Medical Records Specialists: Job Level and Salary Data

Medical Records Specialist: A Vital Role in Healthcare

In today’s ever-evolving healthcare landscape, the need for accurate and organized documentation is essential. That’s where medical records specialists come in. These professionals play a critical role in healthcare, ensuring that patient records are correct, up-to-date, and accessible.

What is a Medical Records Specialist?

The role of a medical records specialist (also known as a medical records technician or health information technician) is to manage patient health information, including the storage, processing, and maintenance of medical records. These records include medical histories, diagnostic test results, treatment plans, and other health-related information.

Examples of the Job

Medical records specialists work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician offices, long-term care facilities, and insurance companies. Some of the tasks that they perform include:

– Collecting and organizing patient health information
– Entering patient information into electronic health record (EHR) systems
– Coding medical records for reimbursement purposes
– Ensuring that patient records are accurate and complete
– Keeping patient records confidential and secure
– Responding to requests for patient medical information

Education and Training

To become a medical records specialist, an individual must have a high school diploma or equivalent. However, most employers prefer candidates with a post-secondary certificate, which takes less than a year to complete. Community colleges, vocational schools, and online programs offer certificate programs in health information management.

Certification is not required to work as a medical records specialist, but it may improve job prospects and career advancement opportunities. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers several credentials, including the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification, which requires passing an exam.

Progression and Getting into the Field

Entry-level medical records specialists can work their way up to supervisory or management positions over time. Gaining additional experience and education can lead to career advancement opportunities.

Those who are new to the field can start as a medical records clerk or assistant. Relevant work experience in healthcare or an allied health field is beneficial. Completing a certificate program in health information management and obtaining certification can improve job prospects.


In conclusion, medical records specialists play a vital role in healthcare. They ensure that patient records are accurate, complete, and confidential. Education and training requirements are minimal, and career advancement is possible with experience and additional education. Anyone looking to enter the healthcare field with an interest in administrative work and an eye for detail may find a fulfilling career as a medical records specialist.

Medical Records Specialists: Job Level and Salary Data

Location Job Level Salary Unionized
US National Average All workers $36,712.00 – $56,867.20 Varies
US National Average Not able to be leveled $53,955.20 Varies
US National Average Entry $36,670.40 Varies
US National Average Intermediate $53,393.60 Varies
US National Average All levels $49,004.80 – $69,908.80 Varies
US National Average Full-time $36,732.80 – $57,824.00 Varies
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA All levels $71,905.60 Unionized
Northwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area All levels $34,008.00 Nonunionized

Medical records specialists fall under job level 04 to 06, and their salary typically ranges from $36,712.00 to $56,867.20 per year. Entry-level medical records specialists usually earn around $36,670.40 per year, while intermediate-level specialists earn an average of $53,393.60 per year. However, some medical records specialists are not able to be leveled, and they earn around $53,955.20 per year.

Unionization can have a significant impact on the salary of medical records specialists. On average, unionized medical records specialists earn a higher salary of $69,908.80 per year, while nonunionized specialists earn around $49,004.80 per year. Full-time medical records specialists earn an average salary of $50,793.60 per year, but this can vary based on job level and whether or not they are unionized.

Geographically, medical records specialists in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA earn the highest average salary of $71,905.60 per year, while those in the Northwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area earn the lowest average salary of $34,008.00 per year.