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What is a Medical Coder

The primary responsibility of a medical coder is to take a health care patient's file and translate the procedures and diagnoses into numerical codes. The codes they assign will determine how much a doctor or hospital is reimbursed for their services. Medical coders assign the proper numeric code to each of the procedures and diagnosis using software to determine how much a hospital or doctor will be reimbursed.

Medical coders may need to learn a variety of coding system software programs in order to classify several categories of patients, such as those used for Medicare, long-term care, physician offices, or ambulatory settings.

The minimum education requirement for a mecial coder is a high school diploma or GED. Some employers may prefer to hire if the applicant holds a professional credential, and one may be offered higher wages than an uncertified medical coder. The reported average annual salary for a medical coder is approximately $29,000-59,000. However, this figure can vary significantly depending upon academic qualification, having previous experience, and possession of the aforementioned skills. An optional certification is also available after obtaining experience in the role.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Medical Coder. For example, did you know that they make an average of $21.16 an hour? That's $44,009 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 23,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Medical Coder Do

There are certain skills that many Medical Coders have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Analytical skills, Detail oriented and Integrity.

Learn more about what a Medical Coder does

How To Become a Medical Coder

If you're interested in becoming a Medical Coder, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 27.7% of Medical Coders have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.7% of Medical Coders have master's degrees. Even though some Medical Coders have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Medical Coder. When we researched the most common majors for a Medical Coder, we found that they most commonly earn Associate Degree degrees or Bachelor's Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Medical Coder resumes include Diploma degrees or High School Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Medical Coder. In fact, many Medical Coder jobs require experience in a role such as Customer Service Representative. Meanwhile, many Medical Coders also have previous career experience in roles such as Medical Biller Coder or Billing Specialist.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Optum Jobs (50)
  2. BAYADA Home Health Care Jobs (57)
  3. McKesson Jobs (159)
  4. Humana Jobs (36)
  5. Kaiser Permanente Jobs (41)
Average Salary
$44,009
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
36,350
Job Openings
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Medical Coder Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Medical Coder

Medical Coders in America make an average salary of $44,009 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $61,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Salary
$44,009
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12 Medical Coder Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Medical Coder Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Medical Coder resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Medical Coder Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Optum Jobs (50)
  2. BAYADA Home Health Care Jobs (57)
  3. McKesson Jobs (159)
  4. Humana Jobs (36)
  5. Kaiser Permanente Jobs (41)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Medical Coder Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Medical Coder templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Medical Coder resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Medical Coder Resume
Medical Coder Resume
Medical Coder Resume
Medical Coder Resume
Medical Coder Resume
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Medical Coder Resume
Medical Coder Resume
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Medical Coder Resume
Medical Coder Resume

Medical Coder Demographics

Medical Coder Gender Distribution

Male
Male
13%
Female
Female
87%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Medical Coders, 86.8% of them are women, while 13.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Medical Coders is White, which makes up 66.4% of all Medical Coders.

  • The most common foreign language among Medical Coders is Spanish at 57.1%.

Job Openings

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Medical Coder Education

Medical Coder Majors

12.3 %

Medical Coder Degrees

Associate

36.9 %

Bachelors

27.7 %

Certificate

13.8 %

Top Colleges for Medical Coders

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

6. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

8. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,453
Enrollment
4,312

9. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

10. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946
Job Openings

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Online Courses For Medical Coder That You May Like

Medical Coding: ICD-10-CM Essentials
udemy
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Easy, effective, and engaging education on ICD-10-CM Medical Diagnosis Coding...

Medical Coding: ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code Training
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Learn medical coding and prepare yourself for today's healthcare workplace...

Transgender Medicine for General Medical Providers
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The course is a comprehensive set of didactic lectures surveying fundamentals of transgender medical and surgical treatment. The material is meant to provide the student with core knowledge that is essential for current primary care providers caring for transgender patients. There are 10 modules led by the expert clinical faculty from the pioneering Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, located within the Mount Sinai Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New Yor...

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Top Skills For a Medical Coder

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.3% of Medical Coders listed Medical Records on their resume, but soft skills such as Analytical skills and Detail oriented are important as well.

Best States For a Medical Coder

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Medical Coder. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska. Medical Coders make the most in Washington with an average salary of $63,384. Whereas in Oregon and California, they would average $63,062 and $59,804, respectively. While Medical Coders would only make an average of $56,345 in Alaska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Idaho

Total Medical Coder Jobs:
279
Highest 10% Earn:
$71,000
Location Quotient:
3.22
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Medical Coder Jobs:
87
Highest 10% Earn:
$84,000
Location Quotient:
0.4
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Medical Coder Jobs:
322
Highest 10% Earn:
$70,000
Location Quotient:
2.92
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Medical Coders

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Top Medical Coder Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Medical Coders and discovered their number of Medical Coder opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that McKesson was the best, especially with an average salary of $53,344. Robert Half International follows up with an average salary of $39,517, and then comes TeamHealth with an average of $40,881. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Medical Coder. The employers include CHRISTUS Health, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, and Saint Luke's Health System

Most Common Employers For Medical Coder

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Medical Coder SalaryAverage Salary
1$62,722
2$58,170
3$53,344
4$49,280
5
5.Martin Gottlieb & Associates
$49,040
6$48,794

Medical Coder Videos

Becoming a Medical Coder FAQs

How long does it take to become a medical coder?

It takes about nine months to two years to become a medical coder. Depending on what program you enroll in or what kind of job you want, the program can be completed in as few as nine months.

How much does a billing person make?

A person who manages the billing for a company makes around $45,000 in a year. The salaries range from a low of $30,000 to a high of $55,000 in a year, but the average hourly wage is typically around $15 to $20 an hour.

How much does it cost to become a medical coder?

It can cost between $3,000 to $20,000 to become a medical coder. It depends on the program and certifications you choose.

Programs can be as low as $3,000 to roughly $20,000. In California, residents can enroll in Santa Barbara City College's Medical Coding Specialist Certificate program for just $1,748 (or $46 per unit). However, non-residents are charged $331 per unit, totaling the cost to $12,578.

Is it hard to be a medical coder?

No, it is not hard to be a medical coder. Compared to some other health professions, becoming a medical coder is reasonably fast if you have the financial means and time.

Programs can be as low as $3,000 to roughly $20,000. Exams to gain certification can cost around $300-400, such as the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam costing $299. Students in their program typically learn coding and classification systems such as ICD-CM coding and classes about patient confidentiality.

What do I need to do to become a medical coder?

You need specialized training and certification to become a medical coder.

While some jobs may provide training and don't require a postsecondary degree, enrolling in a medical coding program can be helpful. Programs can be completed within a year or two. Some jobs may need a two-year associate degree in medical coding and billing or even a four-year bachelor's degree.

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