Career Outlook for Medical Records Technicians
The people responsible for keeping your medical records – whether at a hospital, dentist’s, or doctor’s office are called medical records technicians. These people are vital to keeping the health care system operating efficiently, and thus are in high demand. If you are looking for a new career that is challenging and offers an office work environment then perhaps you should consider becoming a medical records technician.
As a medical records technician you will keep patients’ medical records up to date. You will enter doctor’s notes, medical procedures, and outcomes of treatment. You will also update the medical records with test and lab results as they become available. In this respect the doctor or health care provide can rely on the medical record to provide the most accurate and recent medical information when they are meeting with a patient, or for medical billers to send invoices to the insurance company for reimbursement.
About forty percent of all medical records technicians work in hospitals, and the rest generally work in medical offices, care centers, or for home health care providers. There are also a few federal agencies that employ medical records technicians, as well as a few independent agencies.
In 2008 there were approximately 172,500 jobs in the medical records technician field, and the amount of jobs is expected to increase by 20 percent through the year 2018. It is expected that most of the growth will be driven by the increase in medical procedures and tests that are performed, which in turn will be driven by the number of aging patients who require additional care.
Those applicants who have a better than average understanding of computers will be in the highest demand, as it is expected that over the next few years there will be more electronic dependence on handling and updating patient records. It is recommended that anyone who considers entering this field ensures that computer courses are a large part of their training and education.
With a few years of experience and education medical records technicians can likely move up to become supervisors or medical services managers, and thus earn a higher salary. This field is also expecting significant growth through 2018, and many current managers will be retiring. This is something to consider if you decide to go to school to become a medical records technician – if you can squeeze in a few management courses at the same time you will have a better chance at rising through the ranks.
Offering an average salary of $30,610 (2008), a career as a medical records technician offers a fair wage, and only requires an associate’s degree. This is a good job choice if you do not want to go back to school for a long time, or if you are trying to get back into the work force after a hiatus. Many medical records technicians go on to become nurses or other health care providers – as many of the same courses are applicable.
In just one or two years you can become a medical records technician and start your career. Whether you are just getting out into the working world or looking for a change this is a job with lots of room for growth, and tons of job opportunities. It’s a good idea to take the next step of finding out just what the job entails to see if it’s the right fit for your work style and personality.
Start by finding jobs in your area, and research the type of training you would need to qualify. You can then decide if a career as a medical records technician is right for you.