Estimates suggest that $1 out of every $6 spent in the country is done so on health care alone. The complexity of modern medicine combined with the intricacies of the insurance industry has created a huge amount of paperwork, and medical coding and billing is a profitable industry as a result. Knowing what to expect and how to get started can help you if you’re interested in this potential career path.
You’ll need a high school diploma at a minimum to get into this field. A GED is an alternative route you can choose. In either case, these are the minimum educational levels you need to work in the field and possibly even start training or classes. Aiming for an associate’s degree can help your career potential.
You’ll need the training to get involved with medical coding, but you might be able to do that online. Virtual training is available through programs such as Coding Clarified and other opportunities. This gives you the advantage of learning from wherever you are without having to report to a physical facility or brick-and-mortar campus on a regular basis. You might also enjoy schedule flexibility to get into or even advance your career.
Doing the training and getting certified as a medical coder will take time. Much of that depends on the specific training program or path you choose. Some individuals complete their training and are certified within a year, but others take as many as three years. This is a great career for those suited for it, but it’s not something you’ll start generating income from overnight.
Regardless of the demand for medical coders, your inbox might not be flooded with projects and jobs the minute you join the ranks of available coders. Education and certification get you into the door, but you still have to walk through it. Put together a great resume, and customize a cover letter for every opportunity you apply to. Take whatever you can get to start building up your professional background, and you’ll get better opportunities over time as you make a name for yourself.
The income is certainly there if you get accredited and certified. The average medical coder salary is approximately $50,000, although starting salaries might be closer to half that. On the other hand, specialists who advance in certain roles might make as much as six figures per year.
Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/people/Rachelle-Wilber/100009221637700/