Heath Information Technician Career Plan

Interested in a career in health information technology? The steps below may provide some assistance, whether you are a current student or a high school graduate.

  1. Get a solid academic foundation in high school. Take a college prep curriculum and additional courses in computer science.

  2. Try to shadow a health information (HIM) professional. Some major hospitals and medical centers have job shadowing opportunities in HIM. You may arrange the experience yourself or seek help from a guidance counselor.

  3. Research schools. They should have a program that is accredited by CAHIIM (the Commission on Health Informatics and Information Management). You may want to ask program directors what externship opportunities are available and what the job placement rate is for graduates.

  4. Take program prerequisites, if required for admission. These may include anatomy and physiology and medical terminology.

    Fulfill additional admission requirements like background check and health screenings and vaccinations.

  5. Make the most of educational opportunities while in the program. Treat externships as potential job opportunities.

    Consider joining a professional organization. You can become a student member of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) for only $35. Later you can become a new graduate member, also at a discounted rate.

  6. Pass the appropriate AHIMA certification exam and get your credentials!

  7. Now it’s time to pull together all your resources and get a job. Your state association may have an online job bank where you can search for jobs and post a resume. (You can find your state association through AHIMA.)

    If you’ve been networking throughout school, though, you may find that word of mouth is your best resource.

Personality Traits: What traits will you need for success? The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Connecticut Area Health Education Center agree that communication skills are a must -- you may be a liaison or go-between between organizations. Other skills are analytical ability, attention to detail, and the ability to work at one thing for a sustained period of time.