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Online Education (health Care Facilities Management Degree)

By Expert Author: John Srob

A bachelorís degree is enough for some entry-level positions in health administration, a few senior-level positions in smaller operations, and for some middle management jobs in larger organizations. Many schools and colleges offer undergraduate degrees with a concentration in health services management.

The purpose of a baccalaureate education in this area is to provide the initial education for professional careers in health services management. The Association of University Programs in Health Administration provides a list of undergraduate programs that are certified to provide undergraduate health administration education. However, an undergraduate degree in health services management is not required to become a health services manager or to enter into a health administration graduate program. Degrees in other areas, such as business, nursing, or liberal arts, may also qualify you.

In todayís business world, there are certain industries that are expanding and will always be in need of workers. The health care industry is one of them. The population of U.S. citizens is gradually growing older, with an increase in health problems and the needs of the elderly. So it makes sense that having the necessary skills to work in the health care field is going to provide many opportunities for employment that pays well and is also rewarding.

If you have a health care management degree, you will have the education that is required to manage medical facilities and your fellow health care workers. This is a responsibility that will provide many challenges and ensure that your work will never be monotonous. You will be contributing to the health care needs of many individuals on a daily basis, and other medical professionals will turn to you for assistance in health-related matters.

What types of employment can you expect to find if you have a health care management degree?

Chief Executive Officer.
Hospital Administrator.
President of a major medical facility.
Department Director.
Director of a nursing facility.
Administrator of a physicianís private practice.
Chief Nursing Officer.
Executive Director.
Director of Risk Management.
Director of Business Development.
Administrator of an outpatient clinic.
Manager of a mental health clinic.

A management or administrative position allows you to have the opportunity to run different aspects of a medical facility and make major contributions to the policies, rules and regulations. With a health care management degree, you will be in a high position that will put you in charge of overseeing all major operations. And you will have the talent that is needed to carry out your duties responsibly and competently.

Students who wish to earn a degree in facilities management can pursue select degree programs accredited by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), a certification organization for the industry.

These programs can generally be completed in four years, and some schools require students to complete an internship, which offers hands-on experience. This career involves multiple disciplines, and knowledge of architecture, mathematics, psychology and managerial skills can prove beneficial. Some colleges may require prospective graduates to complete a capstone project and thesis. To be considered for admission, students need to be high school graduates.

Program Coursework

The curriculum typically includes certain general education courses, such as English, world studies and science. Since facilities managers can be involved in so many aspects of running a building, students take part in a diverse curriculum. Courses can include:

Business and contract law
Building design
Financial analysis and accounting
Project and personnel management
Introduction to business statistics

Popular careers

Facilities management professionals may need to spend time outdoors or travel to construction sites. They may also need to work overtime during the week and be on-call during evenings and weekends. Graduates who manage healthcare facilities can work as:

Healthcare environmental service managers
Sustainable hospital design consultants
Hospital plant operations directors

Continuing Education, Credentials and Certification
Certification, while not mandatory, can be beneficial for facilities managers. The IFMA offers a Facilities Management Professional (FMP) credential program both to current facilities managers and to those embarking on careers in the field. This program covers the basics of facilities management and can be administered online. Having an FMP credential can be helpful to those who wish to take the IFMA-administered Certified Facility Manager (CFM) exam, a 4-hour test covering such topics as operations, maintenance and project planning. Education and work experience requirements for the CFM exam can vary.

Master's Program in Facilities Management

Graduates determined to expand their knowledge of the constructional, managerial and architectural aspects of facilities management can obtain master's degrees. Like undergraduate programs in facilities management, certain Master of Science programs in the subject can be accredited by the IFMA. The 2-3 year programs often require the completion of a master's thesis. In addition, students with prior work experience may be eligible to earn advanced standing credits towards their degree. All applicants need to have a bachelor's degree to qualify for admission.

Program Coursework

Many colleges and universities offer evening courses for students who work during the day. Subjects covered can include:

Facility maintenance and operation
Environmental issues
Property development
Real estate management

Professional Certificate in Facilities Management

Completion of a certificate program in facilities management can benefit individuals with formal degrees in the field, for those already working or for those changing careers. These programs can be completed in approximately two years, although some schools allow students five years to finish them. Most programs consist of both required and elective courses covering topics recognized by the IFMA, such as operations and maintenance, real estate, leadership and quality assessment. Educational prerequisites vary by certificate program.

Program Coursework

Students need to take 9-11 required units and 9-15 elective units. Their options may include such classes as:

Property assets
Emergency preparedness
HVAC systems
Sustainable design
Facilities management principles

Popular Careers

Individuals may decide to attain FMP credentials and gain work experience in preparation for the CFM exam. Careers in hospitals and other healthcare facilities can include:

Assistant director in facilities management
Facilities maintenance specialist
Data center facilities manager


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