Guest post by Valerie Gleaton, managing editor, Health eCareers.
Salaries for healthcare IT professionals are on the rise, but they aren’t growing as fast as some other healthcare positions. That may be impacting satisfaction levels, according to a recent survey. Healthcare job site Health eCareers polled nearly 20,000 U.S. healthcare workers and found that the average annual salary for healthcare IT professionals increased 2.2 percent from 2015 to 2016. However, some of the other positions included in the survey saw more sizeable gains. For instance, those working in academics, research, administration, operations and allied health saw compensation increases in excess of 10 percent.
With more available jobs than professionals to fill them, hospitals, healthcare clinics and other providers are increasingly willing to loosen their purse strings and pay higher wages to both current employees and new hires. These factors have created a perfect storm of opportunity for healthcare workers, and 87 percent report that their pay is the same or has increased compared to a year ago. Survey respondents pointed to merit raises or employer changes as the primary reasons for their increase. There were exceptions, however. Nurses and healthcare executives saw a 3 percent and 13 percent drop, respectively.
$91k is Average for Healthcare IT
Healthcare information technology professionals are enjoying robust job prospects, as healthcare organizations come under the gun to improve efficiencies, cut costs and find better ways share patient information. The study revealed that America’s healthcare IT workers earn an average of $91,251 a year, the fifth-highest paid healthcare profession, topped only by physicians/surgeons, healthcare executives, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
Pay Fluctuates by Location, Experience and Position
Location seems to influence pay, with salaries varying widely from state to state. For instance, healthcare IT professionals in California earn an average of $95,224 per year, while their counterparts in Texas make nearly 6 percent less, averaging $89,758 a year.
Another large and unsurprising determinant of pay is experience. New healthcare IT professionals — those with five or fewer years of experience — earn an average of $74,815 per year, while those with more than 10 years of experience report an average annual salary of $104,343. Those that fall in the middle with 6–10 years of experience pull in an average of $98,082.
Health eCareers also found big pay discrepancies by types of healthcare IT disciplines. Health information technology executives are far and away the best paid, with a median annual income of $127,500. IT technology managers also do well, with median earnings of $111,500 per year. Further down the pay scale are healthcare informatics employees at $74,500, and toward the bottom are health information technicians, who report median salaries of just $50,500.