Health information technology is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States. A specialist in this area processes, compiles and maintains the medical records of patients. It is a perfect job for people who enjoy the healthcare atmosphere and who like the challenge of analyzing and solving problems without the need of working directly with patients.
The challenge of health information technology
Because health information technology is forever evolving and changing, people who work in this field must be able to rise to the challenge of finding new technological innovations, maintaining impeccable records, following all legislative regulations and implementing the necessary programs. They must be people who can maintain high levels of security and confidentiality.
What working in this area means to the worker
Those working in this field will have the opportunity to work with the newest and most innovative technology, while being a vital member of a healthcare team. It will not be necessary for them to have direct contact with the patients. They will find themselves earning competitive wages in a flexible career.
Future outlook for those in health information technology
This area of jobs is part of the healthcare industry. Since 2008, the healthcare industry has added 631,000 jobs. Employment in healthcare is expected to grow nearly 20 percent by 2016, a rate much faster than the average area of employment. Those who have strong technical skills and experience in healthcare have a bright future ahead of them.
Job area possibilities
Besides working in hospitals and clinics, job opportunities are available in other areas, too. Specialists in the health information technology field can work in:
Specialists will have the opportunity to explore the different areas, and find the niche where they feel most comfortable.
Wages in the health information technology field
Business, labor, political and professional organizations pay the highest wages in this field. In 2012, the annual mean wage for them is $55,760. The lowest paying area is in a physician's office, and in 2012, the annual mean wage there is $30,120.
New Jersey and the District of Columbia are the two locations that pay the most. The annual mean wage for New Jersey in 2012 is $51,850 and for Washington D.C., it is $44,620. The lowest paying state is Mississippi with an annual mean wage of $27,580. In metropolitan areas, Newark, NJ has the highest annual mean wage of $57,090.
The Workforce Development Program
Knowing the future demand for qualified personnel in the health information technology field, the government has awarded a number of grants. Community colleges in all 50 states have received a total of $68 million in grants to improve programs in this field that can be completed in six months or less. Nine universities and colleges have received grants totaling $32 million to either expand or establish college level programs in this field.