Health Office Computer Technician

Health office computer technicians help people solve computer-related problems in medical facilities. Learn how you can begin preparing for a position, including relevant certification and degree programs.

Is a Job as a Health Office Computer Technician Right for Me?

Career Overview

Health offices include clinics, medical practices, nursing homes and public health services, as well as equipment and medical suppliers or insurance companies. Health offices depend heavily on computers to process documents, store electronic medical records, bill patients and submit insurance claims. As a computer technician, you may work as a help-desk technician or technical support specialist. You might also find employment with a computer vendor, software company or support services firm.

Job Duties

As a technician, you'll maintain and troubleshoot computers and help office professionals resolve problems. Your duties may include installing and upgrading computer hardware and software, repairing computers, removing viruses and solving network problems. You might also train staff members in the use of new computers and software.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment opportunities for computer support specialists in general were expected to increase by 17% nationwide, or faster than average, from 2012-2022. As of May 2013, the median annual salary for computer support specialists was $47,660 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Become a Health Office Computer Technician?

Overview of Requirements

Some employers only require candidates to have a professional certification, such as a CompTIA A+ credential, evidence that you can competently perform hardware and software services on computers and networks. Other employers prefer candidates with an associate's or bachelor's degree in a computer-related discipline.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs for computer technicians can introduce you to the different components found in a PC system, such as computer hardware and software, internal and external devices, operating systems and networks. You'll also receive training in customer support, preventative maintenance and troubleshooting; detection of malfunctions and viruses will also be covered. Certificate programs for IT support specialists who want to work in healthcare informatics are similar to those for computer technicians and may include training in healthcare privacy, ethics and operations. You'll also study the types of computers used in healthcare, learn how to maintain and manage PCs and pursue topics in network security and project management.

Degree Programs

An associate's degree program in a relevant area can help you prepare for a number of certification exams, such as the CompTIA or credentials from Cisco and Microsoft. Relevant coursework may include the study of computer concepts and operating systems, Cisco networking, hardware installation and security fundamentals. While a bachelor's degree is not always required to obtain a technician's job, some employers prefer applicants with a degree in computer science, computer engineering or information systems, according to the BLS.

Certification

CompTIA offers the CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician credential, which can assure potential employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge needed to work in healthcare information technology (IT). Requirements include CompTIA A+ certification or 500 hours of experience in IT technology.

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