Health Care Certificates and Degrees

The Healthcare Industry

The United States of America possesses the world's largest medical and healthcare industries, followed only by Switzerland and Germany. The medical industry in the US has in excess of 750,000 physicians and 5,200 hospitals. Approximately 3.8 million inpatient visits and 20 million out-patient visits occur on a daily basis in the country. Also, the United States of America has nearly one in every 11 residents employed in the health care business -- one of the largest workforces.

The total health care expenditures across the world were $4.5 trillion in 2008, of which the US alone accounts for $ 2.2 trillion. [Source:]

The health-care system in the United States is owned by private organizations in the form of nonprofit and for-profit hospitals, although cities, counties, states and the federal government also own government facilities.

Hospitals provide inpatient care primarily but also provide specialty clinics and emergency room care for out-patients. Hospice services for the terminally ill are available. Pre-natal, family planning and dysplasia clinics are obstetric and gynecologic services provided by the Government and funded by them.

The research and development of medical products such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices and medical research has propelled the United States as a leader on innovation, with substantial amounts being spent on both.

High Demand for Workers

The US Census Bureau population projections for 2000 and 2020 show that the number of people aged 65 and older will grow by over 50 percent, with the highest increase coming for the age group of 85 and over -- growing from 4.2 million in 2000 to 7 million in 2020.

The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis predicts that the aging of the population and the increase in size of the aging population will affect the health workforce profoundly. The total amount of health care services will increase as will the type of services mix. The demand for physicians and registered nurses will increase dramatically -- from 2.8 in 2000 to 3.1 in 2020 for the former and from 7 to 7.5 per thousand in the same period for the latter. [Source:]



The Unites States Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that the requirement for graduates who are well trained and have degrees in health care will grow up to 16% between 2006 and 2016. This was borne out by the projections of 2.8 million new jobs in health care for 2008. Jobs will be available to managers or companies in the healthcare support services sector as well. [Source:]

Health Care Degrees and Certificates

Experience in healthcare and a degree in health care administration can mean a career boost for health care professionals. Health care administrators specialize in a particular area, such as nursing, information technology, or laboratory assisting, and move up to leadership roles through continuing education. For those who want to begin their education early in their career, online programs at the associate degree level are available. Outlined further is The Advatages of Obtaining a Degree in this article.

Higher up, managers and administrators would be required to add on to their experience with a bachelor's, master's, MBA, or doctoral degree to meet the requirements for high-paying careers at hospitals, managed care facilities, insurance companies, or research facilities.

Nursing administrators might start off as floor nurses and then acquire a bachelor's degree and graduate degree in nursing administration or business to move ahead to management.

Online and campus degrees are available in the following fields of healthcare:
  1. Alternative medicine
  2. Counseling
  3. Assisting
  4. Dental
  5. Fitness
  6. Gerontology
  7. Health Technology
  8. Healthcare Administration
  9. Laboratory
  10. Massage Therapy
  11. Nursing
  12. Pharmaceutical
  13. Rehabilitation and Therapy
  14. Veterinary
A sample set of degrees available in the healthcare field are:

  • AA in Health Care Administration
  • BS in Health Administration
  • BS in Health Administration/Long Term Care
  • Doctor of Health Administration
  • Master of Health in Administration/Education
  • Master of Health in Administration/Gerontology
  • Master of Health in Administration/Health Care Education
  • MS in Nursing/Master of Health Administration
  • MS in Nursing/MBA/ Health Care Management
  • Master of Healthcare Administration (M.H.A.)
  • Ph.D. in Health Services
  • Associate's (AABA) - Healthcare Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Health Care Management
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Health Care Management
  • BS in Long Term Care Administration

Average Salary Levels

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salaries for some occupations in the healthcare industry are:




Average Annual Salary in $







































Registered nurses






Physical therapists






Medical and clinical laboratory technologists






Dental hygienists






Medical records and health information technicians






Medical equipment preparers








More information is available at:

Getting a Degree

Online degree programs typically consist of active, short-term courses to offer hands-on training at health care agencies or college training facilities with self-paced distance learning. Typical class work consists of studies in strategic planning, health care law, health information systems, human resource management or accounting and finance. Students in graduate degree programs have to complete research projects and business deliverables related to the career path chosen. All states call for nursing care facility administrators to pass a licensing exam and pass a bachelor's degree.

Some of the universities, colleges and trade schools offering campus and online degrees in healthcare are: AIU Online, Kaplan University, Walden University, CTU Online, Baker College Online, South University, and Ellis University. [Source:]

Additional Resources:

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