Health Information Technician Career Information

The following information is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Health Information Technicians. Please visit the website for a more comprehensive breakdown of the data.


Health information technicians organize and manage health information data. They categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories.

Job Duties

  • Keep track of 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 insurance reimbursement and data analysis
  • Electronically record data for collection, storage, analysis, retrieval, and reporting
  • Maintain confidentiality of patients’ records


National Average Annual Pay (2019): $46,590

Top 5 States

1. Alaska


2. Hawaiʻi


3. Massachusetts


4. Washington


5. Minnesota


Bottom 5 States

50. Mississippi


49. Louisiana


48. Alabama


47. Arkansas


46. Oklahoma



To become a health information technician, a post-secondary certificate is typically needed. Depending on the program, you could earn an associate’s degree in health information technology or some type of certification of completion.

You will need to take an exam to gain the professional certification becoming a health information technician, though it is not licensure. One of the exams is the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam given by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Another is the the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) exam.

  • 1. Enter a Health Information Technology Program

  • 2. Take the RHIT (or a similar) Exam

  • 3. Find a Job as a Health Information Technician

  • 4. Advance Career to a Medical & Health Services Manager

    To be a Medical & Health Services Manager you will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree. With an executive role, the pay is much higher. The average annual pay in 2019 was $115,160. The highest annual salary is in New York averaging $147,000 per year, and Arkansas has the lowest at a still very strong $87,290 per year.


Detail Oriented

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

Analytical Skills

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

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.


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

Technical Skills

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

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