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 medical and health services managers will grow by 20 percent between 2016 and 2026—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 2016, U.S. News & World Report 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.
Revenue Cycle Management / Coding Billing: $60,740
- Coding professional
- Revenue cycle manager
- Clinical documentation improvement specialist
- HIM revenue cycle auditor
- Benefits coordinator
Operations / Medical Record Administration: $70,790
- Meaningful use specialist
- Patient or cancer registrar
- Health information manager
- Director of HIM
Informatics / Data Analytics: $71,050
- Data integrity analyst
- Clinical informatics coordinator
- Project manager
- Research and development scientist
- Director of clinical informatics
Compliance / Risk Assessment: $74,880
- Credentialing specialist
- Quality improvement analyst
- Compliance auditor
- Privacy officer
- Information security manager
- Director of risk management
IT / Infrastructure: $83,790
- Implementation support specialist
- Data quality manager
- System analyst
- Data architect
- Chief technology officer
HIM professionals work in a variety of settings, which also affects their salary.
- Long-term care: $47,890
- Clinic / physician: $51,070
- Home / hospice: $51,370
- Ambulatory: $57,800
- Behavioral: $58,290
- Other: $64,120
- Acute care hospital: $66,460
- Education: $68,030
- Non-provider setting: $78,410
- Integrated healthcare system: $88,770
- Consulting: $98,640
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 manager-level HIM professional earns $78,020.
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 a director-level HIM professional is $96,050, according to AHIMA’s Salary Study.
Source: AHIMA 2016 Salary Snapshot
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.