Guest post by Tim Cannon, vice president of product management and marketing, HealthITJobs.com
All jobs can be stressful at times, but anyone who works in health IT will tell you that their job is considerably stressful. In fact, 55 percent of health IT professionals surveyed in The 2016 Health IT Stress Report, by my employer HealthITJobs.com, said they are at least frequently or constantly stressed.
Among those surveyed, 38 percent rated their stress intensity as high or extremely high, while 45 percent said their stress occurs on a frequent or chronic basis.
What’s so stressful about health IT and what impact does it have on employees? Here’s a closer look at the findings and what they mean for professionals in the field:
Work management causes stress
What stresses health IT professionals out the most? Constantly changing priorities. Among respondents, 39 percent rated changing priorities as the top stressor. What’s more, 45 percent said they have little or no control over deadlines and timelines for accomplishing project milestones.
Although project management and their lack of control in the process stresses employees out, they don’t blame their manager for the problems. Only 15 percent listed managers as a top source of stress. In fact, respondents actually have great relationships with their managers, describing them as supportive, smart, and trustful.
With such supportive managers, health IT professionals should turn to them when work gets hectic. Instead of struggling with stress on your own, talk it out with your manager. Let them know when changing priorities are a problem, and talk to them about working together to set project timelines. If a deadline seems unreasonable, give your input and suggestion for a more practical timeframe for completion.
Workloads are unreasonable
After changing priorities, the workload itself gives health IT professionals the most stress — 35 percent of respondents rated it as a top stressor. An additional 35 percent of professionals said they have an unrealistic amount of work to do in the time given. And those who said they are frequently stressed were more likely to say their workload was too much to handle.
What’s bogging down workloads? Meetings could be the culprit. According to the survey, 27 percent of professionals spend 11 or more hours in meetings each week, and those who are frequently stressed are more likely to do so.
Guest post by Robyn Melhuish, communications manager, MedReps.com.
A few years ago, medical sales professionals who sold health IT and software products earned the top salaries in the field. While these professionals still earn high salaries, the 2016 MedReps Salary Survey by MedReps.com, a job board for medical sales representatives, found that they are no longer the top earners in medical sales — with an average total compensation of $149,985. This is a drop of $19,896 from 2015 and a drop of $22,906 from 2014.
While salaries for health IT sales professionals have dropped, most are still happy with their salaries. Among survey respondents, 78 percent said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their overall job, similar to the 75 percent who said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their income. Yet, more money clearly means higher job satisfaction — those who said they are very satisfied with their income earn an average of $177,319 compared with $100,903 among those who are very unsatisfied.
Luckily, it’s not just the products you sell that impact salaries in the industry — experience, job title, education, and more have an effect on pay, the report found. That means you can increase your salary if you feel you should be making more. Here are a few ways you can take home more money:
Move to management
Selling products that earn more money may sound like a good idea, but it may not be the best move. Although medical sales professionals who sell health IT and software products no longer make top dollar, they are still among the top earners in the industry. Only biotech sales professionals, surgical sales professionals, and capital equipment and durable medical equipment sales professionals earn more.
Even though there is more money to be made, selling new products is challenging. Instead, stick with what you know to gain more experience and move up to higher positions. After all, the more experience you have, the more money you make — those with 20 or more years of experience earn the highest average medical sales salary at $165,735. What’s more, sales directors and sales vice presidents report the highest salaries in medical sales, an average of $209,082.
Instead of starting all over again with a new product specialty, work toward gaining a management position with the experience you have. Talk to your supervisor about leadership opportunities, learn what you need to do to move up, take development classes, or volunteer to take on more responsibilities.
While the money may look greener on the other side, your experience is valuable, and sticking with health IT and software will pay off in the long run.
Hit the road
While traveling may decrease your work-life balance, it could increase your paycheck. In our survey, medical sales professionals who travel 50 percent of the time earn $167,061, on average. On the flip side, those who don’t travel at all for work earn significantly less — an average of $125,344.
Take the initiative and take on more travel. Let your manager know you’re interested in and willing to travel more. Volunteer to visit new territories and reach new clients.
There’s a scramble to find IT professionals, and in health IT, the demand for skilled talent is even greater. With the Affordable Care Act, meaningful use and ICD-10, health IT professionals are needed now more than ever. So what are employers doing to attract and keep the best talent? They’re showing them the money. But is it enough?
The infographic below, compiled by HealthITJobs.com, the largest free job search resource for health IT professionals, shares findings from the 2015 Healthcare Information Technology Salary Report. The report looked at health IT salaries by job function, experience, age, gender and organization type.
Some takeaways to note:
The average health IT salary is $87,443, and the average bonus is $7,990
On average, health IT professionals feel they should earn $17,227 more than what they make now
83 percent of health IT workers are satisfied with their jobs
Women made approximately 98 percent of what men made on average in 2015
Check out the full infographic below to see which health IT jobs pay the most money.
HealthITJobs.com recently released new information that shows that health IT continues to be one of fastest growing careers in the US. The conclusion is based on its survey, “2014 HealthITJobs.com Salary Survey,” which also stated that the mean salary for health IT professionals is $89,879.43, with 30 percent also receiving an average bonus of $13,100.52.
In addition to being well paid, health IT pros also enjoy high job satisfaction with a full 80 percent of those working in the field satisfied with their jobs. In conjunction with the releasing the survey, the company also issued the following infographic with data collected during July and August of 2014.
As you might imagine, experience pays off, as do certifications. If you don’t have either, don’t expect to make as much, and without each a salary can be deeply impacted. If you have each of those and want to make even more money, work on Epic software or go work with a consultant firm. And, the most money will be made working in the New York area and on the West Coast, but you’ll also pay more to live there, of course.
Check out the following graphic? Are you being shown the money?