Healthcare Informatics Jobs and Salaries: What You Need to Know
Fueled primarily by ongoing changes in technology that are reshaping the health care industry — most notably the federally mandated transition to the use of electronic health records (EHRs) — one of the nation’s fastest-growing job sectors is the field of health care informatics.
This has created a very real “skills gap” — as the growing number of health informatics career opportunities far outpaces the supply of qualified workers. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts health informatics job growth of 15% in the coming years, “much faster than the average” for other occupations. That projection focuses on medical records and health information management roles and does not account for what is believed to be even more robust growth in related, higher-paying disciplines like data analysis.
Job opportunities in this rapidly evolving field span the full spectrum of the health care experience — from public health, veterinary and dental care to nursing, biotech, telemedicine and the insurance industry. All of this is excellent news for job seekers who possess or are willing to acquire the much-needed and highly sought-after combination of health care and information technology (IT) skills.
While these positions have widely differing job descriptions, the majority share common areas of responsibility such as integrating and managing health data, improving quality of care and identifying and analyzing health and disease trends. To see actual health informatics job listings, check out the AHIMA careers page (American Health Information Management Association) and the JobMine listings at HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
Health Informatics Salaries
Salaries vary depending on position and geographical location, but overall pay in the informatics field is high since demand is soaring and supply is short. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health information managers fall into the larger employment category known as health services and medical managers. Employment for these professionals is expected to grow by 23% between 2012 and 2022, with a median average salary of $92,810. Salaries vary widely throughout the health information management field and the high demand for qualified professionals means you’ll likely earn a decent salary right from the outset. This Career Map compiled by AHIMA gives further insight into salary expectations (hover to see job titles; click to see job descriptions and average salaries).
Position – Average Salary
- Chief Clinical Informatics Officer – $180,000
- Director of Clinical Informatics – $128,075
- Director of HIM – $90,763
- Clinical Informatics Coordinator – $84,058
Health Informatics Careers
Even if you currently work in an HIM role, to position yourself for career growth in health informatics you will need solid training to round out your medical and IT knowledge as well as to develop critical health administration and leadership skills. That’s why so many aspiring health informatics professionals are enrolling in master’s degree programs that can build on their education and work experience and prepare them for the demands of an informatics position in a rapidly changing and highly analytical environment.
If you are considering moving your career in the direction of health informatics, now is the time. Jobs are plentiful, salaries are high and the career opportunities within the field are diverse and varied. What’s more, as a health informatics professional you could help shape the future of medicine and contribute to efforts to improve the quality of patient health.
According to the HIMSS 2017 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey, professionals working in this field reported salaries ranging from $61,000 to $115,000, while 57% of respondents reported having an advanced degree
Closer Look: 6 Key Jobs in Health Informatics
|Job Title||Salary||Job Description|
Health Informatics Director
|Median salary of $146,000 (according to the latest data from Salary.com)||A senior-level position, health informatics director requires both an understanding of technology and people skills to organize and integrate the flow of data across various divisions. He or she is responsible for overseeing the analysis, management, and performance of health information data to aid patient care. This includes keeping internal processes up to date and efficient by monitoring the latest software and technological tools. The job generally requires a master’s degree (or Ph.D.) and eight years of related experience.|
|According to the HIMSS 2017 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey, professionals working in this field reported salaries ranging from $61,000 to $115,000, while 57% of respondents reported having an advanced degree||Informatics nurses are responsible for bridging the gap between clinical and IT — for example, the role might involve evaluating a health care facility to determine what clinical IT applications will help increase efficiency, then training staff and on any new systems and technology. Informatics nurses also facilitate communication between IT, vendors and the staff.|
|According to PayScale, the average salary for a clinical analyst is $63,823 per year, with a reported salary range from $40,928 to $88,186 per year.||Clinical analysts are responsible for closely evaluating data to help maintain a health care facility’s clinical information systems and improve overall workflow. A primary focus is often on creating and maintaining the internal database systems used by a health care facility. Since health IT can require handling sensitive data, this role can require striking a balance between efficiency and federal regulatory standards. To become a clinical analyst, you will need a bachelor’s degree in life science, social science or a related discipline and a solid background in technology. Advancing to higher-level positions may require a master’s degree. You don’t need a nursing degree, but experience working in the healthcare industry will help your chances of employment.|
Director of Clinical Informatics
|Recent job postings showed salaries ranging from $81,000 to $140,000, with a national average of $108,000.||Deeply involved in the application of informatics and information technology to deliver health care services, clinical informatics directors ensure that the electronic medical records delivery systems used in the medical field are as up-to-date and as streamlined as possible. Responsibilities and salary ranges vary, but this leadership role is also involved in the ongoing monitoring of EHR utilization trends. Most job listings state that a bachelor’s degree is required, a master’s degree preferred.|
Health Care IT Project Manager
|Average salary for a healthcare IT project manager is around $102,000.||A project manager for IT services within a health care organization communicates with other members in a project to ensure that goals and objectives are completed on time. Professionals in this field are expected to create and execute project plans while making revisions as necessary to meet changing requirements and needs.|
Health Informatics Consultant
|The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) suggests that the salary for this career can range from $80,000+.||Health informatics consultant is usually an independent position that allows healthcare facilities to comply with federal mandates while keeping their costs for in-house employment low. Health informatics consultants typically assist in a wide variety of projects, including selecting and installing new software, updating and securing networks, monitoring and troubleshooting systems and training teams. Salary data can vary based on the individual’s area of specialty and where the job is located.|
Additional positions include:
The University of San Diego is helping to train the next generation of health informatics leaders and innovators through its Master of Science in Health Care Informatics online degree program. The unique program curriculum integrates health care technology with coursework in health system leadership and administration in a convenient online format, allowing you to continue working full-time while earning your degree. The degree takes just 20 months to complete — putting you on the path to new opportunities and earning potential.