How to Become a

Healthcare Informatics Specialist

The complete career guide to be a Healthcare Informatics Specialist: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $90,180
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 20.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Healthcare informatics specialists can include doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals that work at the intersection of electronic medical systems and healthcare services management or planning. ‘Healthcare informatics’ is a blanket term for medical and nursing informatics, which involves utilizing computerised systems to document and streamline medical health records for efficient patient care.

Recommended Schools

What is a Healthcare Informatics Specialist?


Healthcare informatics specialists typically perform the following tasks:

  • Monitoring ways to improve and develop protocols that ensure the compliance of standards in line with electronic patient health documentation.
  • Creating specialized training programs for EMR to end users depending on their individual requirements, with the aim of empowering them about information technologies.
  • Actively participating in performance assessment initiatives focusing on the design, testing and assessment of various healthcare informatics systems.
  • Critically analysing and managing medical documentation via clinical and healthcare information applications.
  • Identifying IT-related needs in healthcare and compiling a blueprint for data-driven implementation via organizational policies.

Day in the life

While healthcare informatics professionals are part of the healthcare industry, they are not directly responsible for patient care. Their main task is collaborating with senior planners and administrators to establish procedures related to efficiently maintaining and categorising medical and clinical data.

Healthcare informatics specialists have to be comfortable multi-tasking and working across different teams to analyse healthcare information, and facilitate conversations toward specific outcomes such as patient care, expense reductions or better communication. Data can be compiled through interviews with patients and medical staff to address specific healthcare needs.

A significant part of a healthcare informatics specialist’s role is to facilitate knowledge sharing with regard to clinical information systems or applications. This can include statistics on bar code medication administration, issues of duplication in order entries to computerizing certain processes like pre-op check lists.

Work schedule and typical hours

As with most healthcare professions, there are no specific hours for healthcare informatics specialists. Since many medical facilities like hospitals and clinics operate 24 hours, specialists might have to take on work in the day or at night. These hours can extend to holidays and weekends. A typical workweek can be an average of 40 hours.

Growth of the job

According to the United States Department of Labour’s Bureau of Labour Statistics, the area of health information is projected to experience 22% growth in 2012 to 2022. Healthcare informatics is rapidly growing as an industry and has great potential as more technological innovations emerge with regard to IT and electronic data storage. In addition, 70,000 health informatics specialists will be in demand, according to Don Detmer, CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA).

Job applicants with skills in medical record keeping and IT will benefit from available positions in the healthcare industry. Medical staff will increasingly value the importance of healthcare informatics professionals to interpret electronic medical data in an easy to understand and actionable format.

Typical employers

Healthcare informatics spans a range of roles that deal with the collection, handling and processing of clinical information, whether it is for billing purposes or medical quality assurance. Graduates of healthcare informatics programs can take on positions as medical information technologists, coding specialists and nurses across a wide range of private and public job settings. This includes but is not limited to general hospitals, mental health organizations, Medicare and other health insurance providers, healthcare non-profits such as the American Red Cross and Federal health organizations like the National Institute of Health.


Recommended Schools

How To Become a Healthcare Informatics Specialist

While there are many job opportunities in the field, most healthcare informatics positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare informatics or a related field, like healthcare information management or computing. Many colleges and universities have specialized programs to address the need for jobs in this sector, where coursework is a blend of applied learning regarding computer technologies and healthcare fundamentals.

Educational requirements for a job varies depending on a range of factors, with entry-level positions needing only a high school diploma and some prior experience with computing technology. For instance, with nursing informatics roles, job applicants will need to complete a year of coursework and have a strong foundation in computer science or programming. Certification from recognized institutions such as the American Nurses Credentialing Centre, can increase job potential.

While working as a database administrator, systems analyst or systems manager is possible with only a bachelor’s degree in a related field like computer science, earning a master’s degree can make you qualified for high-level senior executive positions at institutions like pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities.


Healthcare Informatics Specialist Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Healthcare Informatics Specialist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Healthcare Informatics Specialist's can make an average annual salary of $90,180, or $43 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $66,340 or $32 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #96 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Healthcare Informatics Specialist. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Healthcare Informatics Specialists

  • 2.5%   Doctorate
  • 22.1%   Masters
  • 48.1%   Bachelors
  • 8.2%   Associates
  • 14.5%   College
  • 4.1%   High School
  • 0.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Healthcare Informatics Specialist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 118,500 jobs for a total of 686,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 20.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #49 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Healthcare Informatics Specialists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Computer systems design and related services 155,800 51,900 52%
Management of companies and enterprises 47,100 6,300 6%
State government, excluding education and hospitals 23,500 2,300 2%

Want To Be a Healthcare Informatics Specialist? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →