Health informatics—an interdisciplinary medical field that relies heavily on information technology (IT), information systems, and data science—is continuously improving the way healthcare organizations approach patient care. Advances like electronic health records (EHR) and medical data analytics allow healthcare professionals to provide faster, more accurate services. Informatics applications exist for:
As aging baby boomers strain the current healthcare system, the need for effective health informatics grows. From 2021 to 2031, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of medical health and service managers to grow by 28 percent. That’s more than five times the rate at which the overall job market will expand for the same period.
Informatics management positions can deliver large salaries, but they require a high level of experience and education. A Master of Science in Health Informatics can provide both.
So, how much will you earn with a master’s in health informatics? To address that question, this guide discusses:
Health informatics salaries can vary significantly—from under $20 per hour to more than six figures annually, plus benefits. What you’ll earn can depend heavily on your level of education, location, and experience.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a health informatics professional is slightly over $103,000 per year. But that only tells part of the story.
Salaries for top health informatics jobs comfortably reach the six-figure range. PayScale reports that the top ten percent of health IT project managers earn nearly $142,000 per year. According to Salary.com, the highest health informatics director salaries exceed $185,000. Add in bonus and incentive pay and you clear $200,000 by a comfortable margin.
The best salaries usually come with executive-level positions. In 2019, the average New York hospital CEO earned over a million dollars per year. This job may require multiple graduate degrees, such as an MBA in healthcare or a doctorate.
Low-level health informatics salaries are eye-catching in a different way. The bottom ten percent of medical records and health information technicians earn a median annual wage of under $30,000, according to the BLS. Qualifying for these jobs requires far less education and experience.
Entry-level informatics jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree at minimum. Your chosen major can have a large impact on your starting salary. According to a 2019 human resources survey, new health and science graduates earned around $52,000—among the highest in the class.
Business and computer science students also qualify for informatics jobs. Those with a business degree earned roughly the same as health and science graduates in 2019, but computer science students earned even more: $71,411. Predictably, those without a degree earned much less.
A health informatics degree may prepare you for an IT position such as:
According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the average salary for healthcare information management professionals with a year or less of experience was $44,530 in 2019.
The field of health informatics offers many entry points. You may decide to build experience in a related job before making the jump. Registered nurses (RN) frequently transition to informatics (either through a graduate or certificate program) after spending a few years in general practice. In 2020, almost half of all nurse informaticists reported salaries exceeding $100,000.
Health informatics careers are growing faster than average as more healthcare systems switch to cloud storage databases to sort, organize, and analyze patient data. The job outlook is strong for health informatics professionals, as are salaries, particularly at the management level and above. Approximately 34,300 jobs in the health informatics medical records and health information openings will open each year from 2020 through 2030. (
A Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) broadens your skill set and, as a result, your career options. An advanced degree in this field can offer even more opportunities to make your mark in this growing industry. ( )
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As a rule, more education corresponds to a better health informatics salary. Master’s degree-holders can expect better salaries than bachelor’s degree-holders, and those with a PhD earn more than either.
According to PayScale, the average salary for those with a bachelor’s in health informatics is around $75,000 per year.
According to PayScale, a clinical informatics specialist earns an average annual income of just over $80,000, with opportunities for significant incentive bonuses. A senior business analyst earns an average base salary of $88,400 plus incentives.
Those with a PhD in health informatics earn an average of over $119,000 per year, according to PayScale.
Most health informatics PhD programs are academics-focused. Popular careers include:
Earning informatics credentials is another way to increase your salary. Those with four certifications earned nearly $1145,000 on average, while those with none earned around $66,000, according to AHIMA. University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh Campus offers health informatics master’s students four credential opportunities.
Chief medical information officer (CMIO) is the top-paying health informatics position. According to a 2019 Association of Medical Directors (AMDIS) study, 47 percent of responding CMIOs earned between $251,000 and $350,000 base salary—and 33 percent had salaries between $351,000 and $450,000. Reaching this position without experience as a medical doctor is unlikely.
Experienced informatics nurses earn a lot as well. According to HIMSS, 24 percent with 11 or more years of experience earned over $150,000, similar to IT managers.
Because health informatics is such a broad designation, it’s important to understand how salaries differ within each sector. According to AHIMA, salaries (in ascending order) are:
The demand for quality healthcare professionals is high. The healthcare job market should grow by 13 percent between 2021 and 2031. During the same period, the number of medical records and health information technology professionals is set to grow by 17 percent.
An in-depth study of healthcare jobs conducted by Burning Glass Technology in 2014 found that employers struggled to find talent for high-level positions that include:
These roles usually went unfilled for over 40 days.
Though there’s no such thing as the “best” health informatics program—it depends heavily on personal fit—but great schools include:
You’ll find excellent online health informatics master’s programs at:
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