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Emerging Occupations

Health Information Technology Specialist

This is an emerging occupation. It may have evolved from an existing occupation or appeared in response to consumer needs or technological advances.

In general, health information technology specialists plan, develop, test and use software. They capture, manage and display health care-related records and databases. They study health care data.

Also Known As

Clinical Informatics Specialist, Clinical Information Systems Specialist, Health Information Analyst, Health Information Technician, Health Information Technologist, Medical Information Systems Specialist, Medical Information Systems Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

This occupation has not yet received an official NOC code. However, it is considered similar to the following historical NOC codes. CAUTION—As this occupation is only similar to these NOC codes, related details and labour market information may not be accurate:

  • 2006 NOC: Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management (1122);  Information Systems Analysts and Consultants (2171) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management (B022);  Information Systems Analysts and Consultants (C071) 
  • 2011 NOC: Professional occupations in business management consulting (1122);  Information systems analysts and consultants (2171) 
  • 2016 NOC: Professional occupations in business management consulting (1122);  Information systems analysts and consultants (2171) 
  • 2021 NOC: Professional occupations in business management consulting (11201) 
Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Health information technology (HIT) specialists work with health care-related software and information technology (IT). This technology is designed to capture, manage, and display health-related records, databases, and information.

Health information applications can improve the level of care hospitals and clinics provide. They can also reduce administrative costs and provide records that may be needed in legal cases.

In general, HIT specialists perform the following duties:

  • help address IT requirements in the health care sector
  • provide clinical subject matter expertise throughout the design, planning, and roll-out phases of new and updated technologies
  • make sure software or IT solutions meet user needs
  • help acquire software or IT systems
  • work with stakeholders to identify, understand, and document required concepts and clinical care processes
  • develop, customize and test software or IT
  • use or install software or IT solutions and help clients or co-workers do the same
  • maintain software or IT systems
  • respond to requests for patient information and affidavits
  • maintain privacy and confidentiality of patient information
  • administer the health information system database
  • help develop education and training procedures
  • advise and train senior hospital management, physicians, and other health care workers
  • provide information to assist in sound decision making
  • follow standards (such as HL7 and DICOM) to ensure electronic health information systems are compatible.

HIT specialists use software or IT systems such as:

  • communication protocols for the secure transmission of health care data
  • electronic patient record systems (regionally, provincially, territorially, or nationally)
  • clinical and administrative decision support systems
  • classification systems using standardized terminology and coding
  • case management systems
  • access and referral systems for health care services
  • patient monitoring systems
  • digital imaging and image processing systems
  • Internet and mobile technologies to engage and assist patients in their own care
  • telehealth technologies to support remote diagnosis and treatment
  • public health surveillance and protection systems
  • methodologies and apps for data analysis, management, and mining
  • clinical and administrative data warehouse and reporting systems
  • performance management systems
  • business, financial, administration support, and logistics systems.

HIT specialists often work closely with Health Information Management Professionals and system developers (see the Computer Programmer occupational profile).

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary

Health information technology specialists work mainly in office settings. They spend most of their time working with computers. Hospitals and clinics tend to operate at a fast pace. Those working in and around hospitals or clinics may feel the increased stress levels of these settings. With shared information services departments between health care facilities, travel may be required.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Health information technology specialists need to possess:

  • creativity
  • the ability to think analytically
  • the ability to solve problems
  • the skills to work on their own and with a multidisciplinary team
  • the skills to organize and prioritize competing demands
  • speaking and writing skills
  • the ability to manage stress and maintain poise
  • a strong client focus.

They should enjoy answering questions and problem solving.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Professional occupations in business management consulting*

2016 NOC: 1122

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Health Information Technology Specialist occupation.

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 51 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 09, 2021 and Dec 05, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Propose improvements to methods, systems and procedures
Analyze and provide advice on the managerial methods and organization of an establishment
Tasks: Conduct research to determine efficiency and effectiveness of managerial policies and programs
Attention to detail
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Word
Conduct research to determine efficiency and effectiveness of managerial policies and programs
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Excel
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication

Information systems analysts and consultants*

2016 NOC: 2171

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Health Information Technology Specialist occupation.

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 09, 2021 and Dec 05, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Design, develop and implement information systems business solutions
Tasks: Confer with clients to identify and document requirements
Tasks: Provide advice on information systems strategy, policy, management and service delivery
Tasks: Conduct business and technical studies
Tasks: Develop policies, procedures and contingency plans to minimize the effects of security breaches
Tasks: Assess physical and technical security risks to data, software and hardware
Tasks: Develop and implement policies and procedures throughout the software development life cycle
Tasks: Conduct reviews to assess quality assurance practices, software products and information systems
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

Most emerging occupations develop from more than one occupation. People working in this occupation may come from a variety of education and training backgrounds. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should contact associations and employers in this field to investigate education options and employment possibilities.

In general, HIT specialists require a bachelor’s degree in a health-related discipline. They may also be hired with a health information management (HIM) diploma. For a list of schools offering accredited HIM programs, visit the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) website. Work experience in the following fields is an asset:

  • computer science
  • information technology
  • management
  • social sciences
  • health sciences

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Certification Not Regulated

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Professional certification for health information technology specialists is available through Digital Health Canada. To earn certification as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems-Canada (CPHIMS-CA), candidates must:

  1. complete a bachelor’s degree in a related field
  2. complete 5 years of associated experience, including 3 years in health informatics, or complete a graduate degree plus 3 years of associated experience, including 2 years in health informatics
  3. complete and pass the CPHIMS and Canadian Supplemental exams.
Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Emerging occupations typically are the result of:

  • An increased human need
  • Technological advances
  • Greater specialization within an occupation

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, it can be difficult to define advancement opportunities or employment outlook. Some Albertans already are working in this emerging occupation, but future demand for it is unknown.

Many health information technology specialists work in large consulting firms. They provide services to hospitals and individual physicians and their staff. Others work in information services in public or private health care institutions. These include hospitals, clinics and care homes.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 1122: Professional occupations in business management consulting* occupational group, 78.4% of people work in:

In the 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants* occupational group, 79.9% of people work in:

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Health Information Technology Specialist occupation.

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment

Explore emerging workplace trends in Alberta that could affect this occupation.

In Alberta, the 1122: Professional occupations in business management consulting* occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 308 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

In Alberta, the 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants* occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 366 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Health Information Technology Specialist occupation.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, no current provincial salary data is available for this occupation.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Professional occupations in business management consulting*

2016 NOC: 1122

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Health Information Technology Specialist occupation.

Average Wage
$51.25
Per Hour
Average Salary
$99,558.00
Per Year
Average Hours
37.5
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 1122 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.19 $60.89 $37.83 $36.98
Overall $25.14 $88.56 $51.25 $49.90
Top $30.00 $126.69 $65.26 $59.13

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
Educational Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
28%
28%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
15%
15%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
3%
3%
Vacancy Rate
2%

Information systems analysts and consultants*

2016 NOC: 2171

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Health Information Technology Specialist occupation.

Average Wage
$45.60
Per Hour
Average Salary
$90,533.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.3
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2171 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $21.90 $55.07 $35.33 $34.21
Overall $27.67 $63.22 $45.60 $45.67
Top $32.26 $81.63 $54.92 $53.87

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Oil & Gas Extraction
Construction
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Educational Services
Information, Culture, Recreation
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
37%
37%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
17%
17%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
5%
5%
Vacancy Rate
2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Clerical and Administrative Support
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Alberta Network for Health Information eXchange website: www.anhix.com

Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) website: www.echima.ca

Digital Health Canada website: www.digitalhealthcanada.com

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) website: www.servicealberta.ca/foip

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: www.hsaa.ca

National Institutes of Health Informatics (NIHI) website: www.nihi.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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