HIM Bachelor’s Degree
Do you want to become a manager for health information services? Learn how a bachelor’s degree in health information management (HIM) can get you there.
Who is a HIM Bachelor’s Degree For?
A HIM degree is most often pursued by those who already work in the health information field.
After working the same medical records technician job for years, you may find yourself restless and wanting to advance within the health information field. That’s where a HIM bachelor’s degree comes into play. Earning a HIM degree can give you the skills and education you need to become a HIM manager.
Going back to school can be intimidating, but if you want to apply for those higher paying management positions, you will need to earn a HIM bachelor’s degree. Keep reading to learn more about a HIM degree. The more you know, the more confident you can feel in your decision to earn an advanced degree.
What Will I Learn at the Bachelor’s Level?
In a HIM program you will review some basic health information practices such as, terminology, coding and billing. The medical field and its related technologies are constantly changing, so even though some of the topics will be familiar, you can expect to learn new information in these ‘review’ courses.
Other courses you might on your curriculum will include:
You may have noticed that many of these classes focus on management. That is because this degree is geared towards teaching you managerial skills. If you are trying to decide if a HIM degree at the associate’s or bachelor’s level is right for you, you should consider that an associate’s degree does not have as strong of a focus on management.
How Much Time Does it Take to Earn?
On average, earning a HIM bachelor’s degree takes about four years. While an associate’s or master’s degree takes about two years to complete.
Although there are HIM degrees offered at the associate’s level, this degree type is less likely to give you the credentials that you need to land that higher paying management job. For more information, scroll down to the section about RHIT and RHIA certification.
To be eligible to earn a master’s degree in HIM, you will need to complete a HIM bachelor’s program.
What Can I Do with an HIM Bachelor’s Degree?
There are three job titles that are primarily sought after by those who have earned a bachelor’s degree in HIM: supervisor, manager or director.
|2-3 years of experience||2-5 years of experience||10-12 years of experience|
|Handles staff scheduling||Manages staff and information technology||Focuses on business|
|Salary $49,278||Salary $54,688||Salary $71,170|
*Salary information is the median amount reported in March, 2017 by Payscale
Is a HIM Program Difficult to get into?
There are some HIM bachelor’s programs that have high standards for their applicants and require you to have the following:
- Have a HIM associate’s degree
- Be a registered RHIT or be eligible to sit for the exam
- Have a AHIMA membership
Don’t get frustrated if you do not meet those requirements. Many schools aren’t as strict. Two common requirements are a GPA at or above 2.5 and completion of specific prerequisites.
Do I Need a Degree to Earn RHIT or RHIA Certification?
In order to be eligible for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam, you must have a HIM bachelor’s degree. Most HIM positions will require applicants to have a RHIA certification.
To sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam, you will need to have at least a HIM associate’s degree. If your goal is to work a HIM job, you will need the RHIA certification. The RHIT only certifies technicians.
Is Financial Aid Available?
One of the most intimidating parts about earning a degree can be the cost. Rather than losing out on the chance to advance your career through a HIM bachelor’s degree, you should consider financial aid.
There are a variety of financial aid options available from schools and the government. In fact, most schools have a financial aid option for low-income students as well as discounted tuition for active-duty military. To receive financial aid from the government, you will complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The amount of aid you receive will vary depending on a variety of factors, such as income and assets.
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