Healthcare settings, like many organizations, require leadership and management in order to function smoothly. Healthcare managers may have titles like healthcare administrator or healthcare executive. People in positions like these may oversee facilities, coordinate patient care and manage physicians and other healthcare professionals.
If this type of work sounds interesting, there are online healthcare management certificate programs, healthcare administration certificate online programs and healthcare management courses online to help you learn more. These courses and certificate programs make it convenient to study on your own schedule from wherever you are. You may continue to work as you pursue health care management certificate programs or an online hospital management course. Below, learn about the options you have to advance your education.
Online Healthcare Management Certificate Programs
Healthcare management certificate programs are typically postgraduate programs that may take several weeks to several months to complete and provide a certificate upon completion. Certificate programs may be beneficial because they provide graduates with credentials certain employers may be looking for. They also aim to teach students skills that could help them advance their careers.
Certificates may be available in a wide variety of healthcare management subjects, including healthcare corporate compliance, health systems leadership management and health care quality and safety. The classes may be taught by the same professors as those who teach in a master’s program. Some certificates may require hands-on projects and exams in order to complete the program and earn the certificate.
What Is a Healthcare Management Course?
A healthcare management course is typically shorter than a full certificate program. For example, while a course would focus on one particular subject, master’s in healthcare administration (MHA) programs and certificate programs may contain multiple courses.
The other main difference between a course and a certificate or degree program is that upon completion, the course provider may not offer any credentials. A course may teach students new skills related to healthcare management, but it may not provide a certificate or degree of completion.
Healthcare management courses online might give students the ability to learn new skills and could be helpful when deciding if furthering their education with a certificate program or degree program is worth it.
Should I Consider a Healthcare Management Certificate Program?
A healthcare management certificate program may benefit different types of professionals. Current healthcare professionals, such as nurses or physicians, who are interested in leading teams or moving into administration may benefit from learning skills like healthcare leadership, administration and compliance in a certificate program. Healthcare management certificate programs may cover skills such as:
- Healthcare finance
- Quality assessment
- Strategic management
- Health policy analysis
Managers and leaders in other industries who are interested in working in healthcare systems may also benefit. Healthcare is a highly regulated industry, so leaders and managers in healthcare administration may benefit from understanding healthcare laws and regulations that affect their teams.
Pursuing a healthcare certificate program may help a person learn healthcare-specific skills and knowledge. The need for these professionals is growing: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the job outlook for medical and health services will grow 32% between 2019 and 2029, which is much faster than average. The 2019 median pay for these positions was $100,980 per year.
What Can You Do with a Healthcare Management Certificate?
Healthcare management certificates may help prepare graduates for roles such as:
- Medical and health services manager
- Medical director
- Department chief
- Quality officer
- Hospital administrator
- Medical records manager
- Medical compliance officer
A healthcare management certificate holder may also pursue a role as a healthcare management analyst or healthcare management consultant. These individuals help healthcare organizations improve their efficiency. Sometimes they work in-house for the healthcare organization they’re analyzing. They may also work with various healthcare organizations as an independent contractor.
Healthcare management certificate programs may also benefit professionals who often work with healthcare organizations, such as lawyers, or professionals who want to work more with healthcare clients. Learning more about the current laws and regulations in the healthcare industry through a certificate program like healthcare compliance may help certain professionals.
As you consider career growth opportunities, use this FAQ as a guide to whether you should pursue a healthcare management certificate program or course.
Is a certificate in healthcare management worth it?
That depends on your career goals. If the jobs you’re interested in mention certain skills you’re lacking, a healthcare management certificate program may help you obtain those skills. You can feature a healthcare management certificate on a resume and LinkedIn profile, which may be beneficial if employers or recruiters are searching for certification. If you don’t currently work in healthcare but you’re interested in moving into the industry, a healthcare management certificate may also help.
Look for programs that are accredited by an organization like the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. Some employers may prefer certification from an accredited institution, since accreditation indicates an institution has met rigorous educational standards.
What is the difference between a healthcare management degree vs. certificate?
A healthcare management degree may take longer to complete and covers more topics than a certificate program would. A certificate program may take several weeks to several months to complete, while a degree may take two to four years to complete. A certificate program will likely focus on specific subjects, while a degree program may include a wider variety of courses and may give students the ability to specialize in a certain area as well.
What is the difference between healthcare management vs. healthcare administration?
Healthcare management and healthcare administration positions are both leadership positions in a healthcare organization, but there are some differences. Healthcare managers tend to focus on the needs of an entire healthcare facility or system, creating and enforcing policies and procedures for the departments they manage. They may also manage a group of physicians or healthcare providers. Healthcare administrators focus more on daily operations, budgets and finances, admissions, maintenance and staffing.
How long does it take to begin your career in healthcare management?
Like most careers, that depends on your experience and education in healthcare and management. Some entry-level healthcare management roles include medical office administrator, medical executive assistant and healthcare human resources manager.
Research the position you’re interested in to see the requirements. If you already work in healthcare or management, getting a healthcare management certificate or taking a healthcare management course may help you grow your career.
Information on this page was updated in October 2020.