Are you interested in the medical field but aren’t sure you want to spend so much of your life in college?
nobody wants to fall into that much debt.
What if we told you there’s a medical job in New Jersey that lets you earn nearly $50,000 without a college degree?
You’d probably laugh. However, patient access representatives fit the bill.
- Steps to Become a Patient Access Representative in New Jersey
- Schools in New Jersey
- Frequently Asked Questions
Steps to Become a Patient Access Representative in New Jersey
Here’s the good news: you don’t need a college degree to become a patient access representative.
Yes, a degree might help you find a job, but it isn’t strictly necessary.
How can you start this career?
By following the simple steps below.
Though it takes take a few years, you won’t fall into debt.
Step One: Complete High School
If you’re still in high school, make sure you graduate.
You don’t need to be an honor roll student:
just get your diploma.
All patient access rep jobs require a high school diploma.
What if you dropped out?
you can use a GED instead.
Earn a GED by attending adult education classes at a community college or alternative high school.
Are these schools available in New Jersey?
just research options near you to find one that suits you.
Complete your education to move towards certification.
Step Two: Pass the Certification Exam
What is patient access rep (PAR) certification?
It’s a process that includes passing a written exam that showcases your knowledge.
Most people take training classes before trying their certification.
They provide hands-on support that makes passing the test easier.
Thankfully, many groups provide PAR certificates.
The most acclaimed is the National Association of Healthcare Access Management.
What certs do they provide?
The Certified Healthcare Access Associate (CHAA) or Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM).
How do you pass this test?
Make sure you study carefully and focus on patient care needs.
These include skills like empathy, paperwork handling, and general medical terms.
Read through your course paperwork, study regularly, and take your exam when you’re ready.
Are you guaranteed to pass?
No, but taking a class first can help improve your chances.
Step Three: Get Experience
Now you need to get some work experience in this field.
Unfortunately, that’s not always easy.
It’s the most common conundrum PAR employees face:
finding work in a field that commonly asks for 3-4 years of experience.
Can you avoid this?
You have two options:
volunteering and interning.
Each offers unique benefits.
First, volunteering expands your resume exponentially.
It also shows hospitals that you care about others.
What experiences work best?
Find anything that lets you work in billing.
Internships give you real hands-on experience in the field and may include paid work.
Some are unpaid but require a full-time commitment.
Should you find work to supplant your income?
Yes, you may need to if you have bills to pay while you intern.
Note that some hospitals provide paid training options.
These often run for 3-4 years and help you get real hands-on experience.
Try this method if you want to work immediately.
Are there limited options?
Sadly, not all hospitals offer this learning option.
Step Four: Start Looking for Jobs
After getting some work experience, you can apply for PAR jobs in New Jersey.
Look for positions near Trenton and other big cities.
These areas often have more hospitals and pay better.
How should you apply?
Prepare a resume and cover letter, if necessary.
If a hospital asks for a cover letter, write one specifically to their needs.
What do we mean?
Highlight your skills in any special areas they require.
Focus on discussing things like your soft skills and empathy, as well as office experience.
Don’t forget your volunteer time:
highlight these in a cover letter to emphasize your empathetic nature.
These steps help you stand out.
Do they guarantee a full-time job?
No, but you’ll look more professional.
Schools in New Jersey
Currently, there are no schools in New Jersey with PAR programs.
Thankfully, there are online training programs that may suit you.
How do they work?
They typically include video-based platforms that immerse you in important job skills.
For example, Penn Foster for Organizations provides patient access representative training for employers.
Does this apply to you?
Yes, if you get hired for a position.
You’ll learn about important PAR lessons and get support for certification exams.
A PAR can make a broad salary range in New Jersey.
For example, they can make between $50,470 to $62,009 with an average of $55,475.
These varying pay rates occur due to geographical and hospital pay differences.
Are better jobs available?
Many patient access representatives transition to higher-paying jobs.
These include management positions.
How do these jobs differ?
You’ll typically focus more on helping other PAR manage their schedules and job duties.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Patient Access Representatives in New Jersey
Regional Salary in New Jersey
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ||40||$63,420||$30.49||$76,620||$38,240|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do I need to renew?
Most PAR certifications last between 3-4 years.
After this time, you must take a certification test.
Do you need to take the whole course again?
All you need to do is take a short exam.
Where can I find a job?
Look for hospitals in New Jersey, like Hackensack University Medical Center.
Do other hospitals hire PAR?
Try Morristown, Valley, and Overlook hospitals.
They provide many jobs that may fit your needs.
Is this a well-paying job?
A PAR in Jersey makes an average of $55,475 per year.
Does that compare favorably to the state average?
More or less.
While it’s lower than the $61,795 average New Jersey income, it’s not much lower.
Can I work in other states?
If you don’t want to stay in Jersey, your national certification is valid anywhere in the country.
Therefore, you can travel to New York and find a job. Is this a great option?
That depends on your needs.