How to Earn HIPAA Certification

HIPAA Certification can be a useful tool for working in the health industry. See if you should get HIPAA certified.

portrait of Ellery Weil
by Ellery Weil

Updated June 2, 2022

Edited by Madison Hoehn
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How to Earn HIPAA Certification
Image Credit: Solskin / DigitalVision / Getty Images


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, known as HIPAA, is a landmark law in the U.S. that affects everyone, from patients and doctors to insurance companies and health tech companies. It's thanks to HIPAA that you can rest assured that any personal, identifying information your doctor has about you can't fall into strange hands without your permission.

If you want to work in the healthcare industry, HIPAA certification can be a great asset in your job hunt. By becoming HIPAA certified, you can reassure both employers and potential clients that you can be trusted with sensitive personal data and can be given important responsibilities in the world of healthcare. Even if an employer doesn't specify that candidates for a job must be HIPAA certified, having the certification may show them how trustworthy and prepared for the job you are.

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What Are the Requirements for HIPAA Certification?

  • There is no minimum education requirement for HIPAA certification.
  • HIPAA certification is considered "ongoing," also described as a "point-in-time" certification, and may need to be renewed on a semi-regular basis.
  • Organizations and individuals can become HIPAA-certified.
  • Generally, only healthcare workers and those in adjacent fields must have HIPAA certification.

What Skills Will I Learn With HIPAA Certification?

During the HIPAA certification process, you will learn certain skills and facts about HIPAA itself that can be useful when applying to jobs. These skills will include:

  • Data management and storage procedures
  • Privacy agreements and how to manage them
  • Health data comprehension and management skills

Is HIPAA Certification Worth It?

While HIPAA certification is very field-specific, as HIPAA is a healthcare law and does not apply to other types of data management, it can be an extremely important tool if you want to work in health-related fields. This not only goes for work in clinical settings, but also works in sectors like health insurance, health research, and data science.

Given that HIPAA certification can be earned relatively quickly, at little cost, or even for free, getting HIPAA certified is often worth the effort for those who want to work in the health field. HIPAA certification may even be a requirement for certain jobs.

What Jobs Can I Get With HIPAA Certification?

HIPAA certification is rarely the only requirement for a job. However, it can be a major bonus when applying to positions and may be a prerequisite in some cases. Applicants interested in the jobs below should have HIPAA certification:

  • Privacy Officer: A privacy officer is in charge of managing risks for a company or organization relating to privacy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information security analysts earned a median annual salary of $102,600 in May 2021. These professionals are in increasing demand.
  • Health Information Specialist: With only non-degree postsecondary training, including HIPAA certification, you could become a health information specialist. These professionals, according to the BLS, made a median salary of $45,240 per year in May 2021.
  • Health Services Manager: According to the BLS, health service managers earned a median yearly wage of $101,340 in May 2021. In this role, you would help healthcare providers, like clinics and hospitals, plan, direct, and coordinate the different services they offer.

How Much Money Can I Make With HIPAA Certification?

Professionals that must have or benefit from HIPAA certification are often well-paid. In addition to the jobs listed above, doctors, nurses, research and data scientists, and other healthcare professionals work with HIPAA-sensitive data regularly. Knowledge of HIPAA is crucial for anyone seeking a career in healthcare.

If you are considering applying to a medical or nursing program or looking to volunteer in the medical field before choosing it as your career, consider HIPAA certification. It could be the leg up you need on your resume to help you get into a competitive academic program that can lead to a well-paid, in-demand career.

Frequently Asked Questions About HIPAA Certification

How much does HIPAA certification cost?

HIPAA certification can be attained inexpensively or even for free. Individuals, companies, and organizations can gain HIPAA certification, and it's useful for most workers in the field of healthcare and health services.

Due to the number of people and entities that must be well-versed in HIPAA policies, there are many different programs to attain certification. Programs are often geared toward certain occupations.

While programs for organizations can be more expensive, there are HIPAA certification programs available online for under $20 or even for free.

How long does a HIPAA certification last?

HIPAA certification is considered a "point-in-time" certification, meaning that it can only be officially guaranteed for the moment it was attained. Remaining HIPAA compliant is an ongoing process.

However, most relevant hiring bodies understand that a recently-attained HIPAA certification is relevant when they're reviewing your application. If it has been a while since you got HIPAA certification -- say several years or more -- and you're applying for a new position, you could benefit from renewing your HIPAA certification.

How can I get HIPAA certified for free?

There are a wide variety of free online resources to help you get HIPAA trained and certified. You will need to do some research to figure out which of these best suits you, as many programs are geared toward specific occupations or groups of occupations.

Alternatively, if you are already working in a field that deals with HIPAA-sensitive data, it is possible that your employer offers HIPAA compliance training and certification. If that is the case, this will likely be a good option, as you will receive training specific to your role and its responsibilities.

Can you put HIPAA certification on your resume?

You are not required to put HIPAA certification on your resume, but it is often a good idea to do so. If you have a resume section for certifications or membership in professional organizations, this can be a good place to mention that you are HIPAA certified.

Putting your HIPAA certification on your resume can be a good way to alert employers to this credential when they might not otherwise have known or asked. Many employers who will react positively to HIPAA certification don't explicitly list it as a requirement on job postings.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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