Researching Medical Billing and Coding Salaries
Medical billing and coding are two of the most promising career paths that does not require a four-year degree. There is a wide variety of employment opportunities for coder and biller specialists in this rapidly growing and well paying field of medicine and will continue to expand with the implementation of ICD-10 in 2013.
*Salary ranges are between $35,920 and $43,410 ($17.27-$20.87 per hour) according to the latest salary survey carried out by the US Labor Statistics increasing to over $50,000 for those with more experience, technical training and certification.
** The 2012 AAPC Health Care Salary Survey survey carried out in 2012 determined that the average pay for a Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) was $47,796.
This site provides an in-depth exploration of the job responsibilities, required education, and long-term career development possibilities as well current salary expectations and employment outlooks.
Research Salary Levels & Training Schools In Your State
Salaries By State
The salary of medical coding and billing professionals will largely depend on the location of the employer. For instance, if the employer is based in the bigger metropolitan areas, the salary package will be higher than in a town or smaller city.
Salaries by Workplace
Another deciding factor for the wage difference will be the size of the employer. A big hospital or insurance firm, will compensate you considerably higher than smaller hospitals or insurance companies.
Salaries by Credentials
Individuals with advanced certifications will also command a higher wage than the average earners. For instance, those with CPC® earned $47,796, Certified Professionals Coder-Hospital Outpatient (CPC-H®) earned an average of $56,466, whilst all AAPC credentials averaged $48,033 during 2012.
Although it is not a requirement to obtain certification, most of the employers would prefer to hire individuals who sought and passed certification examination. The reason for this is that a certification demonstrates a high standard of professionalism, as well as knowledge. The relevant bodies that provides credentials are: American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), Professional Association of Health Care Coding Specialists (PAHCS) and Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC).
Medical Billing and Coding Careers & Self-Employment
What They Do?
- Updating and maintaining patient databases,
- Assigning the appropriate billing codes to patient diagnoses,
- Requesting payment from insurance companies, and
- Recording received payments.
Many of those who pursue a career in medical billing, set up their own medical billing company providing billing and practice management services to a variety of health care providers (e.g. chiropractors, surgeons, physical therapists etc). Many continue building their business up and employing other medical billers. This a viable and great opportunity for those who like to be self-employed. There is a substantial opportunity for people to become professional medical billers making very good incomes if they learn the business, get the required training and approach this field seriously.
Medical Billing and Coding Training Factsheet
You can receive training through: on-the-job training, certification through training programs, vocational college training or two-year college degrees. In most cases, medical billing and coding specialists are required to have at least a a certificate or diploma in medical billing & coding, although employers generally prefer job candidates with an associate’s degree in medical billing and coding or in health information technology/management. Some billing technicians learn on the job; however, most prospective billing and coding personnel opt for specialized training.
For career advancement, you may consider obtaining a master's degree or bachelor's degree in health care. Medical billing and coding professionals with the said education can become a health information manager. You may also take an advanced specialty certification.
Medical Billing & Coding Job Outlook
Healthcare is booming! With the increasing reliance on computerized patient records, there is an ongoing need for skilled medical billing and coding specialists; individuals with superior software skills are in especially high demand. Jobs in the health information field are expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
* BLS: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, site: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos103.htm, accessed on Feb 01, 2012
** 2012 AAPC Health Care Salary Survey inc. graphs and charts: http://news.aapc.com/index.php/2012/09/salary-survey-2012-trends-show-growth-and-diversification/, accessed on Jan. 10, 2013.
AAPC - nation's largest medical coding training and certification association for medical coders and medical coding jobs
AHIMA - provides medical records professionals with educational resources and programs.