With the rise in health information technology, there is an ever growing need for educated and trained Health Information Management (HIM) professionals. This career field is ideal for those with a passion for helping others while simultaneously staying at the forefront of technology. Whether you work in a hospital, insurance company, or government agency, a HIM professional is a vital part of any team. Our program prepares our graduates for careers by utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach to provide students with the knowledge and skills expected of a HIM professional. This resource guide is an informational tool to help you identify career and internship opportunities, federal employment information, and academic and professional organizations.
- Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Coordination – Adjusting actions in relations to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to programs.
- Judgment and Decision Making – Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions in order to choose the most appropriate response.
- Monitoring – Monitoring/Assessing the performance of individuals and organizations, as well as your own performance, in order to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension – Understanding written word in work related documents.
- Service Orientation – Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Time Management – Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Writing – Communicating effectively and appropriately for the needs of the audience.
While not required in order to work in the health information management field, a certification can be beneficial, helping you set yourself apart from other applicants. Some positions may require that you have a certification in addition to a combination of education and experience. There are a variety of certifications available in the areas of health information management and coding, and specialty certifications through the American Health Information Association (AHiMA). For more detailed information regarding the different certifications and requirements for earning them, please visit the AHiMA Certification website.
Certifications offered by AHiMA:
- Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA ®)
- Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT ®)
- Certified Coding Associate (CCA ®)
- Certified Coding Specialist (CCS®)
- Certified Coding Specialist – Physician-based (CCS-P ®)
- Certificated Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP®)
- Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA ®)
- Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS ®)
- Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist (CHTS) Exams
To identify what education or training is typical for careers within the Health Information Management field, use the O*Net hyperlinks below and click on “Job Zone.”
As with all majors, the education you receive serves as a foundation of knowledge that prepares you for what you may face in the professional world. The career field you choose may require additional education or experience.
- Informatics Nurse Specialists
- Medical and Health Services Managers
- Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
- Medical Transcriptionists
- Chief Clinical Informatics Managers
- Department Chair
- Management Analysts
For students with additional experience and education, there are further career options available. For more information regarding potential careers and job titles please view this chart provided by AHiMA.
There are several government agencies and organizations that seek candidates with degrees in health information management. The list below provides a few places one might find employment specific to this degree.
Healthcare insurance agencies
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
- Various local hospitals and healthcare systems
While many of the major job search engines such as indeed.com or monster.com will have several positions to choose from, those listed below are specific to this field.
Gaining real life experience is an ideal way to start a new career. The career services website has an extensive list of internships and fellowships. Browse through the internships organized by interest or by federal program. Below is an example of an organization that offers internships to students within the health information management field.
There are government-organized internship programs which provide students or recent graduates the opportunity to gain real-life experience. Many require students to maintain either a half-time or full-time student status. The best ways to identify potential opportunities such as these is to contact branch offices directly, to search USAJobs.gov, or to look at the agencies’ career portals. Keep in mind that these positions are not always posted online, so direct contact with the agency is key.
The Pathways Program is a federal initiative that offers internship programs for current students and training and career development opportunities for recent graduates. Recent graduates must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans, due to their military service obligation, will have up to six years to apply).The internship program for current students replaces the former Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).
The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)
PMF is designed to attract to federal service outstanding men and women from a wide variety of academic disciplines who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. To be eligible for nomination, an individual must be a graduate student completing or expected to complete, during the current academic year, an advanced degree from a qualifying college or university.
The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)
WRP is coordinated by the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense, and aims to provide summer work experience, and in some cases full-time employment, to college students with disabilities. The program develops partnerships with other federal agencies, each of whom makes a commitment to provide summer jobs and a staff recruiter. Each year, recruiters interview about 1,500 students with disabilities at college and university campuses across the nation, and develop a database listing the qualifications of each student.
Involvement in professional organizations is a great way to stay up-to-date on new technology, tools, and best practices in your field. Professional organizations also provide job seekers with great networking opportunities. Below are a couple professional organizations you may be interest in.