For a lot of professionals, the idea of becoming a health information manager is exciting for many reasons. This career involves the collection and maintenance of various types of medical information, including diagnostic data, patient records, and financial information. Master of health information students will typically explore everything from medical coding to electronic health records and database management.
Of course, the salary obtained as a health information manager attracts many people towards this particular career. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists information managers under the category of health service managers. As of 2015, the average income was approximately $94,500.
Why Earn a Master’s in Health Information Management?
As new technologies develop, the field of health information is experiencing a great deal of growth. After all, maintaining accurate and secure information is a crucial part of making sure that people get the care and attention that they need. The growing demand in health information management is in part thanks to the role that information plays in driving different changes within the delivery of healthcare.
Effect of Education Level
The amount of education and training that’s required for information managers within the healthcare industry can vary from one location to the next. Most individuals within this particular career path will hold either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in various disciplines including health services, information technology, business management, public health, and healthcare management. It’s worth noting that a lot of health information managers started as medical billing coders or assistants to department administrators in a range of healthcare settings.
As with many careers, the best salaries and job opportunities are typically reserved for those that have an advanced education within their field. A master’s degree, or even a doctorate degree, in health information management can expand your opportunities for earning a bigger salary significantly. For instance, the current average salaries range from around $50,000 at an entry-level, to more than $180,000 at a senior level for those with the best possible education and experience.
Master’s degree holders are prepared to work across various sectors in the health industry, including health services, hospitals, health-related centers for research, and government health departments.
Effect of Experience Level
It’s important to recognize that while education is important, experience also has a significant role to play in getting the best salary. Most employers believe that people with more experience generally have had the time to expand their talents and improve their skills within their chosen area. As such, those with seniority in the healthcare sector will have the option to apply for jobs that are much more appealing and generally have a higher salary level.
Graduates who hold a master’s degree in health information management will be more appealing to organizations in search of senior-level employees. Additionally, it’s worth noting that during your education as a healthcare information manager, you may be able to expand your level of experience through voluntary positions and work within different clinical settings.
The health information management is particularly appealing to people who have already had a great deal of experience within the healthcare industry. In fact, only around 3% of health information specialists have had less than one year of experience working in a healthcare based environment, while a further 24% have had up to four years of experience. The most significant portion of the workforce today, at 30%, has had at least ten to nineteen years of experience working within the healthcare sector, and 21% of all employees have been working in health for between five and nine years.
Location of Work
It’s important to recognize that there are many different factors, which can affect your ability to earn the highest possible salary in health information management. Just like in other areas of healthcare, you should examine the salaries that are available from different geographical locations.
At this time, it’s difficult to define which of the cities throughout U.S. offer the most appealing salaries for health information management, in part because this is such a new and emerging specialist area. However, San Diego, California, appears to offer by far the best for those who are interested in expanding their career opportunities in healthcare administration, and earning the highest possible wage. In San Diego, the median pay for a yearly wage in health information management is approximately $98,264 per year. That means that if you’re able to get a job in San Diego, you will be able to earn a wage that is approximately $35,277 higher than the national average for all health information managers with a master’s degree in your field.
Additionally, Houston, Texas, pays approximately $64,756 per year to its health information managers across the city. This means that a career in Houston could earn you an income that is around $15,458 above the national average.
Graduates of a master’s degree in health information management will not be required to obtain certification in order to continue with their career or get a job in the industry. However, it’s worth noting that certification can be appealing to most employers, and may be worth your consideration if you want to boost your salary.
For those in health information management, certification can be obtained by passing an exam from the American Health Information Management Association to become a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA). Importantly, the RHIA certification program will prepare you for greater roles in leadership, human resources, record keeping and accounting.
The field of health information management has been experiencing significant growth over the recent years, thanks to the growth of technology and new and improved resources within the field of healthcare. As recording accurate patient data becomes more important, the BLS expects that the number of health services managers and medical experts will continue to grow by around 22% between 2010, and 2020. That means that this particular area will grow in popularity much faster than the average for all occupations in general.
- Average Salary for Certification: Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA). (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Certification=Registered_Health_Information_Administrator_(RHIA)/Salary
- Why Get Certified? (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.ahima.org/certification/whycertify
- Health Information Management Certification and Certificate Info. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://study.com/articles/Health_Information_Management_Certification_and_Certificate_Info.html