In Colorado, the health services administration and management field is set to experience an impressive job growth rate of 32.8 percent during the ten-year projection period from 2018 to 2028. In a job market that creates plenty of new opportunities in lower-to-mid-level management, the opportunities for career advancement for those interested in pursuing executive level positions are also strong. Along with an environment that supports upward career mobility, Colorado’s health administrators also enjoy top salaries, earning an average of $122,090 annually according to a 2020 report from the US Department of Labor.
Earning a Healthcare Administration Degree in Colorado
Both new students and those who already have job experience in healthcare or health administration would benefit from advancing their studies in healthcare administration. Whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, prospective students in Colorado can opt to take advantage of flexible online programs or attend an on-campus program in one of Colorado’s major cities.
Undergraduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration
A few examples of undergraduate programs available to students in Colorado include the following degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Health Administration or Management (BS)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
- Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA)
A student enrolled in one of these programs will typically be required to complete 120 credit hours of coursework. This is normally done within a four-year period. The first half of an undergraduate degree program is comprised of a general education core; the major-specific courses are offered to the students once they have completed these general courses. Topics covered in the upper-level healthcare administration courses may include the following:
- Healthcare economics
- Law and ethics of healthcare
- Business administration
- Financial management
- Human resource management
In addition to online options offered to Colorado citizens, students can also find degree programs located in the following cities:
- Fort Collins
- Colorado Springs
Graduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration
Master’s degrees are quickly becoming the industry standard for senior-administrator positions. Colorado graduate students have a number of master’s degree options to choose from:
- Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA)
- Master of Health Administration (MHA)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Administration
- Master of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Health Administration
Graduate Program Outline and Content
Most graduate programs of this kind require students to complete 36-60 credits, and many students complete these within 18-24 months depending on their chosen course load per semester. Before graduating from a graduate program of this kind, students are often required to complete a capstone project or thesis. Programs may vary between schools, but most graduate degrees require students to study the following topics:
- Management decisions
- Strategic leadership in healthcare management
- Medical informatics
- Economics of healthcare
- Quantitative study methods
- Quality improvement strategies
- Healthcare policy and regulation
- Finance and budget management
Graduate Program Admission Criteria
Students vying for a spot in one of these graduate programs must meet certain requirements for admission. Though some criteria may vary, there are many requirements that are basic standards across the board when it comes to graduate programs:
- Official undergraduate transcript
- Minimum GPA requirements
- Letters of recommendation from employers or educators
- Essay or personal statement of purpose
In addition to an online degree format, on-campus programs are located in the following Colorado cities:
- Fort Collins
- Colorado Springs
Healthcare Administration Jobs in Colorado
The following list of job descriptions serves as a reference tool to learn what employers are looking for in applicants as far as education and experience. The listings were gathered from job posting boards across Colorado. (These job descriptions are for illustration purposes only.)
University of Colorado Health
- Business Specialist – Maintains financial processes and budgets, oversees data management regulations and requirements, writes and reviews business reports; MBA or MHA preferred, plus 3 years of experience in the healthcare field.
- Director of Business Services – Evaluates and monitors department budgets, handles hiring and staffing needs, and supervises general business operations; bachelor’s degree in healthcare or business administration required, a master’s degree and experience in a management role are preferred.
The Denver Hospice
- Director of Development – Oversees fundraising, develops new strategies, manages relationships between the facility and donors; minimum requirements for applicants consist of a bachelor’s degree in business administration or healthcare administration, 3 years of management experience, 7 years of fundraising experience, and grant writing skills.
- Quality Operations Analyst – Provides support to the performance management team at Centura, analyzing data to ensure the best possible patient services; a bachelor’s degree in statistics, business, or healthcare administration/management is required in addition to three years of related experience.
Top Employers and Professional Resources for Healthcare Administrators in Colorado
There are many professional resources available to healthcare administrators and managers working in Colorado. The following institutions and associations can be quite helpful for those seeking employment, professional support, or any other information concerning the healthcare field in Colorado.
Colorado’s Largest Employers of Healthcare Administrators and Managers
- University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora
- Porter Adventist Hospital, Denver
- Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Colorado Springs
- Memorial Hospital, Colorado Springs
- Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins
- Sky Ridge Medical Center, Lone Tree
- Denver Health Medical Center, Denver
- Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center, Lafayette
- Medical Center of the Rockies, Loveland
- Colorado Association of Healthcare Executives
- Colorado Health Care Association
- Colorado Hospital Association
- Colorado Health Information Management Association
- Colorado Medical Group Management Association
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
- Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management
- National Association of Healthcare Access Management
2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for Medical and Health Services Managers.
Job growth projections sourced from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2018-2028) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.
Salary figures and job market projections represent state data, not school-specific information.
Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2021.