New Member Profile Data Reveals Rapid Growth and Expansion

Members by Work Setting | Salaries by Job Title & Work Setting | Continued Education | Regional Breakdown |

It is with great pleasure that we are able to once again present a detailed analysis of AHIMA membership profile data. This is possible because members have answered our call to provide this data via the expanded online profile instrument. In this issue, we share the latest information highlighting current salary, work setting, and education trends among AHIMA members.

Growth and expansion dominate the analysis of the charts and graphs here, especially as they are compared to those that last appeared in an AHIMA Advantage profile piece in August 2000. The data contained in this section is compiled from the expanded online member profile that was introduced in 2001. Currently, this profile contains information on more than 36 percent of AHIMA members, more than 17,000 in total. This sample is determined solely by those members who have self-selected to provide AHIMA with their profile data. This data set represents a solid statistical base by which to identify trends and to make comparisons among your group of peers.

The two graphs that appear below are a good illustration of the type of rapid growth that repeats itself often over the next several pages. AHIMA had enjoyed rather steady membership growth (average 2.4 percent growth) over the previous five-year period, until 2002 brought with it a remarkable 7.7 percent growth. A contributing factor in this equation is an expanding group of associate members (those professionals interested in HIM who do not have an AHIMA credential). This group, which has grown by 32 percent since 2000, now makes up seven percent of the overall membership and is represented in this data set.

The second chart highlights solid overall growth in member salaries. This is especially encouraging given the current economic climate. More than 55 percent of AHIMA members represented now earn $40,000 or more annually. This equals an increase of 19 percent for this group since 2000.

An expanded profile also reveals how a growing membership continues to diversify and take advantage of opportunities. Track your own course through these pages and look for ways to stay ahead of a rapidly changing and expanding HIM industry curve.

Members by Work Setting

One of the areas that the new expanded profile adds insight into is work setting. Members are now encouraged to list multiple work settings if applicable. The results show that there are many members who have a job that includes responsibilities related to multiple settings or who have more than one job. The data shows an average of 1.6 work settings per responding member.

An additional feature of the new data is a more detailed breakdown of work setting. The pie charts below take a general setting from the bar chart, like hospital or long-term care, and provide the specifics about the type of hospital or long-term care setting. For example, from the bar chart we know that 58 percent of members do some of their work in a hospital. If we then look at the pie chart in the "further breakdown" section, we learn that 90 percent of those doing work in a hospital setting are doing so in an acute care hospital while most of the remaining 10 percent are spread between long-term acute, ambulatory surgery, and rehabilitation hospitals.

While it's difficult to make comparisons to past data, the charts here do point to the continued diversity of the places where HIM professionals are currently practicing. An industry trend toward ambulatory care and the prevalence of integrated delivery systems is supported. While in 2000, less than two percent listed ambulatory care as the primary work setting, 20 percent now include it in their list of settings. Likewise, multihospital/diversified systems accounted for three percent in 2000, but now 14 percent of members are involved in integrated delivery systems.

Another clear indication that diversity in the workplace continues is illustrated in the two pie charts below. The largest percentage in both the HIM specialty and non-provider settings falls in 'other' despite the extensive list of settings to choose from.

Salaries by Job Title and Work Setting

The pie charts presented here illustrate earning levels for six of the top job titles among members. The executive level chart includes those with administrative and vice presidential titles as well as CEO, COO, CIO, and CFO. This group now represents more than three percent of the membership, showing an increase in responsibility and entrepreneurial spirit, as well as more executives joining the ranks of AHIMA as associate members.

The bar charts below show the impact of workplace on salaries, with integrated delivery systems generally paying higher salaries and long-term care settings paying on the lower end.

Continued Education

In keeping with the overall trends of growth and expansion, education is no exception. AHIMA members have achieved advanced degrees in growing numbers since 2000. Nearly three percent more members now hold a master's degree and there has been a three-fold increase in the percentage of members holding a doctorate degree. 50 percent of member respondents hold at least a baccalaureate degree as compared to 45 percent in 2000.

The result and likely driving force in this trend toward higher education is illustrated in salary by education charts shown here. Stated plainly, higher education correlates directly with higher salaries. While 15 percent of members with a high school diploma and 18 percent with an associate's degree earn $50,000 or more annually, the same is true of 27 percent of those with a baccalaureate degree and 59 percent of those who have earned a master's degree.

The effects are even more obvious in the very high salary brackets. While about one percent of members with a high school or associate's level education report earning $90,000 or more per year, five percent of those with a baccalaureate degree have reached this level while that percentage more than triples to 18 percent of those with a master's or higher-level education earning upwards of $90,000.

Regional Breakdown

A regional analysis reveals still another factor that influences salary levels. Overall, the Southwest and Northeast regions tend to pay higher salaries. While 33 percent of those in the Southwest report earning $60,000 or more annually, that percentage is less than half in the Northwest at 15 percent.

The data presented here touches on some of the key factors related to the state of the HIM profession. This type of profile review will continue on at least an annual basis as long as members continue to provide the updated profile data that makes it possible. Also, a wealth of additional analysis is being generated by AHIMA's Work Force Assessment Study. Look to the May Journal of AHIMA for highlights from some of these results, which will provide insight into the areas of salary, credentials, diversity, technology, and more. Use the wealth of industry data that AHIMA now offers to track your career path and make plans for future growth and expansion.

Area Legend

| top |

Source: AHIMA Advantage 7:2 (March 2003)