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Medical Records and Health Information Technicians - What They Do


How to Advance (Advancement)
Experienced medical records and health information technicians usually advance their careers by obtaining a bachelorís or masterís degree or by seeking an advanced specialty certification. Technicians with a bachelorís or masterís degree can advance and become a health information manager. (See the statement on medical and health services managers for more information on health information managers.) Technicians can also obtain advanced specialty certification. Advanced specialty certification is typically experience-based, but may require additional formal education depending on the certifying organization.

Employment
Medical records and health information technicians held about 172,500 jobs in 2008. About 39 percent of jobs were in hospitals. Health information technicians work at a number of healthcare providers such as offices of physicians, nursing care facilities, outpatient care centers, and home healthcare services. Technicians also may be employed outside of healthcare facilities, such as in Federal Government agencies.

Job Outlook
Employment is expected to grow much faster than the average. Job prospects should be very good; technicians with a strong understanding of technology and computer software will be in particularly high demand.

Job Growth
Employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 20 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. Employment growth will result from the increase in the number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures that will be performed. As the population continues to age, the occurrence of health-related problems will increase. Cancer registrars should experience job growth as the incidence of cancer increases from an aging population.

In addition, with the increasing use of electronic health records, more technicians will be needed to complete the new responsibilities associated with electronic data management.

Job prospects should be very good. In addition to job growth, numerous openings will result from the need to replace medical record and health information technicians who retire or leave the occupation permanently. Technicians that demonstrate a strong understanding of technology and computer software will be in particularly high demand.

Earnings
The median annual wage of medical records and health information technicians was $30,610 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $24,290 and $39,490. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,440, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,060.

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