How Do I Become a Medical Records Clerk?

A medical records clerk is responsible for organizing, updating, storing, and retrieving patient files in health care facilities. Read on to learn more about the skills and training necessary to become a medical records clerk. Schools offering Electronic Medical Records degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

Your primary function as a medical records clerk is filing, so being detail-oriented and having an understanding of both paper filing and computer filing systems is essential. You might work in settings such as doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals, or nursing homes. Generally, your work consists of organizing patient information, reading medical histories, communicating with medical professionals, and maintaining medical records. You need to understand confidentiality and legal responsibilities concerning patient information. It's also important to have working knowledge of basic medical terminology.

Important Facts About Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

Median Salary (2014) $35,900
Entry-level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 15%
Similar Occupations Receptionists, health service managers, medical transcriptionists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


While no licensing or certification is required to become a medical records clerk, most health care providers only require that you earn a high school diploma or pass the General Educational Development (GED) examination. You must have an understanding of medical terminology and common medical procedures; courses are widely available online or through community colleges and technical schools. Much of your training is typically provided on-the-job, and your particular job duties may vary depending on the place where you work.

Advancement Opportunities

If you wish to further your career as a medical records clerk and increase your appeal to potential employers, you might seek an associate's degree in health information technology. If you choose to pursue this degree, you can expect to take courses in anatomy and physiology, medical ethics, medical terminology, and database management. Graduating from a two-year medical records management program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) makes you eligible to take a written exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Once you pass the exam, you are certified as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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