Due to the level of expertise required of medical coders, AAPC expects certified coders to be
able to perform not only in an exam setting but also in the real world. In addition to passing the
certification exam, coders will also be required to demonstrate on-the-job coding experience.
Those who pass the CPC®, CPC-H® and/or CPC-P® exams but have not yet
met this requirement will be designated as an Apprentice (CPC-A®, CPC-H-A® and/or CPC-P-A®) on their
To remove your apprentice designation via on-the-job experience, you must obtain and submit
two letters of recommendation verifying at least two years of on-the-job experience (externships
accepted) using the CPT®, ICD-9-CM, or HCPCS Level II code sets. One letter must be on letterhead
from your employer*, the other may be from a co-worker. Both letters are required to be signed
and will need to outline your coding experience and amount of time in that capacity. Download
our Apprentice Removal Template for
easier submission. Letterhead and signatures are still required when using this template.
Submit proof showing completion of at least 80 contact hours of coding education
AND one letter, on letterhead, signed from your employer verifying one year of on-the-job
experience (externships accepted) using the CPT, ICD-9-CM, or HCPCS Level II code sets.
Send proof of education in the form of a letter from an instructor on school letterhead stating
the 80 contact hour course has been completed, a certificate/diploma stating at least 80 contact
hours, or a school transcript.
Once ALL apprentice removal requirements have been met, you may submit them via fax, mail,
or scanned email. Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing.
*Employers can only verify time spent coding with their organization.
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