How to Become a Patient Access Representative in Washington

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Finding a medical career in Washington State may include extensive training and many years of college education.

However, a patient access representative job is a medical position that requires minimal to no training and is something you can use to earn a pretty good income.

Understanding how to start this career can ensure you get the best experience possible.

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Get information on Patient Access Representative programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Steps to Become a Patient Access Representative in Washington

Knowing precisely what to expect is essential if you want to start this career in Washington.

There are many unique training options and certifications that can make this process simpler.

Here’s the in-depth process to begin a career in this field.

Step One: Get the Proper Training

While earning a college degree to begin a patient access representative career is not strictly necessary, it won’t hurt.

Many employers will appreciate an applicant with a college degree, particularly in subjects like patient support, medical assistance, and office-based work.

Even an associate’s degree (which takes up to two years to earn) is a good option for many people.

They cost far less than a bachelor’s degree and will likely help you stand out.

On the other hand, a bachelor’s degree takes far more time to earn and may make you seem overqualified for the position in the eyes of some employers.

Step Two: Choose a Certification Program

Though Washington doesn’t have a state-based certification program for patient access representatives, national certificates can help you stand out.

These include options like Certified Medical Office, Certified Professional Biller, Certified Coding Associate (CCA), and Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS) certificates.

Step Three: Volunteer or Intern in Medical Positions

If you don’t have any experience in this field, you can apply for volunteering and internship positions to improve your chances of finding a job.

Hospitals often provide in-depth training options in internships that can help you start.

Even if you don’t get paid, the experience itself is invaluable.

Furthermore, volunteering shows medical facilities that you care about others and are willing to do the hard work necessary to support your community.

It also showcases a strong work ethic that highlights your willingness to work long, a common demand in this career.

Step Four: Improve Your Resume

Ensure you regularly update your resume whenever you get experience in this field.

For example, you should add your volunteer work and internships to your resume.

Don’t forget to update your certifications and licenses section as you earn more.

Then, you can add skills to your resume that highlight your abilities.

These should include things like your hard and soft skills, such as empathy and computer knowledge.

You want to produce a resume highlighting your skills and making you seem the best candidate possible.

Talk with a job-support team to learn more about how you can improve your resume.

Some people do things like add too many jobs or stretch over multiple pages.

Most employers want a simple and easy-to-understand resume that gives them all they need to know about a person.

Step Five: Start Applying for Full-Time Positions

Now that you’ve earned a certificate and have experience with volunteer and internship positions, you can start looking for full-time jobs.

While you can always try looking for them right after certification, getting a little more experience first is often better to improve your chances.

Look for jobs in hospitals, medical facilities, dental offices, and any other medical office in your area.

Often, these careers are available in just about every medical company, though they’re typically focused most heavily in hospitals.

Thankfully, Washington has plenty of options that you can consider in this field that should make it easier to find a job.

You may also find temporary, part-time, or contract jobs in this field that may suit your needs.

These positions are great ways to improve your resume and get more experience.

They also help you better understand if this job suits your needs.

Schools in Washington

Washington is similar to other states in that it doesn’t provide a patient access representative degree or schools that help you train for this career.

However, you can earn a Patient Access Certification from the National Association of Healthcare Access Management to begin your job.

You can also try other certification options listed in the “how to” section above.


Patient access representatives in Washington earn an average of $54,064, or between $49,196 and $60,432 per year.

That compares favorably to the per capita income of $43,817 but less so to the $82,400 median salary of the state.

The high number of computer-based professionals throughout the state and significant corporations artificially inflated this income level.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Patient Access Representatives in Washington

City NameSalary
Federal Way$36,584
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Washington

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bellingham, WA70$53,160$25.56$72,300$37,970
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA120$48,420$23.28$65,470$30,790
Kennewick-Richland, WA150$49,170$23.64$67,190$36,210
Longview, WA40$50,560$24.31$75,840$35,970
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA60$55,690$26.78$74,770$39,620
Olympia-Tumwater, WA90$50,940$24.49$65,240$37,940
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA2,250$63,460$30.51$90,630$46,290
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA380$51,300$24.66$69,310$36,760
Walla Walla, WA50$53,810$25.87$65,800$38,460
Wenatchee, WA40$46,090$22.16$53,280$37,900
Yakima, WA130$49,390$23.75$61,150$36,670
* 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

What skills do I need to become a patient representative in Alabama?

When applying for a patient access representative position, developing your interpersonal communication, problem-solving, computer management, compassion, empathy, and writing skills is a good idea.

Doing so can help ensure that you provide high-quality support for your clients, including a better understanding of their care and what treatment options are available near them.

Do I need specialized degrees to start this job in Washington?

While Washington has many colleges that provide high-quality medical degrees, you don’t need any to start a patient access representative position.

That said, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in fields like medical assistance can help you stand out from other applicants in your area.

Do I need an annual license renewal for this job in Washington?

Washington has no state-based license or certification for patient access representative jobs.

Instead, you can earn a national certificate that may require annual renewal.

The different certificate options all have other renewal options, so make sure you know what to expect for starting.

Where can I find a patient access representative job in Washington?

Washington has many hospitals where you can apply for this job, including UW Medicine locations throughout the region, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Providence Sacred Heart, EvergreenHealth Kirkland, and Overlake Medical Center and Clinics. Try any of these locations to find a job.

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