What Is the Salary for Someone with a Health Coding Certification?

Someone with a health coding certification can earn a higher salary than a non-certified counterpart, according to the American Academy of Professional Coders. However, your location and industry also affect your earning potential as a medical coder. Read on to learn more about salaries and the job outlook for this field. Schools offering Insurance Billing & Coding Specialist degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Average Salary Overview

According to the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), there are several different certifications, including certifications for coding associates, professionals and specialists working in different health care facilities (www.aapc.com). Different certification levels, location and experience all affect average salaries. PayScale.com reported that most medical coders in general earned between $29,000 and $54,000 in June 2019.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Key Skills Integrity, detail-oriented, technical, and interpersonal skills
Similar Occupations Medical receptionist, office manager, medical office assistant
Work Environment Hospitals and physicians' offices; typically full-time, sometimes during the evening and overnight
Required Education Coursework in medical terminology, health data requirements, healthcare statistics, and computer systems; some employers may require an associate's degree

Average Salaries by Location

Your salary will be determined, in part, by your location. Some areas, such as the West Coast and Northeast, tend to pay higher salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical records and health information technicians, including medical coders in the following locations had the following average salaries in May 2018 (www.bls.gov):

  • California - $51,880
  • Texas - $41,950
  • New York - $47,420
  • Ohio - $43,980
  • Florida - $41,340
  • South Dakota - $40,170

Average Salaries by Type of Certification

Another factor that often determines salary is the type of certification you hold. For example, an individual with an entry-level credential (CCA - Certified Coding Associate) earns less than an individual with a master-level credential, either CCS-P (Certified Coding Specialist - Physician Office) or CCS (Certified Coding Specialist). Sample average salaries by certification as of 2018 were reported by the AAPC:

  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC) - $54,401
  • Certified Professional Biller (CPB) - $52,333
  • Certified Professional Practice Manager (CPPM) - $69,835
  • Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO) - $74,043
  • Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) - $66,886

Average Salaries by Industry

Your salary will also be determined in part by the industry in which you work. In May 2018, the BLS reported mean salaries for various industries employing medical records and health information technicians, including medical coders. Some sample industries and average salaries are as follows:

  • General hospitals - $46,690
  • Outpatient care centers - $44,630
  • Physicians' offices - $37,720
  • Nursing care facilities - $40,750
  • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing - $62,740

Job Outlook

According to the BLS, medical records and health information technician employment is expected to grow by 13% from 2016-2026. As of 2016, there were 206,300 of these professionals employed. The BLS expects 27,800 new positions by 2026, which would result in a projected employment of 234,100 at that time. This faster-than-average job growth is due to an aging population needing health services, the BLS reports, along with the need for professionals to work with electronic medical records. The BLS notes that gaining certification will help your job prospects.

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