Health Care, Informatics

Earnings Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median earnings are $25,000 a year for health information technicians. The middle 50 percent averaged a salary between $20,000 and 32,900 while the highest 10 percent made and average of $41,700 annually. Starting salaries for health informatics ranges from $30,000-$50,000 a year depending on the level of education of the individuals.

Facts at a glance

  • Employment in the field of health informatics is expected to grow much faster than average.
  • This occupation has little or no contact with their patients.
  • Some information technicians specialize in coding patient’s medical information for insurance purposes.
  • Health information technician’s duties vary depending on the size of the facilities individuals work in.

Summary of what this career entails

Employment is expected to grow much faster than average. Job prospects should be very good; technicians with a strong background in medical coding will be in particularly high demand. Entrants usually have an associate degree; courses include anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, statistics, and computer science. This is one of the few health occupations in which there is little or no direct contact with patients.

Examples and or details of work

Health information technicians usually work a 40-hour week and may also include the individual to work some overtime.  Hospitals are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, as a result schedules for health information technicians change every week. They also have many duties and responsibilities, for example, information technicians assembles patients health information, make sure their medical charts are complete, and make sure all necessary information of the patient is in the computer.  

Degrees that lead to this career

The minimal level of education you can attain is a certificate in related fields. Some of the degrees individuals can attain include:

  • Certificate  in Health Informatics
  • B.S. in Management of Health Informatics
  • M.S. in Health Informatics
  • M.S. in Health Sciences- Health Care Management/ Health Informatics
  • PhD in Health Informatics

Specific Career openings in this field

Some of the positions available for individuals that want a career in health informatics include health information technicians, health information coders, medical record coders, coder/abstractors, coding specialists, or registrar.

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos103.htm

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