Do you think that you might enjoy working in a medical setting, helping people solve computer-related problems? Then, a career as a health office computer technician may suit you.
Health offices include health insurance firms, equipment and medical suppliers, clinics, doctors' offices, public health offices and nursing homes. Health offices are heavily dependent on computers to process documents, store electronic medical records, bill patients and submit insurance claims.
As a computer technician, you may work as a help-desk technician or technical support specialist. Your job is to keep the computers going and to help staff resolve problems. This may entail installing computers and software, upgrading software and hardware devices, repairing computers, removing viruses and solving network problems. You might also be required to train users on new computers, as well as software. You may find employment with a health office, the vendor of health computers and software or a support services firm.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipated faster than average job growth (14%) for computer support specialists over the 2008-2018 decade (www.bls.gov). BLS reported annual median earnings of $49,930 in 2010 for computer support specialists.
Some employers only require candidates to have a related certification, such as CompTIA A+ certification, evidence that you can competently perform hardware and software services on computers and networks. Other employers prefer candidates with an associate's or bachelor's degree in a related discipline.
Colleges may offer a computer technician certificate program. You take courses in the components of a PC system, such as operating systems, internal and external devices, software and hardware systems and networks. You then go on to learn about customer support, preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, malfunctions and viruses.
You may also enroll in an IT support specialist certificate geared towards individuals who want to work in a healthcare environment. It is similar to a computer technician certificate, but you learn about healthcare privacy, ethics and operations. You take courses in healthcare computers, maintaining and managing PCs, network security and project management.
An associate's degree program prepares you to take various relevant certification exams, such as certification from CompTIA, Cisco and Microsoft. Coursework includes computer concepts, operating systems, networking fundamentals, hardware installation, Cisco networking and security fundamentals.
A bachelor's degree is not usually a requirement for a technician's job, but an employer may require you to have a degree in computer science, computer engineering or information systems, according to BLS.
CompTIA offers a healthcare IT technician certification, which tests you on the necessary skills and knowledge needed to work in healthcare IT in different clinical settings. You must be CompTIA A+ certified or possess IT technical experience, as well as IT healthcare systems support experience.