Healthcare information technology professionals are not only well-paid for their work but they also have a high rate of job satisfaction, according to a new survey from employment website HealthITJobs.com. However, this year’s survey shows a “slight dip” in the average reported salary compared to last year.

The 2015 survey, now in its second year, was sent to the website’s members with more than 700 health IT workers completing the survey. Based on the data collected from respondents, the average HIT salary is $87,443—down from $89,873 in 2014.

According to HealthITJobs.com, this year’s decrease in the average reported salary “can easily be explained by the standard deviation.” However, the website recognizes that “those who tend to worry will wonder if this represents a trend of declining value on the role that health IT professionals play in healthcare.” Fear not, they say, HIT jobs are not in danger—in fact, salaries “that accompany them will likely get more attractive as the competition for talent gets tougher.”

The survey’s results are included in the website’s 2015 Health IT Salary Report which concludes that HIT skills continue to be in high demand, commanding “impressive” incomes. “From programmers to project managers, usability experts to data analysts—healthcare has a growing need for professionals with technical expertise, and the industry is prepared to compensate those professionals accordingly,” claims HealthITJobs.com, which credits the HITECH Act, Affordable Care Act, EHR Meaningful Use and ICD-10 for making health IT “one of the fastest growing fields in the U.S.” 

Also See: Strong Growth in HIM Jobs Seen

Nonetheless, only 45 percent of survey respondents said they were satisfied with their income and a lot of health IT professionals don’t think they are getting paid what they deserve. “The average gap between what they earn and what they think they deserve is pretty significant at around an $18,000 difference,” states the report. Besides current income, sources of job dissatisfaction for those surveyed were excessive workload and hospital politics.

Still, the survey indicates that 83 percent of those working in the health IT field are satisfied with their jobs—up from 80 percent last year. At the same time, however, more than 50 percent of respondents indicated that they will be looking for a new job in less than a year, and another 31 percent said that they weren’t sure if they will stay in their current job.

When it comes to salaries and geographic location, HIT jobs in New England pay the most, followed close behind by jobs in the Mid-Atlantic and Mountain regions. And when it comes to job function, for the second year in a row, project managers reported the highest average health IT salaries ($107,674). IT management salaries were the next highest ($94,275).

Not surprisingly, those with HIT experience earn 26 percent more than those workers with IT experience outside of healthcare. As far as employers are concerned, health IT consulting companies pay the highest salaries with an average of $107,282.

“While men in health IT jobs earn slightly more than women—the average salary reported by women is 98.5 percent of what is reported by men—this discrepancy is significantly smaller than what was reported in the 2014 Salary Report,” the survey finds. “Age, however, does appear to impact how much a health IT professional earns, but this is likely more a result of the experience that comes with age, rather than the age itself.”

The HealthITJobs.com’s 2015 Health IT Salary Report is available here (registration required).

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