Becoming a Cancer Registrar

Career Plan: a step by step approach…

Cancer registrars are very specialized health information professionals. You can achieve career success as a cancer registrar with an associate level degree. The following steps were designed to help you, whether you are still in high school or have a diploma already in hand.

Become a Cancer Registrar

  1. Take the recommended college prep sequence at your high school. Also consider enrolling in computer applications courses.

  2. Meanwhile, learn more about what cancer registrars do. Attend job fairs or health career camp. Make ties with your local Area Health Education Center. They have a lot of resources for prospective health students.

  3. Score well on college placement exams – programs in cancer registry management are more competitive than many other programs at the associate’s level, and test scores are sometimes a factor. At Owens Community College, for example, admissions decisions are made on the basis of overall GPA and grades in math, science, and composition courses.

  4. Research cancer registry programs at the associate’s level. Programs are currently offered through Darton College, Davidson County Community College, Owens Community College, Santa Barbara City College, and Scott Community College. You do not have to attend one of these colleges (at least not the physical campus) to get your degree; some do offer distance learning.

  5. If you already have an associate’s degree in another field, you have some additional options. One is to enroll in a certificate program. Another option would be to do a bachelor’s completion program through the University of Texas.

  6. Take any prerequisites that are required for program admission.

  7. While you’re completing your degree, begin making contacts out there in the professional world. You can search for clinical placement sites/ mentors on the site of the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA).

  8. Now it’s time to find a position. You can search online at the NCRA site. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) also has good career resources: articles as well as internet job search tools. AHIMA suggests that new professionals attend some job fairs in the real world as well as the virtual one.

Personality Traits: Cancer registrars are detail-oriented and well-organized. They communicate well with other health professionals.