Biomedical Informatics: Salary and Career Facts

Learn about careers related to biomedical informatics (BMI) and get information about degree options and job duties. Find out average salaries and education background for several common job titles in the biomedical informatics field. Schools offering Bioinformatics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Career Options Are Available for Biomedical Informatics Graduates?

Biomedical informatics (BMI) is an interdisciplinary field that incorporates biomedical data and knowledge for scientific investigation, decision making, and problem solving in order to improve human health. There is a wide range of career options in biomedical informatics, including IT trainers (those who teach others in their organization about information technology principles), project managers (those in charge of overseeing projects given to them by their superiors and ensuring things are completed on time to the best ability possible), CNOs (high-ranking nurses that organize and direct the actions of other nurses to promote a safe and clean environment within the hospital), CMOs (supervisors for the medical staff at a healthcare facility, directing staff and keeping the organization stocked with supplies and up to date on new trends and regulations), and research scientists (lab workers who investigate the different biomedical applications of chemicals to improve medicine, agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries).

The following chart provides education and salary information for these careers.

Information Technology (IT) trainers Project managers Chief nursing officers (CNO) Chief medical officers (CMO) Research scientists
Degree Required Master's Master's Bachelor's, Master of Science in Nursing preferred Doctor of Medicine Doctorate
Education Field of Study Information sciences, biomedical informatics Biomedical informatics Nursing, biomedical informatics Biomedical informatics Biomedical informatics
Median Salary (2016) $60,374* $72,175* $124,616* $276,748* $80,103*

Source: *PayScale.com.

What Degree Programs Are Available?

You can earn a graduate certificate, a master's degree, or a doctorate in biomedical informatics. Certificate programs are the shortest, lasting from 6-12 months. They introduce informatics concepts and provide enough background knowledge about electronic medical records to help healthcare organizations make use of them.

Master's degree programs devote two years to exploring practical methods of applying health information technology systems in hospitals and clinics and with medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, and insurers. Doctoral programs last 5-6 years and emphasize original research on a topic of your choosing. The subject has dozens of possible areas of investigation, including biological sequence analysis, medical imaging, and pharmacogenomics.

What Job Opportunities Will I Have?

Biomedical informatics has multiple career paths. If you've earned a doctoral degree you can become a professor of biomedical informatics at a college or university, or a research scientist for a university hospital, government agency, or pharmaceutical company. Working healthcare professionals who earn a master's degree can become IT trainers and project managers for their present employers. Those of sufficiently advanced rank can become a chief medical officer or chief nursing officer at a hospital. Graduates from certificate programs might work as health information managers or health information privacy specialists.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

As an IT trainer, you would assess the present knowledge of individuals and groups about biomedical informatics, plan, and prepare lessons and evaluate the progress of students. Project managers evaluate the information needs of a healthcare organization, design, and implement programs that integrate biomedical informatics data into an organization's operations and solve problems as they arise.

The duties of a chief medical officer include facilitating communication between medical staff and administrators, allocating, and coordinating resources for patient care and encouraging staff development. Chief nursing officers supervise the staffing and operations of their division, participate in the planning and coordination of healthcare delivery, monitor changes in regulations, develop staff training programs, and serve on commissions and task forces.

What Can I Expect to Earn?

The range of salaries you can command with a biomedical informatics degree varies as widely as the jobs you might get. As of October 2016, PayScale.com reported the following middle-range salaries for workers, excluding bonuses and profit sharing opportunities.

  • IT trainers: $40,190 - $85,789
  • Project managers: $53,533 - $96,470
  • Chief nursing officers: $85,865 - $192,078
  • Chief medical officers: $181,615 - $372,072
  • Research scientists: $48,258 - $109,436

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

One common opportunity for those with a graduate degree in biomedical informatics is to become a professor at a university, teaching your students about the field and assessing progress through exams and in-class activities and participation. Business and management analysts study the practices of a company to identify problems and increase efficiency, as well as interview employees to see what kind of changes would improve their working conditions. While the minimum education for this position is a bachelor's degree, most employers prefer to hire those with a master's. Computer systems analysts examine an organization's computer systems (in this case, specifically clinical systems) to identify flaws in organization and usage to improve efficiency and performance. A bachelor's is the minimum education needed for this career, but your chances for employment improve with a master's.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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