The nature of healthcare is changing. Technological innovation has helped bring healthcare to the next level by providing more tailored care, better data, and improved information systems to aid in patient diagnosis, treatment, and care. With this, the field of health informatics has grown. This high demand means that those entering the field have a high potential to earn a lucrative health informatics salary.
Let’s take a look at what health informatics means, the degree options available, and the career opportunities that come along with it.
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What Is Health Informatics?
Health informatics is an emerging and growing field that combines information technology with healthcare systems. It utilizes devices to acquire, store, transfer, and extract data for medical purposes.
These resources grow and stem from the existence of electronic health records (EHRs) that patients, doctors, nurses, and insurance providers can access. The technology helps to make for a more seamless, informed, and integrated healthcare system.
Healthcare Informatics Jobs And Salaries: What You Need To Know
Health informatics has become one of the fastest growing job sectors, thanks to electronic health records (EHRs). The need for highly skilled workers in this field is creating a gap between those qualified and the numbers being demanded. From public health to biotech, the job opportunities are rapidly expanding, which puts health informatics degree seekers in good standing.
What Are My Degree Options?
For most positions within this field, the minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree. However, some higher paid and technical positions may require a master’s degree.
Students have a range of options for the degrees they pursue in an effort to enter the field. Some qualifying areas of study include:
- Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics
- Bachelor of Information Technology
- Bachelor of Science Business—Information Technology Management
- Master of Science in Health Informatics
- Master of Information Systems
- Master of Health Informatics
- Master of Nursing Informatics
Common Careers In Health Informatics
Upon graduating with any of the aforementioned degrees, there are many options to choose from for your career path. Take a look at these popular careers within the field of health informatics:
1. Health Informatics Director
Are you a person who has an interest in healthcare and also loves technology? With a master’s degree in the field, you could become a health informatics director. This position helps to implement and oversee new systems and the training of new systems within the medical field. You work with doctors and nurses to make sure the processes and systems are properly in place for optimal workflow.
2. Informatics Nurse Specialist
An informatics nurse specialist works to implement and utilize systems within nursing. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, this field is expected to see a 26% growth in 2020. Many informatics nurse specialists begin their careers as a registered nurse and then add to their education by earning their Master’s in Nursing or Computer Science.
3. Clinical Informatics Specialist
Typically coming from any position in healthcare, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, a clinical informatics specialist is a person who helps to ensure that data is being properly collected and used for healthcare benefits. This means that they may be in charge of designing systems, evaluating current systems and making improvements, and working between informatics staff teams and clinical teams.
4. Clinical Analyst
A clinical analyst is in charge of making sure that workflows and data systems are properly working. With healthcare data being highly regulated, it will be your job to uphold compliance and establish efficient operational systems.
5. Clinical Informatics Manager
Clinical informatics managers are in charge of overseeing the daily operations in a healthcare facility. They train staff, track budgets, and ensure systems are complying with federal and state regulations.
6. Director Of Clinical Informatics
A director of clinical informatics oversees the entire department that a clinical informatics manager works with. This high-level position requires a master’s degree or graduate certificate in health informatics, as well as adequate work experience.
7. Healthcare IT Project Manager
A healthcare IT project manager takes care of allocating daily tasks to those working within a healthcare setting. The project manager comes up with the plan for new projects and helps to problem-solve when challenges arise.
8. Health Informatics Consultant
A health informatics consultant develops and maintains medical record systems for the medical provider they are consulting with. They work alongside IT teams and medical staff to ensure that systems are properly functioning.
Health Informatics Salaries
From the above abbreviated list of potential career opportunities in the field of health informatics, it’s clear to see that there is a need for highly-trained individuals. Because the demand is so high and growing, yet supply is short, a health informatics salary tends to be high.
While one’s salary is undoubtedly correlated to where they work, the position they hold, their education, and amount of experience, here’s a look at what you can expect to earn as an average yearly salary when working in this field. (Data has been sourced from ZipRecruiter).
- Health Informatics Specialist – $88,625
- Clinical Analyst – $88,268
- Director of Clinical Informatics – $132,810
- Health Informatics Director – $110,354
Within the field overall, the median salary tracks around $92,810.
For more information on what salary you may expect, be sure to look up data that’s in your geographic location and also matches your current or desired education level.
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A Degree In Health Science
Some people may choose to jump right into health informatics. Others may prefer a route that is more general and can broaden one’s options within the field of healthcare.
For those seeking an online degree, the University of the People offers an associate’s and bachelor’s degree in Health Science. With classes fully online, a student can study at their own pace and learn all the necessary skills and knowledge to enter a career in healthcare.
After receiving an undergraduate degree in Health Science, you have the opportunity to earn a Master’s or specialize in a subject like health informatics.
Health Informatics Is A Rewarding Career
Along with the high-paying health informatics salary comes the benefit of knowing that your work is contributing to the betterment of society. Any position within healthcare can help to make the difference between life of death, in essence. Working in healthcare informatics offers a challenging and exciting opportunity to balance healthcare with dynamic and ever-changing technology to ease patient and provider needs.