The career outlook in health informatics is very good today. This is very understandable since health informatics (HI) is one of the fastest-growing fields in healthcare, and healthcare is currently one of the most in-demand career fields. HI is not only fast-growing, but it’s also a very popular field because it offers a wide variety of career options. Additionally, HI is a field that’s relatively easy to get into regardless of where a candidate happens to be in their career or what type of degree they might have. Healthcare professionals are definitely in demand.
Why is Health Informatics in High Demand?
With the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2014, healthcare providers and other medical professionals were required to show the meaningful the use of electronic medical records to help with reimbursement for Medicare and Medicaid. Once this began, more and more medical professionals began also using electronic and digital medical records because it provided more privacy for patients, improved the quality of healthcare and provided better access to patients, family members and medical teams. The use of Health Informatics requires the hiring of more qualified HI professionals at every level, from specialists and assistants to chief medical officers.
Degree Levels in Health Informatics
One of the amazing things about careers in Health Informatics is that a person doesn’t need to have a graduate degree to join this growing field. Positions like medical billing and coding specialists are a vital part of the healthcare industry and only need a certificate or associate degree and certification. This is not to say that an individual can’t earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree and obtain a position in HI, but it’s not a requirement. Here are the various degrees levels available in health informatics and some jobs available with each degree.
- Associate Degree – medical biller and coder; cancer registrar; health information technician; health education specialist; medical records technician; medical records clerk and clinical documentation consultant
- Bachelor’s Degree – HI consultant; nurse informatics specialist; electronic medical record keeper; healthcare IT project manager
- Master’s Degree – HI director; chief medical information officer; clinical informatics manager; HI consultant
- Doctoral Degree – HI researcher; HI professor; chief nursing informatics manager; information technology manager and health service administrator
Career Outlooks in Health Informatics
HI is not just a rapidly-growing field but also one that includes many types of jobs, and most of them have good career outlooks and relatively good salaries. Additionally, there is also a lot of room for job growth in this field. Many HI professionals start out in entry-level positions and work their way up to higher paying jobs. Below are a few occupations in HI as well as the average annual wages for those jobs as reported by Salary.com or PayScale:
- Medical records clerk – $29,797
- Medical billing and coding specialists – $40,000
- Medical records coding manager – $67,000
- Nursing informatics specialist – $82,014
- EHR project manager – $105,495
- Healthcare IT project manager – $127,600
- Health informatics director – $153,226
- Chief medical information officer – $271,883
Related Resource: 10 Great Deals: Master’s in Health Informatics Online
Healthcare occupations are expected to see an employment growth of 18% during the 2016-2026 decade according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This should result in about 2.4 million healthcare jobs created by 2026. This should increase the career outlook in health informatics even more since many of these new jobs should be in HI.