If you’re interested in technology, love working with data and want to make a difference in healthcare, a health information management (HIM) career could be a good fit for you. HIM careers are experiencing rapid growth as healthcare organizations invest in digital technologies to streamline record-keeping processes and secure vast amounts of patient data.
As a health information management professional, you can pursue a variety of career paths, from technical coding positions to advanced leadership and management roles in any healthcare setting.
Check out these five fast-growing HIM careers:
1. Medical Records Technician
Medical records technicians, also called medical coders or coding specialists, ensure that patient information is recorded and cataloged correctly. In addition to verifying patient records, they also analyze patient data to help improve patient care and cost structures. This job is ideal for those who are detail-oriented and have strong organizational skills.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for medical records technicians will grow by as much as 13 percent through 2026—much faster than average for most occupations. Medical records technicians are also among U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of Best Health Care Support Jobs of 2019 due to fast-paced employment growth, a flexible work environment and opportunities for career advancement.
2. Medical and Health Services Manager
Medical and health services managers plan, direct and coordinate the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that healthcare organizations have a growing need for managers with knowledge of health information technology and informatics. They project 20-percent employment growth for medical and health services managers between 2016 and 2026 and as many as 72,000 new jobs.
Most medical and health services managers have a bachelor’s degree in health information management and administrative or clinical experience at a hospital or other healthcare facility. The average salary for medical services managers in 2017 was $98,350.
3. HIM Consultant
Management consultants help companies solve their complex business problems. A health information management consultant specializes in helping healthcare organizations with their HIM needs, such as implementing new medical records systems and processes.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for management consultants will grow by 14 percent through 2026, adding more than 100,000 new jobs. Much of this growth will be in the healthcare sector, as organizations look to cut costs and implement new technologies to manage patient records. Management consultants earned a median salary of $82,450 in 2017.
4. Patient Information Coordinator
Patient information coordinators, also called health educators or patient navigators, help people manage their health information and understand their healthcare provider and insurance options. Patient coordinators must have exceptional communications skills and a thorough knowledge of medical terminology as well as health information technology.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 14-percent employment growth for health educators through 2026, much faster than average for all occupations. Health educators earned a median salary of $53,940 in 2017.
5. HIM Director
With experience, HIM professionals can advance to mid- and upper-level management roles, such as HIM director. The HIM director manages all operations and personnel in the HIM department and works with executive management to provide efficient and secure access to quality patient data. This position might also be called a Health Information Administrator or Manager.
Employment for HIM directors is expected to grow by as much as 20 percent through 2026. The highest-paid HIM directors earned a salary of $176,130 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Frequently asked questions
How much can I make with a degree in HIM?
Wage estimates vary based on job title, experience, location, and level of education. Learn more about the average salary for jobs in health information management and see the trends by state.
Healthcare information management is an in-demand career field and the outlook for job growth is positive, so you have the potential to earn a very good salary with an HIM associate or bachelor’s degree.
How long does it take to get a degree in health information management?
The time it needed to complete your degree depends on the school and program you choose. Here are the estimates for Herzing University HIM programs:
What skills do I need for a career in HIM?
The field of health information management welcomes analytically minded individuals who want to make a difference in the healthcare industry. Read about the most common health information management skills employers seek from potential job applicants.
Where do health information management professionals work?
Depending on which area of health information management you focus on, you could work in a variety of healthcare-related settings. They include hospitals and physicians offices, as well as:
- Home health agencies
- Nursing homes
- Public health offices
- Insurance companies
What certifications can I prepare for with an HIM degree?
After you’ve successfully completed your associate or bachelor’s degree program in HIM, you are eligible to take exams through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), earn your health information management certification and further your career potential:
- Registered Health Information Administration (RHIA). Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management are eligible to take the Registered Health Information Administration (RHIA) exam.
- Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). Graduates of the Associate of Science in Health Information Management are eligible to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam.
An associate or bachelor’s degree in health information management is the first step to your future HIM career. At Herzing University, students can start in the bachelor’s program right away and work to graduate in just three years, or begin in Herzing's associate degree program and seamlessly transfer coursework and skills into the bachelor's degree program after graduation. Getting your degree may seem like a big expense, but the opportunity to become highly qualified in a growing field means getting your HIM degree is worth it and an excellent career choice.