Medical Billing and Coding Pay

Getting paid is not the only reason you go to work, but it is the certainly a primary reason. That’s important to keep in mind as you evaluate career options. You may be highly-attracted to a particular career path, but if it cannot support the lifestyle you want, or need to live, it is probably not the right option over the long-term. However, if a career path has a modest compensation structure but a relatively low barrier to entry, it could be considered a good personal investment. Keep both these facts in mind as you explore the details of medical billing and coding pay.

How Much Do You Make?

Getting reliable data about the actual pay of hundreds of thousands of employees working for thousands of different employers is a historically difficult challenge. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks this data as closely as possible and provides the most reliable information about medical billing and coding pay. According to the Bureau’s research, the median pay for these professionals is $40,350 per year. A median figure is not an average but simply the exact middle of all reported salaries. It is estimated that 10 percent of medical billers and coders actually earn more than $66,260 per year.

Who Makes the Most?

There is a demand for qualified medical billers and coders in a wide variety of healthcare and research settings. The median pay for professionals in each of these settings is different, which is important to consider as you plan your career in a way that maximizes your compensation. These are the five highest paying industries who employed medical billers and coders, says the BLS:

$41,890

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

$43,470

Hospitals

$41,800

Administrative and Support Services

$37,630

Nursing Care Facilities

$35,520

Physician’s Offices

 

Where is the Highest Pay?

Medical billing and coding pay varies widely across the country. The rate of pay is largely determined by the demand for these professionals and the number available at any given time. If you have the flexibility, you may want to consider moving to a state where you can expect to earn more for doing the same type of work. Just keep in mind that a higher cost of living can cancel out a higher rate of pay very quickly. The BLS says these are the top five states for medical billing and coding pay:

  • New Jersey – $54,020
  • District of Columbia – $53,430
  • California – $51,880
  • Connecticut – $51,400
  • Hawaii – $50,940

How Do You Earn More?

It is true that medical billing and coding pay is not enormous, especially when compared to doctors or nurses. But it is important to put the figures in context. It is possible to break into the field in less than two years and with a modest investment in education and certification. There are not many widely-available and broadly-respected professional jobs that do not strictly require a four-year degree. Medical billing and coding are two rare examples, and the pay is on par with many other specialized administrators. It is also important to consider that these professionals have some control over how much they earn and where their income comes from. Here are a few ways for medical billers and coders to earn more:

Improve Your Credentials – The fastest way to move up in the field is to pursue continuing education and earn specialized certificates. These professional development efforts allow established billers and coders to take on bigger responsibilities and bring highly-specific expertise to work with them. Considering that the demand for these professionals is projected to grow by 13 percent over the next decade, the ones who stand out from the pack and offer something special will be compensated accordingly.
Work from Home – Experienced medical billers and coders have opportunities to work from home, or even start their own business. Those with the ambition and entrepreneurial skills can earn more than an on-site professional because there is not the same ceiling placed on their earnings. A remote biller or coder who makes the same or even less than someone on-site still benefits from the flexibility, comfort and convenience of being home-based.
Transition to a New Career – As healthcare becomes more data-driven, the importance of health information management will only grow. New opportunities at higher levels and with six-figure pay are being created all the time. Medical billers and coders are already involved with the field, so with the right supplemental education and training they can move quite easily into a more lucrative position. This takes time, planning, and a lot of initiative. But in the best cases it could multiply your medical billing and coding pay.

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