How to Become a Patient Access Representative in New Mexico

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Medical careers in New Mexico are very high paying.

They’re also heavily in demand:

for example, the patient access representative field is growing by 7% in the next 10 years.

Even better, this career requires minimal training before you begin.

As a result, it’s worth knowing how to become a patient access representative.

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Steps to Become a Patient Access Representative in New Mexico

Is college training necessary for this job?

Absolutely not!

While it can help you find a better role, you can start looking for patient access rep (PAR) jobs right out of high school.

Will you be successful?

Probably not without a certification.

The following steps will ensure that you’re prepared for the unique demands of this profession.

Step One: Get a High School Diploma

Are you still in high school?

Well, buckle down and finish your diploma before looking for a PAR job.

Certification programs demand a high school degree or an equivalent before acceptance.

Is a GED good enough?

Of course.

The GED is the most common high school equivalent.

It’s also one of the easiest to earn.

How do you get one?

Find an adult education center near you that offers GED courses.

Often, these programs include guided help from a skilled professional.

Step Two: Complete Your Certification Training

New Mexico currently provides no state-based PAR certification.

However, you can earn a national certification instead.

What does a certificate prove?

It shows that you’re a skilled expert in your field.

Where can you earn one?

Well, the National Association of Healthcare Access Management provides two cert options:

the CHAA and CHAM.

The first works best for entry-level jobs, while the second helps with management positions.

Which should you get?

That depends on your career goals.

Step Three: Take the Certification Exam

After finishing your certification training, you must sit for an exam.

These tests gauge your PAR knowledge, including paperwork and patient management.

Do they cost anything?

Yes, most will require a fee of $100 or more to take.

However, some training programs offer test vouchers upon completion.

What are test vouchers?

They pay for your exam and minimize your expenses for the test.


these vouchers typically work only one time.

So, if you fail your exam, you’ll need to pay to retake it.

Step Four: Gain Experience

When checking a PAR listing, you might sigh when you read “three years of experience REQUIRED.”

How are you supposed to have experience for an entry-level job?

Certification counts, but it’s not enough.

Most people use internships or volunteering to gain experience.

Volunteering not only helps you gain experience but shows you care about your community.

Internships give you real hands-on experience with some compensation.


paid training options differ from internships and are mandatory when getting your first PAR job.

Step Five: Apply for Jobs

Are you ready to work?

Well, look on hospital job boards and other sites for available positions.


some facilities may list these jobs with the heading “medical assistant.”

Is there any difference?

That depends on the hospital:

some expect different roles with these positions.

What will happen then?

Expect a 1-3 year training period with a skilled professional.

You’ll get your full pay during this period but get hands-on support learning your job roles.

Think of it as your college training: except you get paid.

Schools in New Mexico

Currently, one school in New Mexico provides PAR training.

It focuses on preparing you for the CMAA exam and includes hands-on training.

If these courses don’t appeal to you, are there other options?

Yes, if you don’t mind doing an out-of-state online class.

University of New Mexico University of New Mexico

UNM’s PAR course costs $2,695 and provides hands-on training for this profession.

You’ll learn about proper paperwork management and patient handling techniques.

It’ll also give you the experience necessary for taking either the CMAA or CEHRS exams.

What eligibility requirements are required for these exams?

Both require either completing medical assistant training or education programs within the last five years or having one year of supervised work experience.

UNM’s training will meet these demands.

Penn Foster for Organizations Penn Foster for Organizations

If UNM’s program doesn’t appeal to you, Penn Foster provides PAR training that prepares you for the CMAA or CEHRS exams.

You’ll get wraparound learner support, help from instructors and coaches, and assistance with job training.

Who should try this program?

It’s typically pitched to employers, though anyone can take it.

What are its main benefits?

You can take this course online and typically finish faster than other programs.

That said, it’s basically the same training available from UNM.

Patient Access Representative Schools in New Mexico – Summary Table

Top 2 Schools in New Mexico

School NameAddress
University of New MexicoAlbuquerque, NM 87131, United States
Penn Foster for OrganizationsStudent Services Center, 925 Oak Street, Scranton, PA 18515 USA


Expect to earn between $42,295 and $51,955 annually in New Mexico as a PAR.

What about the average salary?

You’ll likely get at least $46,480.

How do you get a higher-paying position?

Try seeking out bigger hospitals with larger budgets.

You can also try for management jobs.


managers typically need at least a few years of experience to thrive in this position.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Patient Access Representatives in New Mexico

City NameSalary
Las Cruces$42,832
Santa Fe$47,619
Rio Rancho$47,228
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in New Mexico

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Albuquerque, NM760$49,260$23.68$64,510$34,830
Farmington, NM80$46,940$22.57$65,670$30,990
Las Cruces, NM80$38,910$18.71$53,450$29,090
Santa Fe, NM80$50,930$24.49$60,750$33,990
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Medical Records Specialists, OCC Code 29-2072, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I need to renew?

Typically, you renew your cert every 3-4 years.

What does certification entail?

Most require a simple test that gauges your skills and abilities.

Do you need full training again?

Thankfully, no.

Unless you let your certification lapse for too long, you typically only need to get trained once.

Where can I find a job?

New Mexico has many hospitals where you can apply for a PAR job.

These include Acoma, Advanced Care, Central Desert, and Lincoln County medical centers.

Which is the best option?

That depends on your location and needs.

Is this a well-paying job?

How well does a PAR job compare to the New Mexico average?

Well, New Mexico residents earn $65,138 on average.

That’s much higher than PAR’s $46,480 average.


these high-earning jobs require college degrees that create extensive debt.

Can I work in other states?

Yes! Your certification is national, meaning it works in any state that accepts it.

New Mexico accepts all PAR certificates.

Why would you move to another state?

Typically, for better compensation.

Areas like Arizona or California may provide higher pay.

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