The employment outlook for health information management (HIM) is bright. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of health information professionals will grow by 17 percent between 2014 and 2024—far outpacing the average for all occupations in the United States.
Hiring on the Rise in Healthcare
With the aging baby boomer population and expanded health insurance coverage, the healthcare industry as a whole is seeing increased demand for medical services—and medical personnel. In 2015, Health Affairs Blog reported an accelerated rate in health sector hiring linked to the expansion of health insurance coverage in 2014.
Year-over-year percentage change in health and nonhealth employment. Source: Altarum Institute Labor Brief.
Demand for Health Information Management Professionals
Over the last decade, new technology and regulations have changed the health information field dramatically. And as a result, it is growing fast. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs) will continue to create demand for managers with knowledge of health information technology and informatics systems. Medical and health services managers will be needed to organize, manage, and integrate these records across areas of the healthcare industry.
In fact, CNBC reported that both health and technology jobs were in high demand in 2015 and listed medical records and health information professionals as the sixth “most in-demand healthcare job”.
In 2012, U.S. News & World Report listed health informatics and information management as one of the top nine new college majors, stating that “the need is huge for professionals who can help acquire, manage, and use information to improve health and manage payments.” In 2016, it ranked medical and health services manager as 44th on the list of the 100 best jobs, sixth in best business jobs, and 25th in best paying jobs.
Health Information Management Job Titles and Salaries
Job titles and salaries of HIM professionals vary considerably and are usually dependent on work setting and experience. A University of Wisconsin Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology (HIMT) can be the foundation for many HIM positions, such as these listed in the most recent AHIMA salary study.
HIM professionals work in a variety of settings, which also affects their salary.
|WORK SETTING||AVERAGE SALARY|
|Integrated healthcare delivery system||$80,469|
|Acute care hospital||$63,658|
|Clinic or physician practice||$47,870|
Health Information Management Careers Spotlight
HIM managers plan, organize, oversee, and coordinate day-to-day activities related to medical documentation within HIM departments. It’s their job to make sure medical data is current, accurate, and in compliance with institutional ethical standards and patient privacy laws. They may direct and train staff, develop department budget, and evaluate daily procedures so that medical records are documented and completed in a timely fashion. If they work for a large health system, HIM managers may report to an HIM director. According to the latest AHIMA Salary Study, the average HIM manager earned $69,880. On PayScale, the median national health information management salary is $54,768.
Source: PayScale Data for HIM Manager
HIM director is one of the highest-ranking positions in HIM. Directors oversee health information management departments for healthcare systems. They develop organizational goals, manage large HIM teams, and ensure the facility complies with all laws and guidelines related to health record documentation. HIM directors also maintain external relationships with state and national organizations to keep departments up to date on regulations and trends in HIM. The average salary for an HIM director was $84,588, according to the AHIMA 2012 Salary Study. On PayScale, the median national salary for HIM directors is $71,596.
Source: PayScale Data for HIM Director
The UW HIMT Capstone: Getting Your Foot in the Door
In the UW HIMT program, students are required to take HIMT 490, the capstone course. Students find healthcare-related internship sites and set up semester-long projects in order to gain hands-on, real-world experience. Upon graduation, they are prepared for a variety of health IT and health information management careers. View our capstone archive for a list of recent capstone projects completed by UW HIMT students.
Searching for health information management jobs? Below are links to several job banks where you can find HIM position openings.
- Wisconsin AHIMA
- Healthcare Financial Management Association
- Allied Health Careers
- American Medical Informatics Association
Interested in starting or advancing your HIM career? University of Wisconsin offers an online Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology. Start your journey here.
Questions about the UW degree program or HIMT field? Contact an adviser at 1-877-895-3276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.