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Medical Records Technician Careers

What Does a Medical Records Technician Do

Medical records and health information technicians, commonly referred to as health information technicians, organize and manage health information data by ensuring that it maintains its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper files and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories.

Duties

Health information technicians typically do the following:

  • Review patients’ records for timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and appropriateness of data
  • Organize and maintain data for clinical databases and registries
  • Track patient outcomes for quality assessment
  • Use classification software to assign clinical codes for reimbursement and data analysis 
  • Electronically record data for collection, storage, analysis, retrieval, and reporting
  • Maintain confidentiality of patients’ records

Health information technicians document patients’ health information, including their medical history, symptoms, examination and test results, treatments, and other information about healthcare services that are provided to patients. Their duties vary by employer and by the size of the facility in which they work.

Although health information technicians do not provide direct patient care, they work regularly with registered nurses and other healthcare professionals. They meet with these workers to clarify diagnoses or to get additional information to make sure that records are complete and accurate.

The increasing adaptation and use of electronic health records (EHRs) will continue to change the job responsibilities of health information technicians. Technicians will need to be familiar with, or be able to learn, EHR computer software, follow EHR security and privacy practices, and analyze electronic data to improve healthcare information, as more healthcare providers and hospitals adopt EHR systems.

Health information technicians can specialize in many aspects of health information. Some work as medical coders, sometimes called coding specialists, or as cancer registrars.

Medical coders typically do the following:

  • Review patient information for preexisting conditions, such as diabetes
  • Assign appropriate diagnoses and procedure codes for patient care, population health statistics, and billing purposes
  • Work as a liaison between the health clinician and billing offices

Cancer registrars typically do the following:

  • Review patients’ records and pathology reports to verify completeness and accuracy
  • Assign classification codes to represent the diagnosis and treatment of cancers and benign tumors
  • Conduct annual followups to track treatment, survival, and recovery
  • Compile and analyze cancer patient information for research purposes
  • Maintain facility, regional, and national databases of cancer patients

How To Become a Medical Records Technician

Health information technicians typically need a postsecondary certificate to enter the occupation, although some may need an associate’s degree. Certification is often required.

Education

Postsecondary certificate and associate’s degree programs in health information technology typically include courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, health data requirements and standards, classification and coding systems, healthcare reimbursement methods, healthcare statistics, and computer systems. Applicants to health information technology programs may increase their chances of admission by taking high school courses in health, computer science, math, and biology.

A high school diploma or equivalent and previous experience in a healthcare setting are enough to qualify for some positions, but most jobs for health information technicians require postsecondary education.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Health information technicians must be able to understand and follow medical records and diagnoses, and then decide how best to code them in a patient’s medical records.

Detail oriented. Health information technicians must be accurate when recording and coding patient information.

Integrity. Health information technicians work with patient data that are required, by law, to be kept confidential. They must exercise caution and a strong sense of ethics when working with this information in order to protect patient confidentiality.

Interpersonal skills. Health information technicians need to be able to discuss patient information, discrepancies, and data requirements with other professionals such as physicians and finance personnel.

Technical skills. Health information technicians must be able to use coding and classification software and the electronic health record (EHR) system that their healthcare organization or physician practice has adopted.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most employers prefer to hire health information technicians who have certification, or they may expect applicants to earn certification shortly after being hired. A health information technician can earn certification from several organizations. Certifications include the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR), among others.

Some organizations base certification on passing an exam. Others require graduation from an accredited program. Many coding certifications also require coding experience in a work setting. Once certified, technicians typically must renew their certification regularly and take continuing education courses.

A few states and facilities require cancer registrars to be licensed. Licensure requires the completion of a formal education program and the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) certification.

Advancement

Health information technicians may advance to other health information positions by receiving additional education and certifications. Technicians may be able to advance to a position as a medical or health services manager after completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree program and taking the required certification courses. Requirements vary by facility.

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Average Salary
$38,758
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
37,711
Job Openings

Medical Records Technician Career Paths

Top Careers Before Medical Records Technician

Top Careers After Medical Records Technician

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Average Salary for a Medical Records Technician

Medical Records Technicians in America make an average salary of $38,758 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $51,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $29,000 per year.
Average Salary
$38,758

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Albany, NY
Salary Range38k - 58k$48k$47,556
Miami, FL
Salary Range36k - 53k$44k$43,842
Rancho Cordova, CA
Salary Range36k - 52k$44k$43,676
Houston, TX
Salary Range36k - 51k$43k$43,371
East Orange, NJ
Salary Range35k - 52k$43k$42,989
Salem, OR
Salary Range36k - 50k$43k$42,682
$28k
$58k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Medical Records Tech
Medical Records Tech
Randstad
Randstad
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$29,21801/29/2021
$29,218
Medical Records Technician (Coder) Auditor (Outpatient & Inpatient)
Medical Records Technician (Coder) Auditor (Outpatient & Inpatient)
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$53,43301/28/2021
$53,433
Medical Records Technician
Medical Records Technician
Wisconsin Government
Wisconsin Government
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$32,07701/27/2021
$32,077
Medical Records Technician (Coder)
Medical Records Technician (Coder)
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
01/22/2021
01/22/2021
$31,52001/22/2021
$31,520
Medical Records Technician
Medical Records Technician
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
12/26/2020
12/26/2020
$33,94912/26/2020
$33,949
See More Recent Salaries

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Medical Records Technician Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Medical Records Technician. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Medical Records Technician Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Medical Records Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Medical Records Technician Demographics

Gender

female

75.8 %

male

20.4 %

unknown

3.8 %

Ethnicity

White

72.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.4 %

Black or African American

9.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.9 %

French

6.1 %

German

3.1 %
See More Demographics

Medical Records Technician Education

Degrees

Associate

31.1 %

Bachelors

23.7 %

High School Diploma

16.6 %

Top Colleges for Medical Records Technicians

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

3. Maria College of Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,140
Enrollment
876

4. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

5. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Public

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

7. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

8. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

9. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

10. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Medical Records Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.8% of medical records technicians listed medical records on their resume, but soft skills such as integrity and analytical skills are important as well.

Best States For a Medical Records Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a medical records technician. The best states for people in this position are Vermont, Alaska, New York, and Connecticut. Medical records technicians make the most in Vermont with an average salary of $49,672. Whereas in Alaska and New York, they would average $46,492 and $46,380, respectively. While medical records technicians would only make an average of $45,336 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maine

Total Medical Records Technician Jobs:
246
Highest 10% Earn:
$62,000
Location Quotient:
1.45
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Vermont

Total Medical Records Technician Jobs:
109
Highest 10% Earn:
$72,000
Location Quotient:
1.11
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Medical Records Technician Jobs:
375
Highest 10% Earn:
$66,000
Location Quotient:
0.88
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Medical Records Technician Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ medical records technicians and discovered their number of medical records technician opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Enterprise Solutions was the best, especially with an average salary of $51,587. Ciox Health follows up with an average salary of $39,273, and then comes Examination Management Services with an average of $35,292. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a medical records technician. The employers include Robert Half International, Veterans Affairs Dept, and Department of Veterans Affairs

1. Enterprise Solutions
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$51,587
Medical Records Technicians Hired: 
205+
2. Ciox Health
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$39,273
Medical Records Technicians Hired: 
90+
3. Examination Management Services
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$35,292
Medical Records Technicians Hired: 
86+
4. Indian Health Service
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$37,896
Medical Records Technicians Hired: 
83+
5. Dell
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$68,085
Medical Records Technicians Hired: 
41+
6. United States Department of Defense
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$33,326
Medical Records Technicians Hired: 
35+
Updated October 2, 2020