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How much do medical coders make?

Working in the medical industry lets one enjoy a stable career. Coupled with good pay, work satisfaction and plenty of room for career advancement, more and more students are opting to study medicine after high school. But with the vastness of the medical world, where does one begin to choose a career path?

If you like being “medically hands-on” and enjoy a lot of patient interaction, then you might want to pursue the general physician or nursing path. Otherwise, if numbers, figures and data is more your thing, then you might consider a career as a medical coder, otherwise known as a billing and coding specialist.

Little-known benefits of becoming a medical coder

  • Medical coders are very much in demand in the medical world. The Bureau of Labor Statistics foresee demand for coding and billing specialists rise exponentially from now until the year 2020. With lots of medical coding positions waiting to be filled, you won’t be out of job anytime soon. Being laid off is almost a non-possibility as health care facilities cannot exist without a medical coding expert to translate terminology into concise data.
  • You can easily become a medical coder via online courses that are both affordable and flexible. Unlike other professions, there is no stringent requirement to undergo externships to prove your worth.
  • Those who choose to enter the medical coding and billing arena usually do so because they prefer the lower physical demands compared to their counterparts in the health care business. There is minimal face-to-face patient interaction and less stress connected to serving patients in a hospital setting.

How much do medical coders stand to earn?

Admittedly, the medical coder profession has not been very popular in the past decade, but with medical and pharmaceutical advancements, demand for positions to be filled is expected to grow. Here are other reasons why you should consider being a medical coder, unusual as it is compared to nurses, psychiatrists and other similar occupations.

  • Fresh coding and billing specialists can bring home $30,000 to $38,000 a year while certified medical coders can expect to net in $57,000 a year depending on experience, employers and environment.
  • On average, it is not uncommon to see medical coders being paid $23 per hour, and those who have taken the initiative to gather appropriate certification will see their pay per hour bumped up substantially.
  • Going into specialized fields like neuropsychiatry, pediatrics and rheumatology will give you around $62,000 and $65,000 in salary per annum.
  • On top of the existing salary, full time medical coders will also enjoy other benefits such as health insurance and modest retirement perks while part time coding experts get paid up to $35 per hour if overtime is taken into consideration.

Opportunities for medical coders

While most fresh medical coders are employed full time in the usual 9-to-5 schedule, more experienced coding specialists who have proven their worth and talent may choose to work from home. This is the flexibility that most medical coders can look forward to as part of a better career advancement where the freedom to choose one’s working hours and setting can lead to a more fulfilling working and family life.

Medical coders are also free to pursue their own freelancing projects when they can customize their working hours and environment, where even more clients and tasks will lead to a better income. Additionally, those who desire advancements in the corporate ladder will be glad to know that more and more executive-level positions to spearhead coding departments and operations.

Filed in: Medical Biller and Coder Salary

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