How to Become a Patient Access Representative in North Dakota

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So, you want to start a medical career but don’t want to spend your whole life in school.

Are there any fields that don’t require college?

Yes.

A patient access specialist requires no special degree or on-the-job training.

Even better, it’s growing at a 7% rate, which is as fast as average.

For a North Dakota resident, it’s a great field to consider.

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Steps to Become a Patient Access Representative in North Dakota

North Dakota doesn’t require a specialized college degree to start this job.

You just need to pass a certification exam to begin. Sound simple? Let’s dig deeper.

Step One: Get a High School Education

Did you finish high school? Great!

That’s the highest formal education you need for this job.

What if you dropped out early?

Can you use your GED instead?

Yes.

If you haven’t earned one, sign up for a GED program at an adult-education center.

These schools provide guided education that helps you earn your GED.

Can you take self-guided GED courses?

Absolutely!

These personalized classes cover important high school subjects.

For example, you’ll cover science, math, and reading in your GED exam.

Step Two: Consider Certification

Most patient access representatives earn at least one certification before looking for jobs.

Which is the best of these options?

Typically, most North Dakota hospitals want a National Association of Healthcare Access Management certification.

These certs are the Certified Healthcare Access Associate (CHAA) or Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM).

Which of these is better?

Get the first to find entry-level positions and the second to work as a manager.

Step Three: Volunteer in a Hospital

After passing your certification exam, consider volunteering at a hospital.

Why?

Have you ever looked at a job listing and found even entry-level positions wanted experience?

Well, volunteering gives you hands-on time in this field.

Volunteer work also looks great on a resume.

Add all this work to your resume and list where you volunteered.

This information gives your resume more depth.

It also shows that you care about your community.

Should you include all volunteer work?

Focus mostly on healthcare volunteering.

Step Four: Apply for an internship

Will you get paid for volunteering?

No, but you can apply for an internship after volunteering.

Internships teach you important skills that make this job easier.

What do interns get paid?

Don’t expect much:

some don’t get paid at all.

That said, they often get training and can transition into a job.

Step Five: Get On-the-Job Training

Most full-time patient access representatives require at least five years of experience.

Thankfully, many jobs provide on-the-job training for promising employees.

How long will this training last?

Expect three years of supervised training.

Thankfully, you should get paid for this training, even if you don’t take a full-time job.

Will you get paid a lot?

Usually, pay is lower than a full-time job.

That said, it’s better to get paid something than nothing.

Step Six: Apply for Better Positions

Once you’ve completed your on-the-job training, try finding better work.

Often, these positions include management roles.

How does management differ from entry-level work?

You’ll focus more on scheduling other people’s days and managing their workload.

What about other patient management roles?

Is it possible to transition to them?

Sometimes.

It mostly depends on the hospital.

For example, some may let patient access representatives work in billing or accounting.

Schools in North Dakota

No North Dakota schools provide patient access representative training courses.

So, how can you prepare?

National certification programs often include hands-on training options.

For example, Penn Foster provides hands-on training for this career.

Hudson County Community College also provides an online program for this career path.

How long will these courses last?

Typically, they take several months.

Do you get tuition support?

Some schools will provide tuition support, including scholarships, for this program.

Salary

Here’s the good news:

you can make good money as a patient access representative.

Just how much?

Expect to make an average of $48,385 in North Dakota.

What’s the max pay for this position?

Most highly-experienced reps make closer to $55,000 every year.

Can you make more in this career?

Yes.

For example, senior patient access representatives make more than entry-level workers.

Working in bigger cities may also help.

Try Fargo first before checking out Mercer.

These areas typically provide the highest pay.

Annual Salary Range:
$44K
$48K
$54K

Average Salary of Patient Access Representatives in North Dakota

City NameSalary
Fargo$47,277
Bismarck$49,191
Grand Forks$45,256
Minot$48,436
Mandan$49,191
Dickinson$48,436
Jamestown$47,478
West Fargo$47,277
Williston$48,436
Wahpeton$46,521
* Salary information last updated 2023

Regional Salary in North Dakota

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bismarck, ND90$49,400$23.75$59,990$37,450
Fargo, ND-MN140$49,220$23.66$62,750$37,530
Grand Forks, ND-MN60$47,040$22.61$59,250$37,080
* 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

Where can I find a job?

You can find patient access representative jobs in hospitals throughout North Dakota.

These include Sanford Medical Center Fargo, Sanford Medical Center Bismarck, and Altru Health System-Grand Forks.

Do these positions provide more training?

Yes.

Most hospitals provide in-depth training for all their jobs.

What will you learn?

Typically, you’ll learn how each facility operates.

How often must I renew my certification?

That depends on your cert.

Most remain valid for at least 3-4 years.

After this time, you take a simple renewal test.

Does it cover the same subjects as the main exam?

Well, yes, but in a smaller format. For example, it typically includes far fewer questions and less intense details.

Do any certifications last only a year?

Thankfully, no certs last just one year.

Does this job compare well to other North Dakota careers?

What’s the average salary in North Dakota right now?

About $63,467 annually.

That’s almost $10,000 more than the top-end wage for this job.

Does that mean you should avoid this position?

No.

Why?

Well, the highest-earning North Dakota jobs typically require an extensive college education.

Though you need a lot of training, it’s typically paid and will not put you in debt.

What kind of personality fits this position?

Are you an empathetic person?

Do you enjoy helping others?

You might fit this job well.

Do you like a fast-paced environment with plenty of work?

Try out this position.

Most patient access representatives spend their whole shift working.

If you get easily bored and need a lot of action to stay on task, you’ll have more than enough to keep you occupied.

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