informed on current laws and regulations regarding health services

  • Supervising teams of assistant health services administrators

  • Managing the facilities financing

  • Creating and managing shift scheduling

  • Representing the organization at meetings and board discussions

  • Managing records of services

  • Communicating with a broad array of medical staff and department administrators





Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.


Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 


Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.


Working Conditions


Health service administrators usually take leadership positions in the organizations they work for, whether those are local, state, national, or international, and whether they are private or governmental. Personnel specializing in health service administration are in very high demand with the continued rise of managed care. 



How to Become a Health Services Administrator:


1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Adminisration (4 Years)


The first step to becoming a health services administrator is to complete a 4-year bachelor's degree program. These may be offered on-campus or online, and primarily cover the following areas of expertise:

  • Healthcare management
  • Health outcomes
  • Quality assurance
  • Finance and legal issues
  • Disaster planning
  • Information systems


The preparation timeline below provides an example healthcare administration curriculum:


Grade Level Example Courses

Freshman Year


  • Introduction to Health Services Systems
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Introduction to Microcomputers
  • Accounting
  • Statistics
  • Communications
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives

Sophomore Year

  • Leadership & Management for Healthcare
  • Ethics & Conflict Resolution
  • Quality & Evidence-Based Healthcare 
  • Legal Aspects of Healthcare
  • Technical Writing
  • Cultural Competency
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives

Junior Year


  • Program Planning & Evaluation
  • Information Technology for Healthcare
  • Financial Management
  • Global Healthcare Systems
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Resource Management
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives

Senior Year

  • Health Management Systems Engineering
  • Global Healthcare Policy
  • Global Issues in Healthcare
  • Internship
  • Remaining Requirements
  • Remaining Electives


Accredited Degree Programs - CEPH

ASPPH Public Health Programs


2. Take the Graduate Requisite Exam (GRE)


Most graduate programs revolving around forensic science require the GRE for admittance. It's a 3 hour and 45 minute, standardized, multiple choice exam that covers analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning.


The GRE is broken down into six primary sections:


1 Analytical Writing Section
  • 2 writing assignments
  • 60 minutes
  • Tests student's abilities to assess arguments and communicate ideas
2 Quantitative Reasoning Sections
  • ~20 multiple-choice questions
  • 35 minutes per section
  • Tests student's abilities to solve mathematical problems and interpret data

2 Verbal Reasoning Sections

  • ~20 questions per section
  • 30 minutes per section
  • Tests the ability to understand and analyze written material
1 Unscored Section
  • A duplicate of one of the above sections


You can find study materials, GRE registration, and your test scores on the GRE website.


3. Earn a Master's Degree in Healthcare Services Administration (2 Years) 


While a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for entry into the field, those that want to advance further into the field will want to complete a master's degree. Master of Health Services Administration (M.H.S.A.) programs are modeled around business administration programs and focus primarily on the following areas of study:

  • Organizational management
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Policy
  • Accounting
  • Health services delivery


The following preparation timeline provides an example health services administration curriculum:


Year Example Courses

Year I


  • Health Services Systems
  • Healthcare Management Economics I
  • Professional Development
  • Healthcare Accounting
  • Health Policy
  • Organizational Management
  • Electives

Year II

  • Healthcare Management Economics II
  • Biostatistics
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Capstone
  • Electives


Accredited Degree Programs - CEPH

ASPPH Public Health Programs



Salary Outlook