Guide to Health Information Management: Jobs, Skills, Salaries

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Health information management professionals manage and protect critical health care data. Learn more about health information management jobs and how to get one.

[Fetured imge] Two health information managers stand in a white room, looking at patient data on a laptop computer while standing in front of two desktop computers

Health information management is the process of inputting, managing, protecting, and analyzing health care data like electronic health records, lab results, patient contact information, medical history, and more. This information is highly-sensitive data that needs to be stored safely and securely while easily accessible and accurately located. Insurance companies, health care providers, and even academic professionals may use health care data for research, billing, coding, claims management, and diagnoses.

What is health information management?

Many health information management jobs aim to ensure proper data storage according to laws and regulations. This requires skills like problem-solving, analytics, communication, and knowledge of health care informatics. Health information management salaries will vary based on job title, years of experience, education, and industry. 

The process of health information management involves a mix of health care practices, information technology, as well as principles of business.  For this reason, you can find HIM professionals in IT, management, medical billing and coding, and more. As health care providers increasingly rely on electronic health records, the need for HIM professionals is growing. 

Health information management, called HIM, collects, reviews, and protects patient medical data. Health care providers rely on health information management to keep private medical records secure, easily accessible, and well organized. As technology evolves and a health care provider's needs for data storage may shift and change, health information management keeps critical information safe and secure.

One of the significant tasks of health information management is integrating the massive amounts of information that a health care provider collects and putting it all onto one robust and secure platform for a provider’s needs. For example, a health care practice likely uses health information management to be able to schedule patient appointments, bill patients, code medical documents for insurance purposes, and store test results. 

What medical information does a health information manager control?

A health information manager handles all health record information, including medical coding, billing, diagnosis, treatment, contact, after-visit summaries, medication lists, and more. The information they handle may also vary based on the health care provider and specialty. 

What does a health information manager do?

A health information professional ensures the accurate input, storage, and management of patient health care documentation for an organization like a hospital or insurance company. This may include implementing and managing a computerized health information system, improving an existing system, and creating procedures for employees to follow when inputting medical data. Depending on their exact job title and role, a health information professional may do the following:

  • Create a system for medical documentation that keeps patient records safe, secure, and well-organized.

  • Oversee electronic health records, working with the IT team.

  • Analyze a health care provider’s digital medical record-keeping process and suggest changes or improvements.

  • Help a health care provider manage electronic health records.

  • Collect necessary health information promptly and properly code or file away for easy reference and use by insurance companies or medical providers.

  • Perform audits per AHIMA compliance guidelines, state, and federal laws.

Why choose a career in health information management?

You may choose a career in health information management if you want to work in health care without working directly with patients or enjoy working with computers and data management. Health information management is at the cross-section of business, health care, and information technology. This profession may be a great choice if you’re interested in any of these categories.

Taking a step away from patient care

HIM professionals handle patient data but rarely interact directly with patients. They can provide patient care and safety through document accuracy and security, which are essential aspects of health care. An HIM professional even advocates for patient rights by implementing and managing systems for storing patient data. 

Data and information focus

If you have a background in information management, information technology, or related fields, working in health information management may be a new and different industry in which to work. Careers in health information management are data- and information-focused, which means you can find plenty of opportunities to use your problem-solving, analysis, and troubleshooting skills.

Dynamic career opportunities 

You can find many career opportunities in health information management, from an insurance claims analyst to a patient information consultant. These careers lean toward the medical field, IT, or business management, which creates a dynamic field with many career opportunities. You may find health information management positions in several industries, including software companies, government agencies, consulting agencies, hospitals, physician’s offices, and academics. 

Is health information management a good career choice?

Health information management can be a good career choice as it offers mobility, promotion opportunities, and growth. Many people also find careers in health information management to be quite rewarding, fast-paced, and exciting.

  • Rewarding: Careers in health information management can be rewarding as you can help people seeking medical care.


  • Job growth: As health information management grows, so does the need for HIM professionals to secure and manage digitized content for health care providers. 

  • Pay: HIM professionals typically earn a good salary for a health care profession that only sometimes requires the advanced degrees that doctors and nurses may hold.  

  • Opportunity: You can enter management positions through additional education, experience, and certifications.

  • Learn new skills: You may learn new skills through your work in HIM, such as billing, coding, and compliance, even if your primary tasks are in a different area. These new skills may be helpful as you look for new job opportunities.


Where do health information managers work?

Health information managers work in various environments, including hospitals, clinics, consulting firms, and health insurance companies. They protect all types of a person’s medical information, including lab results, insurance information, diagnoses, medications, and more. It’s a job that focuses on the safety and security of critical medical documents, meaning many health information managers may work across industries to protect patient documents. 

Health information management salaries & career outlook

Salaries for careers in health information management may vary widely based on factors like your employer, job title, location, and more. For this reason, you may see a lot of variation in salary. Your salary may be higher or lower than the average, depending on your specific job title, your certifications, and whether the job is entry-level, mid-level, or upper-level.

How much does a health information manager make?

The average salary for a health information manager is $48.402 [1]. You may earn more or less than these estimates based on where you work, your years of experience, and more. For example, a health information manager employed by the federal government typically earns more than those employed by a hospital or physician’s office. 

Job titles related to health information management with salaries

You can find various jobs in health information management, from entry-level positions like HIM clerks to senior positions like health information management directors. Many health information management jobs have similar core educational requirements but will vary by position, rank, and industry. These are a few jobs you can find in health information management, along with the estimated average annual median salary for each profession: 

  • Compliance officer $88,235 [2

  • Insurance claims analyst $61,959 [3]

  • Health care data analyst $89,288 [4]

  • Health information technician $56,251 [5]

  • Health information director $83,014 [6]

  • Health information consultant $64,217 [7

  • Data quality analyst $110,140 [8]

What does it take to become a health information manager?

To become a health information manager, you’ll likely need to earn your bachelor’s degree in health information management or a related field. You may be able to get an entry-level position with a high school diploma and health care experience, but many facilities prefer candidates with additional education. This can be especially true for non-clinical organizations like insurance companies or IT vendors, as well as for analytical or technology-based roles. 

Earning a master’s of science in health information management can improve your chances of employment, boost your income, and open up more job opportunities. If you plan to pursue a supervisory position, a master's degree may help you stand out among the other candidates seeking the same position. 

Some health information managers may also pursue certification. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers the Registered Health Information Administrator, or RHIA, certification. Health information managers or other professionals in health information management who have already earned their degrees and gained some professional experience can work toward this certification to demonstrate their industry knowledge. 

Skills needed for health information management jobs

The skills needed to work in health information management are somewhat varied since these professionals can hold many different jobs. Still, you’ll find that most careers in this field require problem-solving skills, communication and teamwork, analytical skills, and attention to detail. If you work in a management role overseeing a team of people, you’ll also need project management skills, leadership skills, and the ability to work well as a team. 

A few critical technical skills that you may need while working in HIM include:

  • A deep understanding of HIPAA laws. 

  • Ability to adhere to state and federal compliance laws as it pertains to medical record keeping.

  • Knowledge of health care informatics like data reporting tools, apps, electronic medical records, and more. 

  • Proficiency with health care technologies like software systems, cloud computing, and hardware systems. 

What are some typical paths to health information management?

Some typical paths into health information management include transitioning from an entry-level position like medical billing, benefits coordinator, or insurance claims clerk to mid-level positions like health information technician or analyst. These entry-level positions may require only a certificate program rather than a degree, which makes them a good starting point for anyone who does not yet have a bachelor’s degree. 

Once you’ve worked in a mid-level position like a health information technician or health information technologist, you can gain certifications or additional education and move into a position like a health information manager, health information director, or medical and health service manager. Management positions will likely require a bachelor’s degree, and some may require a master’s degree. You may need a master's degree for upper-level and senior positions like chief privacy officer, operations coordinator, or medical research analyst. 

Ready to start your career as a health information management professional?

If you’re ready to start your career as a health information management professional, consider what type of job in the HIM field would best suit your interests, skills, and qualifications. Need help to decide? Enroll in an HIM course like Health Information Technology Fundamentals or Healthcare IT: Challenges and Opportunities, both offered on Coursera. When you’re ready, find an accredited program and get the education necessary to work in HIM. 

Article sources


Glassdoor. "Health Information Manager Salaries,,26.htm. Accessed July 24, 2022.

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