College Advice Blog

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Nov 2, 2012

Health Informatics Salaries: Does Extra Training Help Increase Pay?


Health Information Sciences is an increasingly important field, and properly qualified individuals in that field are highly sought after.  Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other health care entities are discovering that while in the past they could rely on a number of records systems without being required to maintain specific standards, now they are held to a much more stringent set of guidelines.  Why is this?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included a Health Information Technology for Clinical Health Act (HITECH) which encourages medical students to focus more on technology as part of their education.  To go along with that, recent legislation requires hospitals and health care systems to be much more secure in the way that they handle records.  The federal law states that health care professionals must keep electronic copies of records, and house them on a secure network.  This opens up a lot of job opportunities in the health information systems field, and creates more value for those employed in this field.

People have argued in recent years about the usefulness of advanced training and degrees.  In some fields, the extra education does not bring with it extra recognition.  In Health Informatics, however, people who have bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, or other advanced training do earn more than people with only associate’s degrees or lesser training.

In Health Informatics, the more education you have, the more responsibility is placed upon you.  The good news is that the extra responsibility is almost always accompanied by extra pay.  Studies by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that advanced training in Health Informatics could results in as much as a 10% pay increase or more.  Managers with master’s degrees are the most highly sought after in the Health Informatics area.

Why is this so?  Because of the recent legislation, there is a higher emphasis on data security and organization.  This change has resulted in the need for individuals qualified to manage electronic records and to properly administrate the security systems that house important data.  It is an extremely high priority for health institutions to make medical history private.  Besides legal requirements, the risk of identity theft seems higher with the amount of technology available to the average citizen.  This increases the need for a secure network to keep the information safe.  Individuals with proper training are more reliable in this area and can be counted on to secure that data effectively.

Because of HITECH, the ability to become educated in this area is more accessible to everyone, and has been made more affordable.  The research shows that the money, time, and effort required to complete supplementary training in Health Informatics pays off with increased responsibility and increased pay rates.  The additional education and experience are factors that hiring personnel consider strongly when determining their willingness to hire potential qualified individuals, and in the determination of their pay rate. Additionally, this field presents increased opportunities for advancement, as it is shown that there will be a need for these types of positions in the future.

The brief answer is: yes, it is most definitely worth the time and money to seek additional training in Health Informatics.  The ability to be more successful in that line of work can be partly influenced by education level, and the resulting increase in salary is certainly more than enough to justify the additional education.


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About the Author
 This article was written by Ty Whitworth for the team at Kanetix.ca; be sure to visit them to see their health coverage comparison service.
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