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Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars

Summary

Health information technologists and medical registrars
Health information technologists and medical registrars work with computerized healthcare systems.
Quick Facts: Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars
2021 Median Pay $55,560 per year
$26.71 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2021 39,900
Job Outlook, 2021-31 17% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2021-31 7,000

What Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars Do

Health information technologists and medical registrars advise organizations on computerized healthcare systems and analyze clinical data.

Work Environment

Health information technologists and medical registrars usually work in an office setting and may spend many hours at a computer. Most work full time.

How to Become a Health Information Technologist or Medical Registrar

Education requirements for health information technologists and medical registrars vary. Some workers typically need an associate’s degree; others need a bachelor’s or higher degree. Certification may be required or preferred.

Pay

The median annual wage for health information technologists and medical registrars was $55,560 in May 2021.

Job Outlook

Employment of health information technologists and medical registrars is projected to grow 17 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 3,400 openings for health information technologists and medical registrars are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for health information technologists and medical registrars.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of health information technologists and medical registrars with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about health information technologists and medical registrars by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars Do About this section

Health information technologists and medical registrars
Health information technologists and medical registrars help to design and develop electronic healthcare systems.

Health information technologists and medical registrars advise organizations on computerized healthcare systems and analyze clinical data.

Duties

Health information technologists and medical registrars typically do the following:

  • Help to determine requirements for computerized healthcare systems
  • Evaluate and support implementation of health information systems
  • Organize and update information in clinical databases or registries
  • Compile data and generate reports, such as for disease registry or treatment
  • Track patient outcomes for quality assessment
  • Validate the integrity of patient data
  • Ensure privacy, security, and confidentiality of patients' health information

Health information technologists and medical registrars help to design and develop electronic healthcare systems. They abstract, collect, and analyze clinical data related to medical treatment, followup, and results. Their work supports the delivery and improvement of patient care.

Health information technologists apply their knowledge of information technology (IT) and healthcare concepts in a variety of ways. Some specialize in the electronic health records systems used for storing and retrieving patient data, which may include implementing the systems and educating staff on their use. Others analyze healthcare data for a range of purposes, such as for research or to evaluate programs and services.

Medical registrars create and maintain databases of information, such as those used to track a particular disease or condition. For example, cancer registrars collect and analyze information for facility, regional, and national databases of cancer patients. They 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; and track treatment, survival, and recovery.

For information about workers who compile, process, and maintain patient files, see the profile for medical records specialists.

Work Environment About this section

Health information technologists and medical registrars
Health information technologists and medical registrars may spend many hours at a computer.

Health information technologists and medical registrars held about 39,900 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of health information technologists and medical registrars were as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private 46%
Offices of physicians 11
Professional, scientific, and technical services 7
Management of companies and enterprises 6
Administrative and support services 6

Health information technologists and medical registrars usually work in an office setting and may spend many hours at a computer.

Work Schedules

Most health information technologists and medical registrars work full time.

How to Become a Health Information Technologist or Medical Registrar About this section

Health information technologists and medical registrars
Health information technologists and medical registrars typically need at least an associate's degree.

Education requirements for health information technologists and medical registrars vary. Some workers typically need an associate’s degree; others may need a bachelor’s or higher degree. Certification may be required or preferred.

Education

Health information technologists and medical registrars typically need at least an associate’s degree to enter the occupation. Some positions require a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

High school students interested in becoming a health information technologist or medical registrar may benefit from taking classes that include anatomy and physiology, biology, computer science, and math.

A degree may be in health information management or another healthcare and related field or in nonmedical subjects, such as computer and information technology.

The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management accredits programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree level. The National Cancer Registrars Association accredits programs in cancer registry management. Programs may include courses in medical terminology, health data requirements, medical ethics, and classification and coding systems.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Employers may prefer to hire health information technologists and medical registrars who have certification, or they may expect applicants to earn certification after being hired.

Credentials for a variety of specializations are available from professional organizations. For example, certifications from the American Health Information Management Association include the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), the Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP), and the Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA). Individuals may hold multiple certifications.

Cancer registrars may need the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) credential. This certification requires completion of a formal education program and experience, along with passing an exam.

Advancement

Health information technologists and medical registrars sometimes advance to become medical and health services managers. Employers may require that workers seeking to advance have a higher level certification or a bachelor’s or master’s degree in health information management or a related field.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Health information technologists and medical registrars must be able to interpret data and use their findings to suggest improvements.

Detail oriented. To ensure accuracy, health information technologists and medical registrars need to be precise when working with clinical data.

Integrity. Health information technologists and medical registrars must exercise discretion and act ethically when working with patient data to protect patient confidentiality, as required by law.

Interpersonal skills. Health information technologists and medical registrars must collaborate with other members of the healthcare team.

Problem-solving skills.  These workers must be able to identify and address issues related to the use of healthcare information systems.

Pay About this section

Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars

Median annual wages, May 2021

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

$75,040

Health information technologists and medical registrars

$55,560

Total, all occupations

$45,760

 

The median annual wage for health information technologists and medical registrars was $55,560 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,680, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $98,490.

In May 2021, the median annual wages for health information technologists and medical registrars in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services $77,290
Management of companies and enterprises 74,040
Administrative and support services 59,080
Hospitals; state, local, and private 49,550
Offices of physicians 44,990

Most health information technologists and medical registrars work full time.

Job Outlook About this section

Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars

Percent change in employment, projected 2021-31

Health information technologists and medical registrars

17%

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

9%

Total, all occupations

5%

 

Employment of health information technologists and medical registrars is projected to grow 17 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 3,400 openings for health information technologists and medical registrars are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

The volume of electronic health information generated by healthcare providers and patients continues to grow. As a result, more health information technologists will be needed to analyze these vast quantities of data and offer insight to help make informed decisions.

Similarly, the increasing availability of medical data will contribute to more demand for medical registrars to update clinical registries, abstract relevant details, and convert data into meaningful information. Organizations continue to rely on these workers for insight into improving the quality of care, to control costs, and for other purposes.

Employment projections data for health information technologists and medical registrars, 2021-31
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Health information technologists and medical registrars

29-9021 39,900 46,900 17 7,000 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of health information technologists and medical registrars.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2021 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Medical and health services managers Medical and Health Services Managers Medical and health services managers plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers.

Bachelor's degree $101,340
Medical assistants Medical Assistants

Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in hospitals, offices of physicians, and other healthcare facilities.

Postsecondary nondegree award $37,190
Medical records and health information technicians Medical Records Specialists

Medical records specialists compile, process, and maintain patient files.

Postsecondary nondegree award $46,660
Medical transcriptionists Medical Transcriptionists

Medical transcriptionists listen to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare workers make and convert them into written reports.

Postsecondary nondegree award $30,100

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about health information technologists and medical registrars, including details about certification, visit

American Health Information Management Association

For a list of accredited training programs, visit

Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

For more information about cancer registrars, including certification requirements and accredited training programs, visit

National Cancer Registrars Association

O*NET

Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/health-information-technologists-and-medical-registrars.htm (visited September 28, 2022).

Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2021

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2021, which is the base year of the 2021-31 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2021-31

The projected percent change in employment from 2021 to 2031. The average growth rate for all occupations is 5 percent.

Employment Change, 2021-31

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2021-31

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2021 to 2031.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.