Health Care Job Opportunities Rise

According to data released on March 9 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care gained 49,000 jobs in February. Over the past 12 months, the total increase for health care employment has been 360,000.

Among the areas that saw an increase during February were:

Medical BIlling and Coding Jobs

  • Hospital employment – 15,400 jobs
  • Ambulatory care – 28,200 jobs, including:
    • 9,500 in physician offices
    • 4,300 in outpatient care centers
    • 5,000 in home health care services
  • Nursing and residential care facilities – 5,400 jobs

Due to an aging population, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts health care jobs over the next decade will be the fastest growing sector of all industries. The increases will be seen here:

  • Health care support occupations – 34.5 percent
  • Personal care and services occupations – 26.8 percent
  • Health care practitioners and technical occupations – 25.9 percent

For more information, read the Bureau of Labor Statistics press release.

Source: FierceHealthcare

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28 Responses to “Health Care Job Opportunities Rise”

  1. Debra Kantor says:

    I’ve all but given up on ever breaking in to a medical admin job! In 2010 I pursued training in Medical Billing & Coding. I studied hard and passed the CPC exam in DEC, on my first try. Then began the job search process, when I discovered that noone would hire me without previous experience, not even as a billing clerk. I have just completed a certification program in Health Information Technology, with little expectation of landing a job offer now either. I have studied hard for the past 6 months, but suspect that much of the consulting work is over and done with at this point in time. I do plan to seek medical employment once again, but I am beginning to feel that the whole idea was a great big hoax. The only beneficiary of all this training is the owner of the school where I took my training to become a Medical Biller or Coder. I am more than disillusioned at this point, and thoroughly disgusted with the whole money-grabbing industry!

  2. Regina J. says:

    I know how you feel Debra. I couldn’t give my services away for free and have felt maybe I made a mistake in choosing this profession. I really wish there was a better way for new Coders to gain experience at an actual work place. Project Extern probably is an excellent program, but it didn’t work for me. I feel as though there are far to few medical offices or facilities willing to take new Coders under their wings. Like you, I still am hopeful and plan to continue studying hard. Maybe our opportunity will be just around the corner. Hang in there Debra!

  3. Lillian says:

    I understand both of your frustrations. I work for a large primary care group and we are often in the need for front office staff such as appointment schedulers. You should look for a non-coding/billing job just to get your foot into the medical practice. Then after they see how well you perform and your dedication, they are much more apt to move you into a billing and/or coding position.

  4. J.Armstrong says:

    Had any of you earned a Certificate in Coding and Billing before attempting to get a job?

  5. John says:

    I agree with Debra and Regina. I am certified but am unable to get my foot in the door. So where am I working now – Wal-mart. I am looking at going back and getting certified in medical billing, maybe that would help. I have been certified in coding since December 2010. Everyone says great job opportunities, but unless you are very fortunate and lucky it is almost impossible to get a job.

  6. Lisle says:

    I find the statistics listed in the article interesting and wonder where those jobs were added because in Oregon Healthcare facilities are laying off people in large numbers. A large hospital system in Portland recently laid of 400 employess, with a potential for more. The facility I work for has managed to avoid lay offs so far, but they have given us fair warning that if the current financial state of healthcare does not improve then lay offs will happen. Healthcare isn’t all sunshine and light like the article seems to imply.

    I sympathize with newly credentialed coders and they are correct, there is definately some luck involved in landing a coding job.

    Good luck to all of you!

  7. CJ says:

    I also can relate to the frustration of being hired as a CPC-A. I received my certification in Dec 2011 – passed the test the first time too. Everyone wants experience. I contacted the Project Xtern place listed for my area. They did not get back to me and when I followed up, they seemed somewhat rude in their response.
    I feel that AAPC was quick to take my money but provides no help in locating a job or experience.
    The job site link on the AAPC website is a waste of time. More advertisements than available positions.
    I’m very frustrated and feel I wasted time and money. I’ve been trying to get any clinic position just to get my foot in the door, but they know that you want to eventually do coding,

  8. Patricia Madison says:

    Hello, I am starting to feel the same way as Debra and Regina, I have my CPC-A certification but still no job. I sending out resume right and left but no responses. They are advertising that there are job openings but I never hear anything once I apply for the position. Months later the same position is advertised again that there is an opening from the same companies or hospitals. So, what is really going on? I thought that there was a need for certified billing and coding in the healthcare profession.

  9. wanda says:

    I am very fortunate. I performed some coding in the late 70’s for a private physician. Later (1997)I became employed for a group practice as an LPN. In 2004 the group began talking of coding and I volunteered to take the boot camp ( I had no clue what I was getting into) I passed the test on the first try, and became a CPC-A. After a year I was able to qualify for the CPC. I love my job and am looking forward to ICD-10. We just went live with EHR on3-6-12. That is a real challange.
    Don’t let them tell you, EHR will take over the coding. It only helps.

    I do sympathaize with the persons trying to get in the door. You almost have to be in the door and then have your supervisor work with you on your training.

    Could it be false advertising?

  10. Merry says:

    I have the same problem, and with it being an election year if Obama get booted out of the white house i am sure that the Affordable Care act is going right out behind him and non of the things like implementing EMR , ICD10 and all the things that made being a new coder a benefit will go with him. I’m just so frustrated that i paid so much money and worked so hard to learn and excel in school, only to end up worse off then i was before.

  11. Shrley Wright says:

    Please don’t give up, i’ve passed my CPC exam this month. I know 2 people who passed 2011. 1 person is coding for the VA in DC, but she had to move to take this position and my other friend is working for a Skilled Nursing facility in the medical record dept. If you can find a job in billing, front office etc… this will help. At this time i am going to study for the CPC-H. Good luck everyone. Once you get into the field you will not regret it !!!

  12. Geanetta says:

    Remember,
    You must stand on a mountain of No’s to get one Yes! If you give up you will never find what you are looking for. It’s not easy. Accept a job at the front desk, medical records, or scheduling. Schedule an appointment to see the office manager and explain the problem. Request to volunteer services just to get some experience. Be positive! The hardest job to get is the first one… after that.. things change.

  13. Jenn says:

    I graduated 2 yrs ago with an Associates degree in Medical Billing and coding, and a CPC. I have YET to find a someone willing to train me. I work part time in a Family Practice scheduling patients, and taking messages, also some charge entry.. I just found out that they are training another office associate how to enter charges. She has never even looked at a Coding book. And to make things worse, we make the same pay!! This CPC has gotten me nowhere, and i am now looking into summer courses, and hopefully make a career switch.

  14. Jacquelyn says:

    WOW!!! I don’t know what to think! I have 1 more quarter in school before doing my externship & then I will graduate in September,!!! You have done nothing but DEPRESS me &make me feel stupid for choosing the medical billing & coding field. I have come too far to stop now so I am going to continue with my head in my books and my eyes & ears open wide! Better luck to you ladies.

  15. G. Rivera says:

    Reading the comments and just have to add my own…….same ol’ story. I have been CPC-A for almost 3 years (May). I CANNOT find my way through the brick wall and past “2 years experience” required to even apply for a job. I passed the exam BEFORE I even finished schooling. I have (or had) been a transcriptionist for over 15 years. I currently work in ROI (Relaease of Information) in Health Information Management and have for the past 3 years since technology took over my job as a transcriptionist (Dragon). I work with EHR (Electronic Health Records) and do chart analysis on a daily basis. Project X-tern does not even offer anything closer than 350 miles from my home. I have written different departments within my health care employer (largest one in California) and offered to “job shadow” on my off day w/absolutely no expectation, just simply experience sake. I applied for an awesome looking job recently, looking for someone w/coding credential and 0-2 years relevant experience. I got really excited and thought FINALLY, only to be informed “a more suitable candidate had been hired” (although the posting is still listed as open even for external candidates). How do you find someone “more suitable” than 0-2 years relevant experience? Talk about being knocked down a peg or two. And it is not only coding. My husband recently graduated and got credentialed as a sterile processing technician. Same story. No one will even look at him without a year of experience – even though he HAS the credential when 90% of the people doing that job do not. I agree – the only people making $$$ anymore are the schools and those you have to pay
    for CEUs to keep the credential that thus far has done me absolutely no good. It is Very discouraging. Everytime I feel like giving up however, my husband reminds me “You have come too far, don’t give up now”. I do have to say, everytime I walk away from an AAPC meeting I say to myself, “I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but I am DETERMINED I AM GOING TO GET WORK IN THIS FIELD”. I keep trying to encourage my husband as well. I do agree there are a TON of jobs out there for anyone with 2+ years of experience. If anyone has the key on how to get that experience I am all open for suggestions. Success to you all!

  16. CJ says:

    I hope that those who are employed in coding position will encourage their employers to
    allow interns/xterns. So many employers won’t take the time because of costs, BUT they are
    the ones who expect someone else to train people for them to hire with “1-2” years experience!!!!
    A bit hypocritical, if you ask me.
    Just like G. Rivera said – Job Shadow. Let me intern, I won’t touch anything, just let me watch and learn. I’ll make copies for you and do the grunt work……just give me a working knowledge.
    I too have come to far to completely give up. AAPC meetings are depressing when it comes to job opportunities. I was lead to believe that employers come to the meetings looking for coders…have not experience that. I do get support from the other unemployed coders.

  17. Linda says:

    I am a CPC and also an adjunct professor at a local college teaching coding. I always tell my students that they will probably not land the ideal coding job right out of college but instead they might want to take a different type job in a medical office and then show them what they know and move from there. Everyone has commented on the experience and that is a problem because as a former employer I know I didn’t want to have to completely train someone. I did, however, use externs as often as I could and gave them as much on the job training (although most was just watching) as I could. Those of you in school, newly certified please keep up the faith. We are seeing more jobs for CPC’s but you have to be willing to start somewhere else and work you way up. Good luck to you all!

  18. Patrice Smart says:

    I’m in the same boat, (I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat), as everyone else on this page. I sat for the CPC exam in July 2010, passed with a 92; the highest score my proctor had seen in her 20 year career as an professor/proctor. I had already had a medical transcription degree, have also obtain the CMRS designation (certified medical reimbursement specialist), and surprisingly, the only work I HAVE been able to find is performing transcription!!! Project X-tern is a joke. I sent a well-written cover letter and an extensive resume filled with past employment with two insurance companies working in their claims departments. NO ONE WILL EVEN LOOK AT ME WITHOUT 2-YEARS EXPERIENCE! This is so frustrating and I keep having to explain to my family what the job situation is, since they don’t seem to understand that with the experience I have working in the medical side of insurance, why do I NOT have a job yet. I would be happy to just sit there with documentation and simply code all day long, if that would get me a job. I would shadow someone for NO PAY, if that would get me a job. I thought I was going to come out of two years of college with a viable, in-demand career. Instead, no one will even look at me, and worse yet, I am 54 years old so I’m also competing with many younger candidates.

  19. Cheryl says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with the many people here dealing with the frustration, aggravation and disillusionment of breaking into the billing and coding field! I graduated with a 4.0 GPA diploma (certificate) in Medical Billing & Coding in Feb 2010, and then studied for 3 months in order to pass the CCA exam which I did on the first try. I was so proud, excited and confident, and really believed this credential would put me above other applicants without it (since credentialing in this field is purely by choice). However, thereafter, I found absolutely no employer that was willing to consider anyone with less than a CCS credential, much less the minimum 2 years experience. And, the colleges don’t tell you these things either! I felt ripped off, and the disillusionment and anger sunk in. But, having already invested so much work, energy and money, I decided to return to college and pursue a degree thinking that if I didn’t, I would have little to no chance of competing with other degree graduates, compared to just my diploma. So I earned my AAS degree (4.0 GPA), as well as, a CMRS credential this past Jan 2012, and here two months later and too-many-to-count submitted resumes to get my foot in the door, I’m frustrated, aggravated and disillusioned once again. I’m shoveling out more money to increase my qualifications, yet it feels like it’s worthless because I don’t have the experience they’re expecting. I have some experience, such as, my college-required externship; however, since the practice had an outside biller, I got absolutely no “professional practice” to apply my learned skills as a biller and coder. I gained front office experience, and I have no complaints about it, but the externship served nothing in billing and coding. Strike one! While earning my degree, I also gained one year’s experience in a private practice hired as a part-time “biller”, however, the doctor only gave me the responsibility to do accounts receivable and collections; no actual billing. Luckily, I managed to stay with this job for one year, but eventually quit because of the doctor’s verbal abuse and aggressive behavior, even after attempting to resolve the problem without success. And trust me, I knew all too well that keeping this job had its benefits of further experience, but do I need to say more? Now hereafter, when I have job leads for biller positions through staffing agencies, the fact that I didn’t perform any actual billing knocks me off the list of potential candidates. Strike two! But, it’s not only experience, or lack thereof, there’s also the rule of: “it’s not what you know, but who you know”….having the “connections”. Through all this, I can’t help but think to myself: “What’s wrong with me?” and “All my hard work for nothing!” But, as another poster said, how do you throw away all your hard work and investment? We can’t afford to….I know I can’t! So, I just joined the AAPC and am now studying to take the CPC exam to increase my qualifications in order to lead me into coding which is where my passion is. But, all of this takes money; money coming from savings and IRA accounts that are being slowly depleted to the point that I’m now on food stamps, and soon to apply for general assistance just to pay my rent and bills. I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. It takes money to upkeep credentials; money that is already scarce. Yet, I scrape up the best as I can because I see it as an investment to hopefully get my foot in the door, even at entry-level. Lest I forget; I’m also 53-year-old divorcee competing with younger candidates, too! But, all my venting aside, I’m persevering as best I can. I’m trying so hard to remain positive and remember what supporters tell me…that “something will come along” and “have faith”. Sometimes easier said than done, but what else can one do when you feel like you’re hanging on to basic survival needs? Because my greatest fear is being kicked out of my apartment because I can no longer pay my rent! Similarly, I sometimes feel I’m worse off than before going into all of this. I wish the best of luck and success to everyone struggling with this dilemma.

  20. coding revenge says:

    If it makes anyone feel better; Coding is going to a new direction in 2013 and not even the experienced coder will have it easy. I suggest once you get your CPC continue the path in auditing and of course take as many free workshops as possible to learn the new ICD-10 concept- the job that will pay off for alot of us is going to be in consulting Doctors office’s by doing audits for 2013 icd-10. I smell sweet revenge…

  21. CJ says:

    I suggest that we email AAPC directly with our concerns.
    Maybe they need to hear it directly from us.
    At this point, I will not recommend coding to anyone that is thinking of
    it as a career.

  22. Nancy says:

    Wow, I’m amazed at how many more posts there are from when I looked at this yesterday, so let me add mine! I’ve been looking for a job for over a year now and have hit the same wall as everyone else. I have the 2-year degree in Medical Billing and CPC-H-A but it means absolutely nothing to the hiring companies. These companies want experience, but you can’t get experience if no one will hire you! I’ve been applying for anything medical office related with little or no response and absolutely no calls for an interview. I would not recommend spending all that money on a billing degree or the cost of taking a CPC exam to anyone unless they already work in billing or coding. I’m seriously considering not renewing my membership. I think the AAPC is well aware of the frustration we have all vented here and I think they have know for years how hard it is to break into the field if you’re not already in it. I strongly believe that is why they wrote the article about all the new jobs in the medical field, people have been complaining for years about this. I suspect all these new jobs are all in nursing because that is what makes up 90% of the job adds on the hospital websites. The AAPC needs to be honest and upfront about the difficulty in being hired to do medical coding with everyone who signs up to take their tests and possibly discourage inexperienced people from taking it. I know if feel like I’ve been scammed and am seriously considering not renewing my membership. They should offer more free CEU opportunities for those of us who can’t get a job and can’t afford to pay $150 to “earn” them. I’m not giving up either. I’ve thought about looking for something else but this is what I really want to do. I do feel better knowing so many of you are having the same problem – I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me! I would recommend going into nursing if you can afford it -my neighbor just graduated in December from a small nursing school and just got hired at a hospital in labor and delivery making $27 an hour!

  23. Stephanie says:

    I would encourage all of you to hang in there for ICD-10, there will be an increased need for coders at that point…just make sure you are learning ICD-10 as much as possible. Also, I would agree with the others that suggested trying to get hired on in the front office or medical records; that way an employer will get to know you. You will then be in a much better position to move in to coding/billing. An employer will not just hire someone they do not know “off the street” to work in a coding or billing position. Also going the route of nursing to get your foot in the door is a great idea. It will cost you money to get that education, but you will always have that to fall back on and you can most always get a job in nursing making pretty decent money. Best wishes!!

  24. sheila says:

    I passed my CPC exam in December. I have worked in the medical field for years as a Phlebotomist and also doing office work with the job and I still can’t get a job. I believe it is all a scam so that the AAPC can take our money to help experience coders without regards to the new ones. So being in the medical field in an office or a hospital is not what they say. You have to have contacts. I am still looking for a job but just to let anyone know who is thinking about coding think again they just want the money and they will not help you to get a job.

  25. PRABHU says:

    hi i am a basically physiotherapist but i am changed my profession in four years before,having four years experience in aneshtesia coding,here in india having huge opertunity for health care professionals in coding and billing related jobes.But the sallary is questionable.Daily we have working more than 8hours a day,less salary even in a very big concern in india.I am looking for best sallary for my work.

  26. Therese says:

    Not sure what all the negativity is about but I get emails everyday about coding positions.

    Are you willing to transfer to another area? Have you used the AAPC to network? Have you searched on-line? What length will you go to?

    Time takes time.

    It’s one thing to take a class but to actually work in the field it a different animal. Be careful for what you wish for. We are dealing with personal medical information and history, which is not to be taken lightly.

    It has taken myself and people I know 0-20 yrs to get a coding job. I trudged the road to happy destiny because I love coding and it is my passion and forte!

  27. candace says:

    I graduate in 2 weeks with a AS in HIT, I have 10 years experience in Radiology, precertifications, scheduling, and coding radiology testing. My question is, will that count when a job requirement for coding says 2+ years experience. Or do they expect you to have been a coder for 2+ years? I am going to sit for my RHIT in the next couple months.

  28. Sandra Christianson says:

    Hello…I just finished my medical billing and coding course and am getting ready to study for my CPC exam. 1- about how long does it take to study for the exam? and 2- should I study and take the CPC exam first and then do shadowing and informational interviews?
    After reading your posts, I am feeling a little discouraged in finding a job. I want to get into the billing part of it. I have 27 years experience in the health field as a CNA but wanted to do something else in the medical field. Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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