How Much Can You Really Earn As a Medical Coder ?

Medical coders handle patient records by filing them with specific codes. This makes the billing process more manageable and allows doctors to pull them quickly when required. Coders usually need an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate before working, and many employers either require or prefer that a professional organization certifies coders. A higher level of education often means more significant compensation.

Education and Training

Employers generally prefer hiring medical coders who are certified. Therefore, most of them get certified before beginning their jobs. Many of these medical professionals may also have associates’ degrees in HIT (health information technology). While in certified training programs or college, they take courses in physiology, anatomy, health care statistics, and classification and coding, according to the BLS.

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5 Steps to Become a Medical Coder

How Much Do Medical coders Make

Careers in the U.S:

Certified medical coders made average annual incomes of     $40,350, according to the BLS. The lowest 10 percent made less than $26,550 per year. According to the BLS, 85 percent of these professionals are employed full time. Besides their pay, they receive comprehensive benefits such as dental, medical, and education reimbursement, paid time off, flex time,  retirement plans, and life insurance, according to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)(1).

Income by Industry

A certified medical coder’s compensation can vary considerably by industry. According to the BLS, they earned some of the highest salaries of $62,740 per year working for the Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing industry. Those who worked for insurance carriers made $52,830 per year, and they made $52,100 annually as employees of Scientific Research and Development Services. Their incomes were below the national average in physicians’ offices, at $37,720 per annum.

Income by State

According to the BLS, certified medical coders made the highest incomes of $54,020 per year working in New Jersey. They also made above-average incomes of $53,430 per annum in the District of Columbia. Their salaries were nearer to the national average in Ohio and Texas: $43,980 and $41,950 per annum, respectively. And these medical technicians made only $39,430 in the state of West Virginia.

Careers in Europe:

An early career Clinical Coder with 1-5 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of £18,160. A mid-career Clinical Coder with 5-10 years of experience earns an average total compensation of £23,314. An experienced Clinical Coder with 10-20 years of experience earns an average total compensation of £25,199.

Careers in Asia:

An entry-level Medical Coder with less than one year experience can expect to earn an average total remuneration (includes bonus, tips, and overtime pay) of ₹207,385. An early career Medical Coder with 1-5 years of experience makes an average total remuneration of ₹276,430. A mid-career Medical Coder with 5-10 years of experience makes an average total remuneration of ₹495,858. An experienced Medical Coder with 10-20 years of experience makes an average total compensation of ₹600,000.

Employment Outlook

The BLS reports that the number of positions for certified medical coders is estimated to increase by twenty-one percent between 2010 and 2020. This rate of growth is considered quicker than the national average of fourteen percent for all jobs. A growing elderly population will drive much of the job growth, as elderly adults need more medical treatments and tests. Health-care centers are also converting more paper records to electronic records. Additional certified medical coders will be required to take up this work.

2020 Salary Information for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

According to the U.S. BLS, medical records and health information technicians earned a median annual salary of $44,010 in 2019. On the low end, medical records and health information technicians earned a 25th percentile salary of $32,070, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $52,730, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2019, 215,500 people were employed in the U.S. as medical records and health information technicians.