How to Become a Patient Access Representative
The Definitive Career Guide

Avg. Salary

Education Duration
0-6 Months

Job Outlook

If you are looking to get into the medical field and work closely with patients, becoming a patient access representative might be the right career option for you.

A patient access representative is often one of the first people that patients meet.

They facilitate all administrative matters and explain the process of getting the medical care that they need.

Helping patients understand the confusing administrative steps and processes going on around them is vital to smoothly getting patients the medical care that they need as quickly as possible without the overwhelming hassle of bureaucracy.

There are other names for patient access representatives including patient service representatives, service coordinators, patient advocates, and patient access specialists.

Look for these titles when seeking training and employment opportunities.

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Job Description

Often the Patient Access Representative is one of the first people that patients meet at a hospital or medical facility.

The work involves helping people to orient themselves to the space and everything that is going on.


The work does include administrative tasks, but it does include helping people every day.

These duties help smooth administrative matters and help patients understand the process.

These responsibilities include:

  • Meet with patients, family members, and any caregivers when they come in. Also, provide access to any clergy that attends to the patient.
  • Gather a medical history, patient notes, insurance information, and any billing information. This can be critical to ensuring that information is correct.
  • Create the documentation for admission and eventual discharge of the patient. Again, while creating and collecting personal information may not be the most comfortable job for everyone, it is important to ensure the health of the individual.
  • Create various medical documents needed by the hospital. Hospitals involve many employees so being able to communicate clearly with other employees is important.  Often this is through written documents.  Being able to express yourself clearly in writing is important to keep patients on the road to health.  Without that, patients can slip through the cracks and become worse. This is why communication among staff is so important on a daily basis.
  • Explain any policies to the patient and ensure that they understand what is going on. Every hospital and healthcare facility has different procedures and policies. That’s why it’s so important for each person to understand what is expected and going on.

Daily Responsibilities

  • Explain hospital protocols and policies to patients and their families. Also, make any arrangements with visiting clergy that are needed. Every day may have different changes but helping new patients understand the protocols and any billing information can help them have a calmer stay even though they are undergoing medical treatments.
  • Answer any questions or concerns that patients may have. Being in the hospital or a healthcare facility is not a comfortable situation so helping people understand what is going on and all the information that they need makes everyone more comfortable.
  • Maintain patient records by entering their information in databases and ensuring its accuracy. This requires basic computer skills. If the hospital or healthcare facility uses specialized databases or software, they will provide you with training on that.
  • If needed, convey relevant information to medical staff.
  • Help patients understand payment options and the billing methods available.


Average Pay for a Patient Access Representative at Northwestern Medical Center

The pay range depends on where you are geographically located.

However, some areas do pay more.

At Northwestern Medical Center, Patient Access Representatives earn $20 an hour.

This is the usual pay for this job.

But be aware that the job may also include bonuses, medical care, and stock options that make the pay scale better.

Pay Scale in Pennsylvania

The average pay for Patient Access Representatives in Pennsylvania is $30,000 a year.

This can increase as the employee ages to $46,000.

Pay Scale in Louisiana

Patient Access Representatives earn $30,000 a year.

While this figure is based on tax information, people in this occupation earn anywhere from $18,000 to 45,000.

This depends on education and experience.

Pay Scale in Florida

Here again, patient access representatives earn on average $30,500 a year.

This does not include tips or bonuses that may add to the overall income.

Pay Scale in California

Patient Access Representatives in California earn about $37,000 a year.

Again, this doesn’t include any bonuses or tips.

Pay Scale in New York

The average pay scale of a Patient Access Representative in New York is $33,500 a year.

This base pay can grow as an individual’s education and experience grows.

Pay Scale in Texas

Patient Access Representatives in Texas earn about $33,500 each year.

This does not include tips or any bonuses.  All figures are based on tax returns.

Overall Salary Expectations for a Position as a Patient Access Representative

The base salary overall for a patient access representative is between $30,000 a year and $37,000 a year.

It really depends on the amount of education and experience.

Positive interactions with patients also make a big difference.

If you choose this occupation, get the education and work experience that you need then give yourself to taking care of your patients.

That personal touch is the most important part.

No one likes to be in the hospital so a friendly, helpful face makes the whole experience so much easier.

Patient resource representatives are an important part of the medical process for all patients.

They are the professionals who liaise between the medical facility and the patient.

Their predominant tasks are interacting with the patients, their families, or caregivers and taking care of administrative tasks.

This means that the professional needs to be friendly, welcoming, and helpful when collecting medical history, and insurance information and communicating with the appropriate staff as needed.

This means that a patient access representative must understand how to handle sensitive personal information.

Another major task that could be uncomfortable for some is talking with patients about billing and information.

If there are any questions or complaints, the professional needs to be able to sensitively resolve the situation.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

Annually National Average Salary: $48,310


Average Annual Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$63,270
New Hampshire$43,790
New Jersey$67,130
New Mexico$43,530
New York$55,350
North Carolina$43,950
North Dakota$48,930
Rhode Island$51,520
South Carolina$46,070
South Dakota$47,160
West Virginia$41,250
Puerto Rico$24,390

Annual Average Salary: Top 5 States

The top earning state in the field is New Jersey, where the average salary is $67,130.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New Jersey - $67,130
District of Columbia - $63,270
Massachusetts - $58,950
California - $57,950
Connecticut - $57,480
* Salary information based on May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Medical Records Specialists, OCC Code 29-2072, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

How to Become

Step 1 Finding the Right Education Options

Looking for a major to become a patient access representative can be confusing at first.

But it doesn’t have to be.

If you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree, consider looking into healthcare administration.

Other areas to explore include nursing, psychology, and business.

These degrees all build the skills that companies are looking for.

Step 2 Build and Share Your Knowledge

There are several skills that are important for a patient access representative.

These include the ability to easily communicate with patients, an understanding of medical terminology, being able to provide service to patients, and the ability to take care of administrative tasks.

The next thing is to complete an internship.

Step 3 Following Your School Courses

After your school courses, you will need to spend some time with an internship which will give you anywhere from a month to three months of on-the-job training.

This allows you to get comfortable in the position and even learn new skills.

Building this level of competency makes you more attractive to employers. While you are working, you are truly learning what it means to be a patient access representative.

You’ll learn about the actual work duties and what is required each day.

This can help you decide if this is the right career for you.

What You Will Learn

You’ll learn how to use any specialized software for patient records.

You’ll also learn how to manage patient care with regard to confidentiality and HIPPA.

Then there is learning about the Medicaid and Medicare systems and how to navigate those government systems to the benefit of your patients.

If a patient is receiving managed care from these services, it can be difficult to understand how to process these care plans and payment processes.

But by doing this work, you will learn how to care for your patients even when it seems challenging.

This is especially true if your patient is having a medical emergency, is elderly, or is very low-income.

This is where your compassion, empathy, and best customer skills come into play.

Step 4 Getting Ready for Your New Job

When you have completed your education and internship, it’s time to make sure that your resume reflects the skills that you have developed.

Take your time and truly consider the courses and work experience that you have been through.

While you are thinking about this, start looking at potential companies.

Also, talk with your friends and colleagues about potential positions and the quality of work experience.

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Getting the right education for the job

Employers are looking for individuals with a bachelor’s degree and some experience in the healthcare field.

Although some take people who have GEDs, so it’s important to do your research.

The skills that most hiring managers look for are customer service, communication, and computer skills.

There are steps to becoming certified to do this type of work.

Education is the key to securing a position as a patient access representative.

Every employer is different but the more education you have, the better your job will bill.

Some want employees to have a college education.

Approximately 35% of employers have this requirement.

While some may have this requirement, most positions only require a high school diploma or GED which makes this a much easier option for most people

Video About The Career

Licensing and Certification

While you do need to attend education courses to enter this procession, there are no certification requirements.

Most employers are looking for individuals who have both people skills and administrative skills.

Getting the education and on-the-job training that you need are all important to show that you have the skills needed for the job.

As the population ages, the need for qualified Patient Access Representatives grows.

The need for people who can care for others is important.

If you can be empathetic and still take care of administrative tasks, this might be the right job for you.

Average Training Program Duration: 0-6 Months

Job Outlook

Medical records specialists in the United States are expected to grow at a rate of about 7% over the next 10 years.

Employment Growth Projection: 7%


That's a higher than average projected growth of 12,300

Should You Become a Patient Access Representative?

Overall Satisfaction: High

Overall Satisfaction

Overall Satisfaction is high for those that like to care for those around them.

Average Salary: Medium

Average Salary

While the salary might not be that high, it is the perfect job for many people who are devoted to caring for others.

Job Growth Outlook: Medium

Job Growth Outlook

Salaries tend to grow as people develop their skills and work experience.

The profession is expected to grow at a rate of about 7% over the next 10 years.

Education Duration: 0-6 Months

Education Duration

It takes anywhere between 1 to 4 months to get certified.

Personal Skills Needed

Personal Skills Needed

The longer you work and build skills, the better your work experience will be.

As you develop your skills, your income can also increase.

You need to be polite, and caring for patients.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long is the education?

The schooling doesn’t have to be that long, but the work can be very meaningful.

The biggest thing is staying focused to get the schooling and work experience that you need.

For many people, this is the perfect job but you do have to put the work into it before you see the results.


What is the salary of Patient Access Representatives?

Most Patient Access Representatives earn $30,000 to $35,000 a year.

This could be an option for you if love caring for other people and helping them get the best help and care that they can find.

This is the perfect opportunity to care for your family while using your personal skills.

During your schooling, you will develop additional skills that will help you care for patients on an every day basis.


What are personal skills needed?

Best Skills for a Patient Access Representative – Empathy and organization.

You’ll also need to know basic computer skills so that you can take care of patient records.

USA Patient Access Representative Info by State

USA MapWashingtonOregonCaliforniaIdahoNevadaUtahArizonaMontanaWyomingColoradoNew Mexiconorth-dakota/South DakotaNebraskakansas/OklahomaTexasMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaWisconsinIllinoisKentuckyTennesseeMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaNorth CarolinaVirginiaMichiganMichiganIndianaOhioWest VirginiaPennsylvaniaNew YorkMarylandMarylandDelawareNew JerseyConnecticutRhode IslandMassachusettsVermontNew HampshireMaineAlaskaHawaiiNew JerseyVermontNew HampshireMassachusetts

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