Health Information Technicians
Education & Training
To work as a health information technician, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED; and
- graduate from a medical records technology program.
Education after high school
Most health information technicians have a certificate from a medical records technology program. Some have an associate degree in medical records technology. These programs include courses in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and statistics. Courses in database management and coding are also helpful. Some employers may prefer applicants who have a bachelor's degree.
Some hospitals and clinics offer on-the-job training to employees who have worked as medical records clerks. Training usually lasts two to three months. However, this type of training is becoming less common.
It is very helpful to have at least two years of experience as a medical records clerk. If you have this experience, you will be a good candidate for health information technology training offered through an employer.
Some branches of the military train people to be medical record technicians. Training lasts for six to 18 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.
Related Programs (Current training programs available)
Fields of Study (What to study to prepare for this career)
Click on any of the Fields of Study listed below to find out more about preparing for this career.
- Health Records Administration
- Health Records Technology
- Medical Coding and Billing
- Medical Informatics
Helpful High School Courses
In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.
You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Computer Applications
- Introduction to Health Care
- Medical Office
- Probability and Statistics
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career.
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.