CIO salaries on the rise, with women’s pay edging out men

2018 was a banner year when it comes to compensation for chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT executives.

2018 was a banner year when it comes to compensation for chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT executives.

That’s the finding of a new survey conducted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

The survey, which included about 11 percent of CHIME’s domestic membership (266 members), found that the average base salary was $235,806 last year compared to $208,417 in 2012—a 13 percent increase.

In addition, CHIME reported that women executives earned $257,340 while men made $228,217—a difference of about $30,000 on average.

“Overall, the 2018 survey showed an uptick in average base salaries, with most respondents satisfied or very satisfied with their total compensation and current job,” according to CHIME. “Contrary to trends in other sectors, women in senior healthcare IT executive positions on average made higher base salaries than men.”

Also See: 8 trends from the 2018 HIMSS Compensation Survey

While nearly 75 percent of respondents said that they were very satisfied or satisfied with their current jobs, those who reported they are very satisfied with their total compensation had an average salary of $302,731 and those who said they were very unsatisfied had an average salary of $168,857.

Those executives having medical degrees (6 percent of respondents) were paid an average salary of $381,688—about 60 percent more than those with master’s degrees. The survey also found wide variation in base salary by region.

“Respondents in the Pacific region, which includes Washington, Oregon and California, made about 11 percent more in base salary than the national average,” according to CHIME. “Those in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, reported base salaries that were 20 percent below the average. The Midwest and Southwest regions came in slightly above average and the Northeast and Southeast slightly below.”

The size of medical facilities also impacted pay. Those who worked at a facility with 1 to 25 beds reported an average salary of $136,183, while those at facilities with 400 to 699 beds had average salaries of $299,302. Executives who indicated that they worked at pediatric hospitals had the highest average salary at $309,028.

“Although most of the respondents said they felt very secure or secure in their positions, more than one third were actively or casually looking for new job opportunities,” noted CHIME, adding that the majority—45 percent—received an increase between zero and 3 percent, and another 18 percent of respondents reported that they received no increase to their salary in 2018.

Not surprisingly, nearly half of the respondents said they had heavier workloads in 2018, compared with 2017.

CHIME contends that CIOs are “playing an increasingly critical role in healthcare leadership” and that the challenges they face “have grown exponentially as well, as their organizations fend off increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats and try to survive in a highly regulated and complex industry.”

The results of the CHIME Salary Survey can be downloaded here.

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