Certifications can be a powerful tool to show employers you know your stuff. However, not all certifications are created equal.

We've compiled a list of the most common certifications for medical coders. Not only will obtaining these certifications give you a leg up for job hunting, they will also increase your overall value.

20 Best Medical Coder Certifications

1. Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS)

A Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) primarily focuses on converting a medical procedure, diagnosis, or symptom into specific codes to submit a claim for reimbursement.

A Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) primarily focuses on converting a medical procedure, diagnosis, or symptom into specific codes to submit a claim for reimbursement.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 2 year(s)

2. Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. In fact, certification has become an implicit industry standard. Accordingly, the CCS credential demonstrates a practitioner's tested data quality and integrity skills, and mastery of coding proficiency. Professionals experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records should consider obtaining this certification.

Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. In fact, certification has become an implicit industry standard. Accordingly, the CCS credential demonstrates a practitioner's tested data quality and integrity skills, and mastery of coding proficiency. Professionals experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records should consider obtaining this certification.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 3 year(s)

3. Certified Professional Coder (CPC)

A Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is an individual of high professional integrity who has passed a coding certification examination sponsored by the American Academy of Professional Coders (the AAPC). The examination consists of questions regarding the correct application of CPT, HCPCS procedure and supply codes and ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes used for billing professional medical services to insurance companies.

A Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is an individual of high professional integrity who has passed a coding certification examination sponsored by the American Academy of Professional Coders (the AAPC). The examination consists of questions regarding the correct application of CPT, HCPCS procedure and supply codes and ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes used for billing professional medical services to insurance companies.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 2 year(s)

4. Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)

With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree. Although most RHITs work in hospitals, they are also found in other healthcare settings including office-based physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, and public health agencies. In fact, RHITs may be employed in any organization that uses patient data or health information, such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms, and health product vendors.

With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree. Although most RHITs work in hospitals, they are also found in other healthcare settings including office-based physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, and public health agencies. In fact, RHITs may be employed in any organization that uses patient data or health information, such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms, and health product vendors.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 3 year(s)

5. Certified Medical Coder (CMC)

Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam. Practice Management Institute has helped raise the bar of knowledge with its CMC credential, designed to help physicians and their staff ensure ample training in outpatient coding.

Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam. Practice Management Institute has helped raise the bar of knowledge with its CMC credential, designed to help physicians and their staff ensure ample training in outpatient coding.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? 
Certifying Website
Certified Medical Coder
Certifying Organization
Practice Management Institute

6. Medical Assistant

The medical assistant job description varies depending on the employer's needs. A medical assistant is a multi-skilled professional and an asset to a physician.

The medical assistant job description varies depending on the employer's needs. A medical assistant is a multi-skilled professional and an asset to a physician.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 1 year(s)
Certifying Organization
American Society of Phlebotomy...

7. Certified Code Specialist

A Certified Code Specialist is an inspector that specializes in code inspection.

A Certified Code Specialist is an inspector that specializes in code inspection.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 1 year(s)

8. Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA)

Job opportunities for RHIAs exist in multiple settings throughout the healthcare industry. These include the continuum of care delivery organizations, including hospitals, multispecialty clinics and physician practices, long-term care, mental health, and other ambulatory care settings. The profession has seen significant expansion in nonpatient care settings, with careers in managed care and insurance companies, software vendors, consulting services, government agencies, education, and pharmaceutical companies.

Job opportunities for RHIAs exist in multiple settings throughout the healthcare industry. These include the continuum of care delivery organizations, including hospitals, multispecialty clinics and physician practices, long-term care, mental health, and other ambulatory care settings. The profession has seen significant expansion in nonpatient care settings, with careers in managed care and insurance companies, software vendors, consulting services, government agencies, education, and pharmaceutical companies.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 1 year(s)

9. Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA)

Medical auditing is a critical piece to compliant and profitable physician practices. As a Certified Professional Medical Auditor, you will be able to use your proven knowledge of coding and documentation guidelines to improve your or another practice's revenue cycle.

Medical auditing is a critical piece to compliant and profitable physician practices. As a Certified Professional Medical Auditor, you will be able to use your proven knowledge of coding and documentation guidelines to improve your or another practice's revenue cycle.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 2 year(s)

10. Certified Outpatient Coding (COC)

A Certified Professional Coder-Hospital (CPC-H) is an individual of high professional integrity who has passed a coding certification examination sponsored by the American Academy of Professional Coders (the AAPC). The examination consists of questions regarding the correct application of CPT, HCPCS procedure and supply codes and ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes used for billing facility services to insurance companies.

A Certified Professional Coder-Hospital (CPC-H) is an individual of high professional integrity who has passed a coding certification examination sponsored by the American Academy of Professional Coders (the AAPC). The examination consists of questions regarding the correct application of CPT, HCPCS procedure and supply codes and ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes used for billing facility services to insurance companies.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 2 year(s)

11. Certified Coding Specialist--Physician-based (CCS-P)

The employment outlook for CCS-Ps is highly favorable, considering the growth of managed care and the movement of health services delivery beyond the hospital setting. Professionals performing coding in a doctor's office, clinic, or similar setting should consider obtaining the CCS-P certification to testify to their capabilities. The CCS-P certification exam assesses mastery-level proficiency in coding rather than entry-level skills.

The employment outlook for CCS-Ps is highly favorable, considering the growth of managed care and the movement of health services delivery beyond the hospital setting. Professionals performing coding in a doctor's office, clinic, or similar setting should consider obtaining the CCS-P certification to testify to their capabilities. The CCS-P certification exam assesses mastery-level proficiency in coding rather than entry-level skills.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 1 year(s)

12. Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)

A Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) performs routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices and clinics of physicians running smoothly.

A Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) performs routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices and clinics of physicians running smoothly.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 2 year(s)

13. Certified Coding Associate (CCA)

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recognizes that the demand for coders has never been greater, and this need is expected to continue for some years to come. By creating an entry-level coding credential based on job analysis standards and state-of-the-art test construction, AHIMA aims to increase the number of qualified new coders. The result? A larger pool of qualified coders for employers to choose from; certified coders doing a better job managing health information; and recognition for AHIMA members as industry experts and leaders in clinical coding.New coders who earn the CCA will immediately demonstrate their competency in the field, even if they don't have much job experience. Earning a CCA demonstrates a commitment to coding even for those who are new in the field. CCA holders will also distinguish themselves from non-credentialed coders and those who hold credentials from other organizations that do not require the higher level of expertise necessary to earn AHIMA certification.

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recognizes that the demand for coders has never been greater, and this need is expected to continue for some years to come. By creating an entry-level coding credential based on job analysis standards and state-of-the-art test construction, AHIMA aims to increase the number of qualified new coders. The result? A larger pool of qualified coders for employers to choose from; certified coders doing a better job managing health information; and recognition for AHIMA members as industry experts and leaders in clinical coding.New coders who earn the CCA will immediately demonstrate their competency in the field, even if they don't have much job experience. Earning a CCA demonstrates a commitment to coding even for those who are new in the field. CCA holders will also distinguish themselves from non-credentialed coders and those who hold credentials from other organizations that do not require the higher level of expertise necessary to earn AHIMA certification.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 3 year(s)

14. Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM)

Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional administrative skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM) exam. To attain CMOM certification, all candidates must demonstrate a high level of knowledge in financial management, managed care contracting, personnel, and time management. Risk management, medical record keeping and facility management issues should also be mastered.

Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional administrative skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM) exam. To attain CMOM certification, all candidates must demonstrate a high level of knowledge in financial management, managed care contracting, personnel, and time management. Risk management, medical record keeping and facility management issues should also be mastered.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? 
Certifying Organization
Practice Management Institute

15. Certified Medical Insurance Specialist (CMIS)

Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding, reimbursement and claims management skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Insurance Specialist (CMIS) exam. Practice Management Institute® has helped raise the bar of knowledge with its CMIS credential, designed to demonstrate outstanding skill in outpatient claims and reimbursement.

Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding, reimbursement and claims management skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Insurance Specialist (CMIS) exam. Practice Management Institute® has helped raise the bar of knowledge with its CMIS credential, designed to demonstrate outstanding skill in outpatient claims and reimbursement.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? 

16. Certified Evaluation and Management Coder (CEMC)

The Certified Evaluation and Management Coder exam was developed by a team of leading E/M coding professionals. Those coders with sufficient experience and expertise in E/M coding are encouraged to sit for the CEMC exam.

The Certified Evaluation and Management Coder exam was developed by a team of leading E/M coding professionals. Those coders with sufficient experience and expertise in E/M coding are encouraged to sit for the CEMC exam.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 2 year(s)

17. Nationally Certified Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS)

The Insurance and Coding Specialist can find a rewarding position as a health insurance claims processor or coder in a medical office practice. The Examination content areas include medical billing procedures, insurance claims processing, medical terminology, CPT coding, ICD-9-CM Coding, and HCPCS Level II coding.

The Insurance and Coding Specialist can find a rewarding position as a health insurance claims processor or coder in a medical office practice. The Examination content areas include medical billing procedures, insurance claims processing, medical terminology, CPT coding, ICD-9-CM Coding, and HCPCS Level II coding.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 1 year(s)

18. Home Care Coding Specialist - Diagnosis (HCS-D)

If you're a home health care coder, you can become certified with the Home Care Coding Specialist-Diagnosis (HCS-D) exam. This credential is designed for home care coders with two years of coding experience.

If you're a home health care coder, you can become certified with the Home Care Coding Specialist-Diagnosis (HCS-D) exam. This credential is designed for home care coders with two years of coding experience.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 1 year(s)
Certifying Organization
Board of Medical Specialty...

19. Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS)

Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialists (CMRS) are skilled in facilitating the claims paying process from the time a service is rendered by a health care provider until the balance is paid. The CMRS is knowledgeable in ICD9, CPT4 and HCPCS Coding, Medical Terminology, Insurance claims and billing, appeals and denials, fraud and abuse, HIPAA, OIG Compliance, information and web technology, reimbursement, and much more. CMRS Billers play a critical role in a health care provider's daily business operations.

Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialists (CMRS) are skilled in facilitating the claims paying process from the time a service is rendered by a health care provider until the balance is paid. The CMRS is knowledgeable in ICD9, CPT4 and HCPCS Coding, Medical Terminology, Insurance claims and billing, appeals and denials, fraud and abuse, HIPAA, OIG Compliance, information and web technology, reimbursement, and much more. CMRS Billers play a critical role in a health care provider's daily business operations.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 1 year(s)

20. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 2 year(s)
Certifying Organization
National Registry of Emergency...

Medical Coder Jobs

What is the best certification for a Medical Coder?

The Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) certification is most common among medical coders. This certification is awarded by the National Healthcareer Association. This certification is great to have as it shows an improvement in your competency to perform your role. You can earn this certification at the beginning of your career, as it often doesn't require a minimum education level and work experience. To become a certified medical coder with Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS), you need to pass the exam. This certificate requires more than two years of work experience. Renew certification every 2 year.

What are Some of the Most In-Demand Certifications For Medical Coders?

We analyzed online job postings to determine the most commonly asked-for certifications. The most popular certification requirement is Certified Coding Specialist. By holding this certification, you will gain a more-competitive resume that will look impressive to potential employers.

What Certifications Can Impact a Medical Coder Career and Salary?

Medical coders are most often promoted to a consultant position. A consultant average salary is $74,668 whereas medical coders make an average salary of $51,563. The Registered Health Information Technician certification could help you to get a consultant position in your career path.

Best Certifications

Medical coders are most likely to hold a combination of the following certifications: Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), and Certified Professional Coder (CPC).

Best Certifications

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