Health IT Consultants Earn Highest Salaries

The HIMSS survey of 1,900 respondents included a wide variety of titles, from executive level titles such as CEO and CIO to IT project manager.

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Health IT professionals working for consulting firms recorded the highest average salaries, while those working for hospitals that are part of a multi-hospital system reported the lowest average salaries, according to an HIMSS report.

The survey of 1,900 respondents included a wide variety of titles, from executive level titles such as CEO and CIO to clinical titles (CMIO, clinical systems analyst) to IT project managers and sales professionals.

Individuals in the Pacific region (including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington) reported the highest average salary, while those working in the West South Central region (including Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas) recorded the lowest average salary.

"It is difficult to use this research to look at year- over -year trends because of the varying titles of the individuals completing the survey," Jennifer Horowitz, senior director of research for HIMSS North America, told eWEEK. "Half of the IT professionals responding to the 2015 HIMSS Leadership Survey indicated that their organization was going to hire at least one IT professional in the upcoming year. The data would also seem to suggest that organizations are in a position to reward employees for their work – 77 percent received a raise."

In addition, those working for organizations classified as for profit and private recorded the highest average salaries, at just under $117,000, while those working for government organizations and agencies recorded the lowest average salaries, at just over $100,000.

Individuals classifying themselves as executive management earn the highest average salaries, while those who identify as associate staff professionals earn the lowest average salaries.

In general, respondents working for larger organizations reported higher average salaries than did those who worked for smaller organizations.

"With regard to the specific roles that are in demand, other research has consistently told us that individuals with a clinical background are in demand in the industry, Horowitz said. This includes clinical application support professionals, clinical informatics professionals and IT executives with a clinical background such as a chief medical informatics officer or chief nursing information officer."

The survey also found individuals who have been in their positions for 15 years or more reported the greatest average salaries, and the men in the survey reported higher average salaries than the women.

Slightly less than half of respondents (47.3 percent) reported that they received a bonus in the past year. Among those that did receive a bonus, the median was 5 to 6 percent of their salary.

"I’m not sure there were necessarily any surprises for me in the study," Horowitz said. "Overall, I was pleased to see that many professionals in the study received either a bonus or a raise in the past year."