Health Information Technology (Health IT) jobs are demanding. Although the fast-paced industry is fulfilling, you feel like you should be taking home more money for your efforts.
You’re not the only one. According to the 2015 Healthcare Information Technology Salary Report, conducted by my company, HealthITJobs.com, health IT professionals feel they deserve $17,227 more on average in compensation than their current salary.
You won’t earn more money just by wanting it — you need to do something about it. Here are a few factors that impact salary, and what you can do about that to earn more money:
More experience, more money
It’s no surprise that experience impacts salary — the more experience you have, the more money you make. But in health IT, not all experience is equal. The salary report found that health IT experience is significantly more valuable than experience in other IT industries.
For example, professionals with three to five years of IT experience made an average of $56,223 each year, while those with the same amount of experience in health IT earned $75,498.
What you can do: Unfortunately, there’s no magic way to gain more experience and instantly bump your pay — it takes time. Your past experience is your past experience, and you can’t do anything about it. But you can take charge of your future experience. Job hopping may be a good way to get experience in a variety of different health IT jobs, but only do so if the job change will truly benefit you and your career. In addition, only jump between health IT jobs and avoid taking jobs outside of the industry.
When looking for new health IT jobs, focus on your current health IT experience and the career path you want to take. Although your experience outside the industry may relate to or help you perform the job, your health IT experience is more desirable and can help you get a higher starting salary.
In your current position, improve your skills and your value by learning about different parts of the business and working with co-workers in various departments. Specific knowledge and skills are in high-demand, so learn as much as you can from the experts bringing in the big bucks.
Different organizations, different salaries
While working for a hospital or health system may pay the bills, unfortunately it won’t pay top dollar. The salary report found that the type of organization you work for impacts salary and consulting is where the money is at.
On average, health IT professionals who work for consulting companies earn an annual salary of $107,281.56, while those employed by hospitals and health systems earn $87,885. After consulting, insurance companies and academic institutions pay the most money for health IT talent.
What you can do: To boost your salary, consider looking for health IT jobs at different types of organizations. Research employers and determine which ones you would want to work for and which organization type best fits your skills and personality.
Speak with colleagues and friends who work for the type of company you want to work for and learn which skills are most important, what the culture is like, and what employers are looking for in a health IT pro. You may need to specialize your skills and network with professionals connected to the organization to land the opportunity you want.
Boost your career, boost your paycheck
What you do on the job directly impacts your salary, and with great responsibility comes a great paycheck. In health IT, coming at no surprise, professionals in management make the most money our report found.
On average, project managers earn on annual salary of $107,674 and those in IT management take home $105,235.18 each year
What you can do: Moving to management is a big step, but it may be necessary to advance your career and your salary. Extra training in leadership and certifications can help you reach the next level. Although it’s not specific to the health IT industry, the PMP certification can help improve your chances of showing your boss you have the necessary skills to move into management.
If management is still far off on the horizon, start by taking small steps to move forward on your career path. Changing job titles and increasing responsibilities are typically accompanied by salary bumps. Work hard, improve your weaknesses, and play to your strengths to earn extra responsibility and money.
Top health IT salaries aren’t given — they’re earned. Put in the extra work to move your career forward you watch your paycheck grow.
What do you think? Do health IT jobs pay enough to keep employees satisfied? Let us know in the comments!