How to Become a Medical Coder

Become Team
Become Team
July 28, 2022
How to Become a Medical Coder

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5 Steps to Becoming a Medical Coder

Medical coding is arapidly-growing fieldthat plays a critical behind-the-scenes role in healthcare. The career requires a detail-oriented approach and specialized technical skillset, and is an ideal profession for those who want to work in non-patient-facing positions within the healthcare industry.

Becoming amedical coderisn't difficult, but it does require an associate or bachelor's degree related to science and some credentials. This guide will help you understand the steps to becoming a medical coder, how to find the best medical coding schools and additional training.

Step 1
Get a Postsecondary Education
A post-secondary degree isn't necessarily required to become a medical coder, but some credentials require that applicants have prerequisite education. You have several options, including a bachelor's degree, associate's degree, or certificate program. Your best option may be medical coding school, or an education program specifically designed for those planning to become medical coders.
Step 2
Get Basic Medical Coding Credentials
Once you've earned your education, you can achieve some basic credentials. Some credentials don't require any work experience, and you can take the exam by meeting the education requirement. Examples include theCertified Coding Associate(CCA) credential and theRegistered Health Information Technician(RHIT) credential. If you earned an associate degree of a Health Information Management (HIM) program you can register to take the RHIT.
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Step 3
Get Medical Coding Work Experience
Once you've earned basic credentials, you'll be qualified to begin working as a medical coder. There are many job settings to choose from, including hospitals, physician offices, and more. With the rise of remote work, plenty of medical coding can even be done from your home.
Step 4
Obtain Advanced Certifications in Medical Coding
Once you've got some work experience under your belt, you can earn more advanced credentials to help further your career. Some higher-level credentials such as theCertified Coding Specialist(CCS) andCertified Coding Specialist – Physician-based(CCS-P) require work experience alongside your educational background, so these are perfect to complete once you're a few years into your career.
Step 5
Career Advancement
Once you've earned your advanced certification, you can continue working as a medical coder, taking further steps to advance your career if you choose. Career advancement might include moving into leadership positions like a compliance auditor, manager or consultant. You might also consider pursuing more advanced education.

FAQ on Becoming a Medical Coder

How do you become a medical coder?

To become a medical coder, you need at least a certificate in medical coding or health information technology. You can grow your career and potentially earn more money by testing for advanced certifications.

How much does a medical coder make?

Medical coders typically earn around $44,000 to $52,000 a year.Medical coder salariesvary depending on their duties and where they work.

How long does it take to become a medical coder?

You can complete a medical coding certificate program in nine to 18 months. An associate degree in medical coding or health information technology may taketwo years to complete.

How much does it cost to become a medical coder?

Medical coding training programs range in cost from around $4,000 to $18,000 a year. You will also need to pay testing fees for certification exams.

Are there medical coder programs online?

Yes. You can find medical coding programs at several online trade and technical schools.

Medical Coder Salary & Job Growth

According to theBureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), the median annual salary for medical records and health information specialists is $44,090. Employment in the field is expected to grow by 8% from 2019 to 2029, twice the rate of most occupations.

Whether you plan on moving to attain a job as a medical coder, verifying wages across the U.S. and change in employment for this field will help you plan your path.

Alabama

Currently Employed:2,700

Change in Employment (2016-2026):14.70%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $35,450 Learn More

Alaska

Currently Employed:680

Change in Employment (2016-2026):13.10%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $54,170 Learn More

Arizona

Currently Employed:5,900

Change in Employment (2016-2026):21.70%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $40,540 Learn More

Arkansas

Currently Employed:1,840

Change in Employment (2016-2026):17.20%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $34,010 Learn More

California

Currently Employed:21,900

Change in Employment (2016-2026):19.60%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $50,260 Learn More

Colorado

Currently Employed:2,910

Change in Employment (2016-2026):32.10%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $49,040 Learn More

Connecticut

Currently Employed:1,900

Change in Employment (2016-2026):10%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $48,330 Learn More

Delaware

Currently Employed:530

Change in Employment (2016-2026):13.20%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $44,100 Learn More

Florida

Currently Employed:12,460

Change in Employment (2016-2026):23.70%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $40,980 Learn More

Georgia

Currently Employed:5,770

Change in Employment (2016-2026):22.60%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $39,410 Learn More

Hawaii

Currently Employed:680

Change in Employment (2016-2026):9.30%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $47,760 Learn More

Idaho

Currently Employed:950

Change in Employment (2016-2026):16.60%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $37,980 Learn More

Illinois

Currently Employed:8,080

Change in Employment (2016-2026):9.70%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $43,150 Learn More

Indiana

Currently Employed:3,990

Change in Employment (2016-2026):18.20%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $41,250 Learn More

Iowa

Currently Employed:2,450

Change in Employment (2016-2026):12.40%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $40,250 Learn More

Kansas

Currently Employed:2,260

Change in Employment (2016-2026):10.70%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $38,400 Learn More

Kentucky

Currently Employed:3,720

Change in Employment (2016-2026):26.80%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $37,210 Learn More

Louisiana

Currently Employed:2,870

Change in Employment (2016-2026):21.30%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $35,730 Learn More

Maine

Currently Employed:1,190

Change in Employment (2016-2026):8.80%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $38,440 Learn More

Maryland

Currently Employed:4,180

Change in Employment (2016-2026):20%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $49,390 Learn More

Massachusetts

Currently Employed:5,720

Change in Employment (2016-2026):13.80%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $49,240 Learn More

Michigan

Currently Employed:5,890

Change in Employment (2016-2026):10%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $39,720 Learn More

Minnesota

Currently Employed:4,010

Change in Employment (2016-2026):9.80%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $47,880 Learn More

Mississippi

Currently Employed:2,030

Change in Employment (2016-2026):11.50%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $33,320 Learn More

Missouri

Currently Employed:4,950

Change in Employment (2016-2026):9.90%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $41,620 Learn More

Montana

Currently Employed:1,210

Change in Employment (2016-2026):18.60%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $38,280 Learn More

Nebraska

Currently Employed:1,650

Change in Employment (2016-2026):13.40%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $39,700 Learn More

Nevada

Currently Employed:1,730

Change in Employment (2016-2026):27.40%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $44,120 Learn More

New Hampshire

Currently Employed:960

Change in Employment (2016-2026):14%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $41,810 Learn More

New Jersey

Currently Employed:8,380

Change in Employment (2016-2026):8.10%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $58,080 Learn More

New Mexico

Currently Employed:1,420

Change in Employment (2016-2026):12.90%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $37,020 Learn More

New York

Currently Employed:9,590

Change in Employment (2016-2026):16.30%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $46,200 Learn More

North Carolina

Currently Employed:5,520

Change in Employment (2016-2026):20.10%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $37,520 Learn More

North Dakota

Currently Employed:770

Change in Employment (2016-2026):23%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $43,370 Learn More

Ohio

Currently Employed:9,200

Change in Employment (2016-2026):13%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $40,430 Learn More

Oklahoma

Currently Employed:3,370

Change in Employment (2016-2026):12.60%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $35,790 Learn More

Oregon

Currently Employed:3,170

Change in Employment (2016-2026):17.90%

Amount:Mean wage annual: $46,560 Learn More

Pennsylvania