Schools and Education
- Most registered health information technicians have an associate degree in health information technology or attend schools that offer a similar degree.
- Non-registered health information technicians usually need a postsecondary certificate.
- Some employers seek candidates who also have professional certification.
- Managerial positions may require a bachelor’s degree.
Health information technology programs combine computer training with science. The programs cover the basics of the health information technician profession. Students learn about healthcare industry standards as they relate to medical coding electronic medical records and the management and storage of patient health information.
What you study:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Classification and coding systems
- Health data requirements and standards
- Computer systems
- Healthcare statistics
What courses you’ll take
Below are examples of courses that you’ll likely take as a health information technology degree student.
|Medical Terminology||Basics of medical terminology common to this field including those related to anatomy physiology pathology and treatments. Gives understanding of how terms are constructed via prefixes suffixes roots singulars plurals and abbreviations.||Ensure student knows and understands the terminology common to this field.|
|Medical Coding||Introduces different classifications systems used in healthcare including industry standard coding principles and techniques. Reviews practices for the Medicare payment system. Advanced topics can cover relationships between reimbursements from insurance companies and coding.||Give students the medical coding foundation they’ll need as part of their development maintenance and use of medical records systems.|
|Healthcare Statistics||Covers relevant statistical concepts and techniques such as descriptive vs. inferential statistics probability sampled distributions confidence intervals regressions and hypothesis testing.||Gives statistics background to help in generation of specialized reports data mining and support of advanced analytical studies.|
|Health Information Systems and Technology||Introduces computing technologies used in healthcare operations to support business clinical care administration and reporting. Covers topics such as hardware software computerization of health records controlling of records accuracy and security.||Readies students to use and manage systems for healthcare records.|
|Health Data Privacy||Legal practices and requirements for health records. This includes application of US government HIPAA regulations use of protected health data and security of data.||Help ensure that students maintain privacy and legality of the health records they will be responsible for as technicians.|
|Database Design and Query Languages||May be an elective or advanced topic for some programs. Covers relational database design and implementation including data importing and exporting Structured Query Language (SQL) indexes keys and stored procedures.||Give ability to support the design and ongoing maintenance of underlying database systems used in a health information system.|
Quickly highlights what health information technicians do in their work. Created for the US Dept. of Labor.
Certifications and Licensing
Most employers prefer hiring health information technicians with professional certification. Some organizations provide certification for passing an exam however some organizations require candidates to complete an accredited program.
Health information technicians can obtain certifications such as the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR). Cancer registrars in some states are required to have certification; requirements vary by state.
Many employees seek candidates who passed the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) exam. Candidates need at least a two-year degree from an accredited program to register with the American Health Information Management Association. Registered health information technicians recertify every two years via the AHIMA which required continuing education.
Full-time versus part-time: Most information health technicians work 40 hours per week and overtime may be required. Those working in healthcare facilities open 24 hours a day may work in the evenings or overnight shifts.
Work location: Most health information technicians working in health information management work in hospitals doctor’s offices clinics or other healthcare facilities but some health information technicians work for government agencies or insurance companies compiling data for research and analysis.
- The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) helps those interested in becoming a health information technician make informed decisions about selecting a school and processional credentials. The AHIMA also provides information about career opportunities. The AHIMA also provides useful information about the various types of available credentials.
- The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) provides information about certification and education for cancer registrars. The NCRA provides education focused on the needs of cancer registrars. The organization provides education regarding cancer prevention treatment and cure. The National Cancer Registrars Association also offers in-person workshops live webinars and CTR exam preparation resources. Website visitors can also review a list of NCRA accredited formal education programs.
- Healthcare Information and Management Systems (HIMSS) provides useful information on a variety of subjects and information about professional development and conferences and events. The HIMSS eLearning Academy provides distance education in healthcare information technology. The academy offers courses webinars and educational sessions.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook — The US Department of Labor’s summary of the health information technician career is comprehensive taking a data and an almost textbook like approach to presenting what is involved in this line of work.
Salaries by City
See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.
|State||City / Region||Typical Salary||Salary Range||Job Count||% of All Jobs|
|AL||Auburn – Opelika||$23640||50||0.11%|
|AL||Birmingham – Hoover||$27720||830||0.17%|
|AL||Florence – Muscle Shoals||$30560||30||0.06%|
|AR||Fayetteville – Springdale – Rogers||$31030||170||0.08%|
|AR||Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway||$34740||460||0.14%|
|AZ||Lake Havasu City $ Kingman||$28560||150||0.35%|
|AZ||Phoenix – Mesa – Glendale||$32790||3570||0.21%|
|CA||Bakersfield – Delano||$32460||430||0.16%|
|CA||Hanford – Corcoran||$44670||80||0.21%|
|CA||Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area)||$36080||4990||0.13%|
|CA||Madera – Chowchilla||$34180||80||0.20%|
|CA||Oakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area)||$47790||1290||0.13%|
|CA||Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura||$37360||290||0.10%|
|CA||Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario||$38760||1590||0.14%|
|CA||Sacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville||$42980||820||0.10%|
|CA||San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos||$38570||1450||0.11%|
|CA||San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area)||$47350||710||0.07%|
|CA||San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara||$45100||650||0.07%|
|CA||San Luis Obispo – Paso Robles||$36940||190||0.19%|
|CA||Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area)||$40680||1790||0.13%|
|CA||Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Goleta||$31410||210||0.13%|
|CA||Santa Cruz – Watsonville||$43570||150||0.18%|
|CA||Santa Rosa – Petaluma||$39300||160||0.09%|
|CA||Vallejo – Fairfield||$44670||220||0.18%|
|CA||Visalia – Porterville||$36350||270||0.20%|
|CO||Denver – Aurora – Broomfield||$44840||1480||0.12%|
|CO||Fort Collins – Loveland||$34950||170||0.13%|
|CT||Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk||$34810||290||0.07%|
|CT||Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford||$40100||470||0.08%|
|CT||Norwich – New London||$43250||140||0.11%|
|DC||Washington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area)||$40830||1680||0.07%|
|DE||Wilmington (Metro Area)||$39220||310||0.10%|
|FL||Cape Coral – Fort Myers||$35160||330||0.16%|
|FL||Crestview – Fort Walton Beach – Destin||$33710||90||0.12%|
|FL||Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach||$33310||250||0.16%|
|FL||Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)||$40140||1130||0.16%|
|FL||Lakeland – Winter Haven||$37420||240||0.13%|
|FL||Miami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area)||$27270||1570||0.16%|
|FL||Naples – Marco Island||$35270||80||0.07%|
|FL||North Port – Bradenton – Sarasota||$30540||250||0.10%|
|FL||Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford||$31290||1290||0.13%|
|FL||Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville||$32750||230||0.12%|
|FL||Panama City – Lynn Haven – Panama City Beach||$29700||80||0.12%|
|FL||Pensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent||$29180||240||0.16%|
|FL||Port St. Lucie||$31290||170||0.14%|
|FL||Sebastian – Vero Beach||$33510||40||0.08%|
|FL||Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater||$35610||2110||0.19%|
|FL||West Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area)||$32860||680||0.13%|
|GA||Athens – Clarke County||$27070||70||0.09%|
|GA||Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta||$34290||2300||0.10%|
|GA||Augusta – Richmond County||$34280||350||0.17%|
|IA||Davenport – Moline – Rock Island||$27800||280||0.16%|
|IA||Des Moines – West Des Moines||$31030||380||0.12%|
|IA||Waterloo – Cedar Falls||$34150||90||0.10%|
|ID||Boise City – Nampa||$30900||620||0.24%|
|ID||Coeur d’Alene ID||$29620||80||0.15%|
|IL||Bloomington – Normal||$33270||90||0.10%|
|IL||Champaign – Urbana||$28880||250||0.26%|
|IL||Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area)||$35420||5010||0.14%|
|IL||Kankakee – Bradley|