The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment opportunities for RHITs will grow by 21% through 2020. A corresponding study by AHIMA equates this to job growth of 4,300 positions per year and warns of a substantial shortage of qualified HIM professionals to fill the need.
Additional studies and salary surveys from AHIMA show a direct correlation between earning potential and level of degree. Individuals with a bachelor’s in Health Information Management earn an average of $66,064 versus $49,769 for an associate degree. The difference comes in the type of opportunities available to professionals who have managerial competencies gained through their BS in HIM studies.
Growth in HIM careers is due in part to our aging population’s increasing demand for all types of medical services. Continued evolution of electronic health record technology is also creating new opportunities for RHITs who have expert skills in data collection and analysis.
Areas of Opportunity
HIM job opportunities exist in multiple settings throughout the continuum of care, including:
- Ambulatory care
- Home health agencies
- Long-term care facilities
- Mental health facilities
- Multispecialty clinics
- Nursing homes
- Physician practices
- Public health agencies
The profession also has seen significant expansion in non-clinical settings with career opportunities at managed care providers, insurance companies, software vendors, health product vendors, consulting services, government agencies, educational organizations and pharmaceutical companies.
A 2010 AHIMA-sponsored study indicates that a health information manager/director with a Bachelor’s in Health Information Management earns between $9,000 and $16,000 more in salary per year than those holding an associate degree. In addition, only 25% of HIM professionals with an RHIT certification earn more than $50,000 annually, while almost 60% with RHIA credentials earn more than $50,000. The online Health Information Management degree from the University of Cincinnati can prepare you to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam.