Health Records Clerk

Job Description:

Health records clerks keep medical records up to date.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • create, check and update patient records
  • store test results and letters
  • record illnesses and treatments using a system of codes known as clinical coding
  • record patient admissions, transfers, discharges and deaths
  • transfer details from paper records into computer systems
  • collect statistics like admission numbers, discharges and waiting lists


You’ll need:

  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • administration skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Health Records Clerk, you typically do not need specific subjects. However, having a good educational foundation and certain skills can be beneficial for this role, which involves managing and organising medical records in healthcare facilities. Here are some relevant subjects and skills:

  1. English Language: Strong communication skills, including written communication, are essential for accurately documenting and managing patient records.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for tasks like recording numerical data accurately and calculating medication dosages.
  3. Information Technology (IT): Proficiency in using computers and relevant software is crucial for maintaining electronic health records (EHRs) and navigating healthcare databases.
  4. Science: While not mandatory, a basic understanding of science, particularly biology, can be helpful in understanding medical terminology and healthcare documentation.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take a college course to learn some of the skills and knowledge needed in this job.

In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Certificate in the Principles of Business Administration
  • Diploma in Business Administration
  • Level in Management and Administration


You could get into this job through a business administrator or a clinical coder advanced apprenticeship.

This will usually take between 12 and 18 months to complete. You’ll learn in the workplace and do off-the-job training with a college or training provider.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs in this area. It will also help if you have previous experience of office work, including typing documents and working on spreadsheets.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings on a rota.

You could work in a public or private hospital, in an office or at a GP practice.

Career Path & Progression:

You can study further for a more senior role or to specialise in areas such as clinical coding.

With qualifications and experience you could become a medical secretary or a health records manager.