Advanced degree holders enjoy an advantage when it comes to securing high-paying leadership positions in health informatics.
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Seri Roth
Noodle Expert Member

March 14, 2022

Data science pervades every human endeavor today. Its impact is especially potent and beneficial in healthcare, where health informatics drives patient practice and public health policy.

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:

  • Do I need a master's in health informatics?
  • The top 13 health informatics jobs
  • Top master's in health informatics programs
  • Top online master's in health informatics programs

Do I need a master's in health informatics?

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.

What is a master's in health informatics?

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.

What can you do with a bachelor's in health informatics?

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.

Opportunities that open when you get a master's

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:

  • Clinical informatics coordinator
  • EHR implementation specialist
  • Health informatics data analyst
  • Health information technician
  • Health information technology (IT) project manager
  • Informatics manager
  • Informatics specialist
  • Nurse informaticist
  • Privacy officer
  • Systems analyst

Which health informatics role is the best fit for you? We list the top 13 jobs in the field below.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: chief medical information officer

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.

How much does a chief medical information officer make?

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.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: clinical informatics analyst

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:

  • Creating and running data reports
  • Designing systems to improve workflow
  • Managing interfaces for storing and analyzing health information
  • Testing, maintaining, and monitoring computer programs and systems
  • Troubleshooting system malfunctions

How much does a clinical informatics analyst make?

ZipRecruiter reports that the average clinical informatics analyst salary is $89,351 a year. Glassdoor documents $73,110 as the average yearly compensation.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: clinical informatics coordinator

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:

  • Advising on technology design
  • Coordinating the implementation of clinical systems, e.g., electronic medical records
  • Providing expertise in evaluating clinical applications

How much does a clinical informatics coordinator make?

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.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: clinical informatics specialist

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:

  • Analyzing and leveraging healthcare information
  • Designing interfaces for storing and analyzing health information
  • Evaluating and improving existing systems
  • Training team members on how to use clinical information systems

How much does a clinical informatics specialist make?

The average clinical informatics specialist salary, according to Payscale, is $77,886 a year.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: clinical informatics director

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:

  • Developing and overseeing departmental goals and budgets
  • Leading a team and overseeing the implementation of computer-based healthcare tools
  • Training medical staff on how to handle systems relating to workflow design
  • Troubleshooting IT issues

How much does a clinical informatics director make?

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.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: director of health informatics

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:

  • Collaborating with healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, executive officers, and caseworkers
  • Delivering technology that improves the patient experience
  • Supervising the work of health information technicians
  • Training medical staff on how to use the required systems

How much does a director of health informatics make?

Salary.com indicates an average health informatics director salary in the United States of $164,574.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: electronic health record (EHR) implementation specialist

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:

  • Assisting with interfaces and software related to the EHR
  • Ensuring interdepartmental coordination of the EHR
  • Evaluating and making recommendations regarding the implementation, support, and optimization of the EHR
  • Monitoring systems and addressing issue reported in work queues
  • Training medical providers and staff on how to use the necessary software

How much does an electronic health record (EHR) implementation specialist make?

Glassdoor reports an average annual salary of $53,405 for EHR implementation specialists. ZipRecruiter lists $62,524 as the national average.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: health informatics business analyst

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:

  • Analyzing company revenue to make business process improvements
  • Assisting with project management
  • Conducting in-depth data analysis
  • Communicating key findings on business processes

How much does a health informatics business analyst make?

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.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: health informatics consultant

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:

  • Ensuring compliance with regulations
  • Identifying problem areas and developing plans to improve processes
  • Providing technical support
  • Training staff on new record-keeping systems and technologies

How much does a health informatics consultant make?

Healthcare informatics consultants earn an average of $103,399 a year, according to ZipRecruiter.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: Health information technology (IT) project manager

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:

  • Communicating project scope and requirements
  • Identifying and managing risk
  • Participating in business development efforts

How much does a health information technology (IT) project manager make?

The average salary for a health IT project manager is $100,162, according to Payscale.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: nurse informaticist

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:

  • Acting as a liaison between nursing and IT departments
  • Implementing informatics systems
  • Training registered nurses and healthcare staff on new systems

How much does a nurse informaticist make?

Payscale reports the average yearly compensation of a nurse informaticist in the United States is $84,804.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: privacy officer

HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) requires that every healthcare organization designate a privacy official. The privacy official oversees all activities relating to an organization's privacy policy. To become a privacy officer, you'll need an advanced degree in health information management or a related healthcare field. As a privacy officer, you'll be responsible for the following responsibilities:

  • Building a strategic privacy program in compliance with federal and state laws
  • Developing privacy training for staff members
  • Ensuring alignment between security and privacy compliance programs
  • Establishing a process for investigating privacy and security complaints

How much does a privacy officer make?

A privacy officer makes on average $89,843 a year, according to Payscale.

Top 13 health informatics jobs: systems analyst

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:

  • Analyzing costs and benefits
  • Identifying the IT needs of an organization
  • Overseeing installations
  • Researching and evaluating new technologies
  • Testing systems

How much does a systems analyst make?

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.

Top master's in health informatics programs

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 master's in health informatics

Top healthcare informatics master's programs include:

Top online master's in health informatics programs

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: