Medical coding and billing jobs are increasingly popular for individuals seeking entry into an in-demand healthcare industry. Medical coders use ICD or CPT codes to translate patients’ diagnoses, tests, and treatments into numerical digits for reimbursement processing. Medical billers review this information to file insurance claims and collect payments from the carrier. Both jobs are essential for keeping healthcare organizations profitably paid for their medical services rendered. But are medical coding and billing specialists paid handsomely too?
Medical Coding and Billing Salaries
On average, medical coding and billing jobs bestow an annual salary of $40,430. This is equivalent to a mean hourly wage of $19.44. Different job titles in this diverse field provide varying income levels though. According to Salary.com, the average base salary for medical billing clerks in the United States is $34,121. Medical coders reap mean annual salaries of $38,463. .Medical records coding technicians can expect an average salary of $48,909. The salary range for medical coding and billing goes from $24,190 to $61,400 and up. Let’s explore how important factors like work setting, state, and education can affect salary.
Median Salaries Based on Workplace
Collecting a healthy salary in medical coding and billing can depend on which healthcare organizations you apply to. The AAPC shows that workplace size plays a pivotal role in determining the dollar signs on your paycheck. Coders and billers employed at mid-sized practices with 11 to 49 physicians earn the lowest at $44,870 on average. Solo and small group practices with under 10 doctors give average yearly salaries at $45,722. Larger hospitals provide sizeable average income jumps to $47,773 (outpatient) and $50,925 (inpatient). Multi-site health networks gift the biggest average earnings at $51,389 per year.
Medical coding and billing positions can see pay increases or decreases based on type of healthcare facility also. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that ambulance services offer an average annual wage at $28,930. Skilled nursing facilities have below-average income potential at $37,550. However, medical coders and billers in specialty hospitals reap a mean salary of $43,060. Jobs with the federal executive branch grant $47,520 on average. Medical coding and billing specialists working for dentist offices bring home a mean yearly salary of $41,430. T hose who teach college students in academia have a high mean wage at $45,210.
Salary Potential by Location
How much you’ll make as a medical coder or biller will vary greatly based on where you live and practice. Salary averages by location show that the top-paying place in the United States for medical coding and billing is the District of Columbia. Jobs here earn an annual mean wage of $69,290! Following behind Washington, DC, are New Jersey, Alaska, and California where the average salary for medical coders and billers is $60,310, $52,040, and $48,590 respectively. States in the South typically have the lowest income level. For instance, medical coding and billing professionals in Louisiana make just $32,390 on average.
Medical coders and billers can find increased earning potential in certain cities too. In 2015, the top-paying metropolitan area was Newark, New Jersey, with an annual mean salary of $66,710. A close second went to San Jose-Santa Clara where coding and billing specialists earned an average income of $62,270. Other high-paying metros were Oakland, San Francisco, and Silver Spring at $58,830, $55,480, and $54,740 respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, some metropolitan areas have little room for salary growth. For example, medical coding and billing jobs in Davenport, Iowa, deliver an mean wage of $29,380.
Salary Increases with Education/Experience
Paying college tuition for a degree or certificate in medical coding and billing will prove fruitful. Employees with no college education typically start in the bottom 10th percentile with income under $29,130. The AAPC proves that studying pays off because coders and billers with an associate degree earned an average of $46,815. Technicians who had a four-year bachelor’s on their resume unlocked a mean salary of $54,552. Having higher education will also prepare you for assuming more advanced titles. For instance, those who assume leadership responsibility as medical billing managers earn $84,096 on average!
Coders and billers with past years of experience in the fast-paced healthcare arena are rewarded with higher salaries. Starting salary for trained medical coding and billing specialists with zero to one year of experience is around $32,000. After you get five to nine years under your belt, salary hikes to over $42,500 on average. Professionals with more than 15 years of coding and billing experience make a mean of $56,667 annually. From there, salary usually increases by 5 percent for every five years of additional experience.
AAPC Certification for Salary Growth
Medical coding and billing workers who take the extra effort to earn certification from the American Association of Professional Coders are rewarded with above-average salaries. The AAPC 2015 Salary Survey found that that certified members averaged a 2.6 percent pay increase. Certified Professional Coders (CPCs) obtain a mean wage of $51,454 each year. Certified Outpatient Coding (COC) specialists make a mean yearly salary of $58,822. The highest income average belongs to Certified Physician Practice Managers (CPPM) who bring home $64,666 per year. Having two AAPC credentials sparks a median salary of $58,399.
Investing your time into building a medical coding and billing career can pay off in spades in today’s market. It’s predicted that the healthcare sector will require more coders and billing specialists to organize a surplus of patient data. Increased medical demand will ignite faster-than-average job growth by 15 percent for over 29,000 new jobs through 2024. The AAPC also reports that unemployment rates have decreased by 0.5 percent for certified members in the last 12 months. Now that you’re more aware of salary comparisons in medical coding and billing, you can maximize your earnings in this rewarding healthcare profession.