Health informatics—the interdisciplinary field that combines health data and information technology to improve healthcare outcomes and patient care—is shaping the future of the healthcare industry. By delivering previously unavailable critical insights about patient care, health informatics benefits the entire healthcare industry, including clinicians, healthcare providers, and healthcare organizations. Professionals in this field rely on big data, computer science, and medical informatics to collect, organize, and interpret healthcare big data.
Many career opportunities are springing up around health informatics. What is the health informatics job outlook, and where do you fit into it? This article answers that question by discussing:
The medical profession increasingly relies on technology, explaining the high demand for qualified health informatics professionals. While a bachelor's degree is typically the minimum requirement to enter this field, you will have more career options with an advanced degree.
A Master of Science in Health Informatics teaches the fundamentals of information technology, health care, and management. A typical master's in health informatics curriculum covers health information systems, health data analytics, and practical statistics and programming. Graduates leave prepared to support clinical and healthcare organizations through the application of data and technology.
While you'll have more career options and higher salary potential with a master's degree in health informatics, it is also possible to enter the field with a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree qualifies a candidate for respected positions like electronic health record (EHR) specialist. Many opportunities for health informatics professionals with a bachelor's will be at or near entry-level.
The job outlook for professionals in health informatics is trending upward. The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that job growth will increase by 32 percent for medical and health services managers by 2029.
Advanced degree holders enjoy an advantage when it comes to securing high-paying leadership positions. A master's in health informatics will prepare you to work across various healthcare settings and qualify you for such titles as:
Which health informatics role is the best fit for you? We list the top 13 jobs in the field below.
A chief medical information officer (CMIO) implements technology solutions to improve healthcare analytics. They develop improved applications and software, advise leadership on how technology can make health care systems more efficient, and conduct data analytics research. Chief medical officers have skills in IT, data, and statistics, knowledge of organizational data acquisition, and excellent management and leadership skills.
Chief medical information officers can be high earners. According to Payscale, the average salary for a chief medical information officer is $299,116 a year. The Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems reports that the middle 50 percent of CMIOs earn between $251,000 and $350,000 in base compensation, plus additional incentives and benefits.
A Clinical informatics analyst regulates clinical practices and standards to improve patient care. They work closely with leadership to implement new systems and recommend solutions. Professionals in this area have a strong understanding of technology and healthcare practices. Responsibilities may include:
ZipRecruiter reports that the average clinical informatics analyst salary is $89,351 a year. Glassdoor documents $73,110 as the average yearly compensation.
A clinical informatics coordinator often works as a liaison between the patient care team and information services. They are responsible for implementing and evaluating systems and applications. Essential duties include:
According to ZipRecruiter, a clinical informatics coordinator earns around $86,888 per year. Salary.com reports the average salary is $90,293, with a range of $79,528 to $102,535.
Clinical informatics serves to improve patient care by leveraging data. A clinical informatics specialist excels in problem-solving and ensures that clinical information systems are functioning correctly. As a clinical informatics specialist, you'll be able to work across various healthcare settings, including hospitals, private practices, and medical organizations. Specific responsibilities often include:
The average clinical informatics specialist salary, according to Payscale, is $77,886 a year.
Directors of clinical informatics oversee the implementation of IT systems in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Employers typically prioritize candidates with strong skills in computer science and health services. Duties include:
ZipRecruiter estimates the average salary for a clinical informatics director at $115,675 a year. According to Salary.com, the average health informatics director salary in the United States is $164,574.
The director of health informatics leads and oversees the health informatics team. The profession focuses on monitoring the latest software and technology and ensuring data accuracy in electronic health records. The director of health informatics stays up to date on the latest technology and healthcare innovations. To succeed in this job, you need skills in healthcare information security and healthcare IT administration, and the ability to build systems for patient care. Key responsibilities include:
Salary.com indicates an average health informatics director salary in the United States of $164,574.
An EHR implementation specialist is responsible for implementing the electronic health records system at medical practice sites. A successful EHR implementation specialist needs skills in communication, project management, and technology. Responsibilities often include:
Glassdoor reports an average annual salary of $53,405 for EHR implementation specialists. ZipRecruiter lists $62,524 as the national average.
Health informatics business analyst's wide-ranging responsibilities involve improving healthcare organizations' operations through business processes. This profession lies at the intersection of management, finance, research, and data analysis. Among their tasks:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes healthcare business analysts as part of the management analyst profession. As of 2019, the median salary for this occupation is $85,260 per year. Ziprecruiter fixes this professional's average annual income at $87,285.
Health informatics consultants are subject matter experts who typically work short-term for healthcare organizations to improve a particular aspect of their business. They might help develop and maintain medical records systems or train staff to use a specific technology. Responsibilities might include:
Healthcare informatics consultants earn an average of $103,399 a year, according to ZipRecruiter.
Health IT project managers manage health IT implementations or software development projects. The primary function of this role is to serve as a project management liaison between all involved stakeholders. Responsibilities often include:
The average salary for a health IT project manager is $100,162, according to Payscale.
A nursing informatics career combines nursing science, computer science, and information science to communicate data in the nursing field. A nurse informaticist plays a critical role in medical records keeping. The goal is to analyze data and improve support to patients, nurses, and healthcare providers. As a nurse informaticist, you'll research, develop, and implement new technology. Everyday job tasks include:
Payscale reports the average yearly compensation of a nurse informaticist in the United States is $84,804.
A privacy officer makes on average $89,843 a year, according to Payscale.
A systems analyst plays an integral role in helping organizations build and structure computer systems. They do this by assessing the needs of an organization and then incorporating new technology. This job usually involves the following duties:
According to Labor Insight, the median annual salary for a system analyst in the United States is $83,780. Salary depends on factors such as experience, skill level, and education. For example, the average salary for a candidate with a bachelor's degree is $66,100, while those with a master's degree will earn a higher salary at $84,000. Experience is also a factor. Labor Insight reports those with three to five years of experience average a salary of $82,900, while those with over 9 years of experience average over $98,000.
Health informatics programs typically focus on developing a student's skills in clinical information systems, project management, analyzing healthcare data, and various technologies. For example, The University of Pittsburgh's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences offers an on-campus and online MS in Health Informatics program that prepares students to apply their technical knowledge to various healthcare settings to improve patient care and public health.
Top healthcare informatics master's programs include:
While there are many on-campus master's in informatics programs, it's more difficult to find these programs online. Here are some of the top online HIT master's programs: