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Career Map for Healthcare Documentation


Whether one is a new graduate or a seasoned professional in the ever-evolving healthcare documentation industry, it can be challenging to know what types of job opportunities and career pathways exist. And, in the environment of continuous technological advances that progress throughout the country and the world, not knowing specific career options can create a real obstacle when seeking a new position, role, or career. The AHDI Career Map, created to be an effective tool for career planning, is a collection of roles that have been categorized into five healthcare departmental domains and four skillset levels to best clarify the distinctions among these job roles.

It is important to note that not all organizations, facilities, and businesses are equal, and any given role may differ from employer to employer in job title, summary, education, experience, and/or level of responsibility and authority. As such, a role listed in the Career Map as level 2 may be considered level 1 in some facilities or level 3 in others, and a position listed in the Career Map in the domain of Healthcare Documentation may fall into the category of Document Integrity or EHR/IT at yet another. Therefore, while the AHDI Career Map has been structured intentionally with the job roles in separate levels and domains, crossover may occur based on individual employers within the healthcare industry.


Use this Career Map as a guide to help you move forward in your career in the Healthcare Documentation field by using your existing skills and knowledge base to position yourself in new and changing roles in the industry. Your school and prior work experience as well as continuing education can allow you to transition into evolving roles and new opportunities to stretch and expand your skills and move into both traditional and non-traditional positions in Healthcare Documentation. While this Career Map is a guide, each facility may have its own level requirements such as educational degrees or work experience; as such, these levels may not be the same for everyone. This map can help you determine where you would like to be as you grow your career in Healthcare Documentation.


The AHDI Career Map is structured and color-illustrated to show job mappings across career levels and career domains, complete with job descriptions for cross-referencing available.

Domains/Specialty Areas

Five domains were identified by AHDI’s Managers/Supervisors Alliance Steering Committee based on case studies from various organizations employing healthcare documentation specialists in traditional and expanded roles. Skill set levels were created and matched with various roles within each domain.

Learn More About Each Domain

Levels Based on Skills, Education, and Experience

Managers representing both healthcare organizations (ambulatory and inpatient) and medical transcription service organizations (MTSOs) developed the skill sets based on healthcare documentation/editing work-type knowledge, quality assurance/document integrity review experience, work environment, technical expertise, critical thinking skills, managerial experience, and soft skills.

Learn More About Each Level


For your reference, we have created a webpage of abbreviations used throughout the Career Map.

Access the Abbreviations

Managers/Supervisors Alliance

AHDI extends our gratitude and thanks to the Managers/Supervisors Alliance Steering Committee for assembling this important resource for our community. We wish to thank the following individuals for their contributions:

  • Amy Biondi
  • Sherry Doggett
  • Sheila Guston, CHDS, CHDP-A, CHDP-S, AHDI-F
  • Elizabeth Harmeson, RHIA, CMT
  • Melissa Harper, AHA
  • Patricia King, CHDS, CHDP
  • Debbie Krapfl, RHIT, AHDI-F
  • Sherry Marting, CMT, AHDI-F
  • DAysha Weller, RHDS, AHDI-F
  • Janine Woodhull


The material provided in the Career Map was developed in 2016/2017 and is for information purposes only. The model job descriptions, levels, domains, etc. were created as examples and do not guarantee job placement. Position roles and requirements will vary by organization.


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