Like anything else, salaries in the field vary. People love to pull up this survey
and tell you that the average salary in the field is 98k.
I didn't read who exactly got pulled in this survey. For example, were all the people in the north east? Or were the people participating in the survey all in big cities? Did they include rural areas?
My point is that a friend of mine is a recruiter who looks for experienced candidates for different informatics jobs for hospital all over the nation. We have seen salaries range from 50k to 100k+ depending on experience, geographical location, position (managerial vs non-managerial) and even solution being implemented.
Consultants tend to make at least 45/hour and managerial jobs also pay well. But again, you could be a manager at a rural location making 70k (possibly even less), or you could be a manager in Philly making 100k+.
Is the field lucrative? Sure...like anything else, if you're good at what you do, and depending on your skillset, you can make a very good living. Example, if you are a nurse and you can write reports (sql queries), you could do very well out there, since reports is another niche in the industry that is highly sought after.
And I think there is a lot of mobility in the field. You can go from being an analyst implementing a solution, to maybe being a project manager, or a manager of a department or even a director. I've worked for vendors where people move up fairly fast, or they stay in the same position for years. It is up to the individual, but if you show you can shine, then I think the sky is the limit.