AAPC’s 2014 Salary Survey: See How Your Salary Stacks Up

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  • December 22, 2014
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AAPC’s 2014 Salary Survey: See How Your Salary Stacks Up

Employment rates and salaries reflect healthcare business professionals’ rising marketability.

By Michelle A. Dick and Rachel Momeni
AAPC’s 2014 Salary Survey proves that it’s a good time to be working on the business side of healthcare. Employment opportunities continue to rise for members, especially for apprentices. More members are earning higher education degrees than we’ve ever seen. Salaries are increasing across the board, particularly with members who are working in hospital inpatient settings, education, and those with higher education and more experience.

A Giant Employment Leap for Apprentices

Unemployment among members continues to dip, especially for apprentices. It can be tough for apprentices to get their foot in the door, but new data shows it’s not as tough as it used to be: In 2014, only 9.5 percent of apprentices who responded to our survey were unemployed. That rate has steadily declined since 2011: down 5 percent since 2013, 13 percent since 2012, and 16 percent since 2011.
With an unemployment rate of only 1.4 percent, CPCs® are the most gainfully employed members. Graph A: Unemployment shows a decreasing unemployment rate for all credentialed members, with or without a college degree, over the last four years.
The average salary for all employed members in 2014 was $50,775, which is an 8.4 percent increase and a major jump from 2013.

Higher Education Proves Fruitful

Higher education paid off for members in 2014. AAPC’s survey shows there was a significant increase in members obtaining graduate degrees, which in turn increased the average salary from the previous year. Graph B: Education shows that in 2013, 4.5 percent of members had a master’s degree or higher; that number jumped to 7.2 percent in 2014.
Healthcare business professionals with a master’s degree or higher top the charts with salary earnings, earning $89,546 on average. Salary averages for members with no college made an average income of $44,338 in 2014, while members with some college or an associate’s degree made an average $46,815, and those with bachelor’s degrees made an average $54,552, as shown in Graph C: Salary by Education.
Salary by Education14

Hard Work Gets the Job Done

AAPC members are hard workers. Most members are working full time, as they have in past years; 74.1 percent work 40-45 hours per week. An impressive 13.6 percent of members are working more than 45 hours per week, as shown in Graph D: Hours Worked Per Week.
Hours Worked per Week

Experience Pays More

The more experience members have, the more money they make. And according to survey respondents, members with the most experience are worth more now than ever. Those with 31+ years of experience in our industry make the most, at $68,868 per year, on average. Other experienced members with 21-25 years under their belt make a nice salary of $63,558 on average, while members with 26-30 years average even more at $66,033. Members who have just stepped into the workforce with less than a year’s experience make around $35,048 per year. This starting salary is consistent with the previous year. See Graph E: Salary by Experience for the complete salary comparison.
Salary by Experience14

Salaries Increase in All Settings

2014 was the year for raises and salary increases across the board. Members in the hospital inpatient setting are in the sweet spot for significant increases, with a 16.6 percent salary boost, earning an average salary of $56,554 per year. Medium-sized group practices saw a 10 percent increase, earning $46,762 on average. Health system workers reaped the benefits of an 11.1 percent increase, making $54,186 on average. See Graph F: Salary by Workplace for a breakdown of salary averages in various healthcare settings.
Salary by Workplace14
There have been subtle increases across all specialties, with exception of AAPC’s new CPB™ credential. There was an increase in salaries for education positions, as reflected in the 7 percent pay increase (from $71,026 in 2013 to $76,021 in 2014) for CPC-Is.
Educators were paid the highest salary in 2014, at $61,212. See Graph G: Salary by Job Responsibility for a salary breakdown by job.

Salaries Reach New Heights

There were large increases in salaries across the United States this past year, as shown in Table A: Percent Increase (on the next page). Members in the East South Central region (Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama) saw a 11.9 percent increase from last year, with an average salary of $48,181 in 2014. Members in the Mid-Atlantic region (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) saw the next significant increases among regions. In 2014, salaries for these folks rose an average of 9.9 percent, or nearly $6,000, to $56,032. See Graph H: Salary by Region (on the next page) to see the salary results in your region.
The results of AAPC’s 2014 Salary Survey clearly indicate that membership continues to advance the business of healthcare. You’re working hard and it’s paying off. Great job!

Download a PDF of This Article
View the 2014 Salary Survey Infographic
Michelle A. Dick is executive editor at AAPC.
Rachel Momeni is executive assistant at AAPC.

Michelle Dick
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Michelle A. Dick, BS, provides writing and editorial expertise to clients. She is a freelance proofreader for Partners & Napier’s Vine Creative Studios and the owner of My Garden Gal, a garden maintenance and landscaping business. Prior to becoming a free agent, Dick was an executive editor for AAPC.

No Responses to “AAPC’s 2014 Salary Survey: See How Your Salary Stacks Up”

  1. Suhasini says:

    I had 1year5months of experience in icd coding$6Months experience in er coding,I completed cpch last year how much salary can i expect.

  2. Melissa says:

    “Educators were paid the highest salary in 2014, at $61,212. See Graph G: Salary by Job Responsibility for a salary breakdown by job.”
    Graph G not included in article. Can we see that?



  4. Jackie says:

    For the 2nd or 3rd year in a row, you have included Maryland and Washington, DC in the South Atlantic region. I truly feel that they should be included in the Mid-Atlantic region again because of the vast difference in pay between these 2 states and the rest of the states included in the South Atlantic region. I currently live in Atlanta, but I am originally from the Maryland/DC area. There is a HUGE difference in pay between these areas and when you average in the pay there vs. the pay in the actual southern Atlantic states, there are no similarities. I feel like this gives your averages and the people reading this article an inaccurate expectation of pay in the Southern Atlantic region. Just a suggestion……

  5. karla says:

    When the coders the AAPC are currently training in India become available, wait and see the coder salaries drop. Thanks, AAPC

  6. CHarlette says:

    Really Karla? I wasn’t aware of that. That is not good news. A friend of mine owns a billing company and she’s already had an Indian based company approach her to get accounts for them under her name and she’d make a percentage of the volume ad not bill. Just get the accounts. This happened a couple of years ago.
    Shaking my head…..

  7. krishnapradeep says:

    hi sir my name is krishnapradeep i have a 2 years of experience in hcc coding and i have a cpc h certification how much i can expect my salary

  8. Pamulapati Janakaiah Chowdary says:

    I Have total 2 years of experience in HCC coding and recently I completed my CPC, now how much can I expect my salary.

  9. Sathyamoorthi Dhasharathan says:

    I Have 2 years of experience in E&M, ED, Inpatient coding. I have completed my CPC-H. I want to work in US please suggest me the right way to choose the company.

  10. krishnaraaj says:

    Im CPC certified and have 5 years of coding experience and currently looking out for remote medical coder opening.
    Guide me with the required details,

  11. eami akka says:

    Many people want to make money at home and they want to find a work at home job to do it with. Ultimately what happens is they become frustrated as they search from website to website looking for the right job. This brings up the question, why are work at home jobs so hard to find? In this article we will take an honest look at this problem.
    1. First of all you should know that most of the opportunities to work at home are not actually paid jobs. This is true because most employers do not know you and have no control over the work environment when you do it from the comfort of your own home.
    If you realistically think about this, why would someone pay you an hourly rate when they do not know if you are really working or not? Therefore many of the opportunities to work at home are actually in the form of business opportunities where you work for yourself.
    2. There really are some companies looking for people to work from home. This phenomenon is known as telecommuting and does provide an opportunity for people with legitimate skills to get paid working from home.
    This benefits both the company and the worker because the business does not need to provide a space for you to work from, and as an employee you do not have to get up and drive to work every day.
    Many companies now will offer work at home jobs that include an hourly rate and benefits. These benefits can include paid vacation, retirement plan, and health insurance.
    One such website or you can visit is Tjobs.com. They match employers looking for workers with employees who are looking for opportunities to telecommute. This works out very well for people who have skills such as sales, customer service, website design, and other categories.
    3. Another thing I want to talk about is websites that present themselves as work at home jobs doing data entry, taking paid surveys, and typing at home. Generally these websites are trying to sell you information on how to get involved in this type of work.
    There are companies who will pay you for your opinion, or to do data entry and typing. The websites that are selling you the information deserve to be paid because they have taken the time to develop a list of companies for you to contact.
    In the future work at home jobs will become more readily available. Until that point you need to be conscious and only deal with reputable companies before spending any of your hard earned money.
    To learn more about the top paid survey sites please visit: http://getpaid-survey.com

  12. Robin Tanselle says:

    I getting desparate now as i have been cpc certified for almost 2 yrs now with no luck finding a coding job. any suggestions
    thank you in advance

  13. swapna says:

    Hi..I have completed my Coc n I 10 certification, I am having 2years of experience in ER coding… What will be opportunities for me in Canada..please can any one guide me..
    Thanks in advance.. 🙂

  14. ari says:

    Hello everyone, i take my CPC exam this july, is there anyone out there that could give me and advice. Anything would be helpful.
    Thank you all.

  15. Kelley Curry says:

    This response is to Ari,
    I took my CPC in December 2012 and passed, I would suggest you buy the Practice Exams that AAPC offers. I believe they truly prepared me for the CPC exam. They are really great, they also show you the rationale and recommendations on each case study. Also, do the process of elimination to each question, this will help you gain your speed!! Good Luck!!!

  16. Shrinivas lakhe says:

    Hi guys I am from India Completed B pharma Starting career in coding .. I don’t have any guidance about it Is it better job to make money ? Some one please tell me Reply on my mail Or WhatsApp number Slakhe0@gmail.com 9404509608

  17. Amanda says:

    My advice would be to study study study!!!! and Good Luck!

  18. michele Durnin says:

    I have been a coder, Compliance auditor, reimbursement manager for the last 20 ys. I am considering starting my own auditing business, provider education, ICD-10 training, i’m not sure how much I should charge. I’ve already been approached by physician’s offices to audit their practice.
    Thanks for your help

  19. Jannie P. says:

    Medical Coding is starting to go to the home…it will be like medical transcription going to the home in the 1980s. It is slowly but surely moving that way. I’ve been an Medical Transcriptionist for over 20 years working from home. I want to do M. Coding because I can do that from home now. IOD is a company that hires in-home coders. If you are and MT, you have heard of the company career.step. They provide most of the MTs and starting to provide coders for these companies that take on in-house hospital accounts. WE also test through them sometimes when hiring new MTs. I am not a representative of them, Im going to take my course through them. But right now on their site, if you look under coders, you will see that IOD is hiring their new coders cause they are trained so well WITHOUT experience if you took a course through them, but if you have coding experience look on IOD site and also I have put in google companies hiring remote medical coders and have seen tons of them. Also, if you are looking for MT jobs…go to MTjob.com. Gonna start my medical coding classes in July.

  20. Nanci Dunn says:

    I have worked in the Cardiac Cath Lab for over 15 years. I also obtained my CPC and am interested in doing remote work. I have never worked as a “coder” but I am currently in charge of the business side of the Cath Lab now putting in charges and making sure the proper charges/cpt codes /modifiers are entered . I know that I hear people are looking for folks with my experience but I can’t seem to find them….any suggestions?
    thank you,

  21. Mary Brisson says:

    Wondering about a reply to my question posted 22 June?

  22. Mara f ford says:

    My fear is that will get certified and all the jobs will be outsourced to Malaysia like the medical transcription, radiology reads, etc. Have been. So depressing.

  23. Sandip gaikwad says:

    Can indian cpc certified coder with exp.will get job in US or canada or any other contry?

  24. Santosh Maurya says:

    How much A CPC certified coder can earn with 2 years of experince???

  25. Santosh Maurya says:

    What is the avarage salary for a CPC certified medical billing coder in USA???

  26. Nydia says:

    I have 6 years of coding experience and also my CPC and CEDC what is the minimal I should accept for pay.

  27. Sen says:

    I have more than 5 years of experience and i’m CPC and I-10 certified in coding and experienced with such as Dermatology, ASC, HCC, Radiology and Denial management projects. can anyone help me out with USA or Canada options for Coding jobs…

  28. Lynn Murphy says:

    Yes, apprentices find jobs to get their foot in the door – which means they are hired for everything BUT the coding jobs. The jobs available for a CPC-A’s are collections, billing and claims dispute jobs, NOT coding! Such a shame!

  29. prabhakar says:

    After ICD 10 implementation coder salary will increase?

  30. Della says:

    I’m in Chicago, IL and I don’t understand where the salary information comes from. I’ve been certified since 2006. I would love to make that much money coding. Unless someone already has an employer ready to take them, I discourage anyone from physician billing. Inpatient, however is another story but it’s difficult to get the training one needs.
    Good luck.

  31. JenniferT says:

    I was a certified coder more than 6 years ago and unfortunately was given some advice as to not paying my dues…(dumb) I want to get recertified, how do I go about this? Do I have to start all over again?

  32. Elaina says:

    I am thinking about getting into this line of work… I was wondering if it’s a good field or not. Is it worth all the time and studying?? Please give me some feedback. Thank you!!!!

  33. Angie says:

    I am interested in going into the medical coding and billing field. I already work for a health plan 5 years and just starting working with claims. I need to know where to start. Im having bit of issues with figuring out all the information. They offer certification for medical billing and coding at a community college at 32 credits each. is this different from yours. Please help. thanks.

  34. Sowmi says:

    I’m from India and completed my Under Graduate course (Bachelor Of Technology – Biotechnology). Could you please suggest me about the further courses which I have to pursue, to enter into this field.

  35. Dhilipkumar mariappan says:

    I have 3 years experience in HCC coding with CPC certification.How much i can earn if i get any oppurtunities in Abroad?

  36. murugesan selvaraj says:

    Hi..I have completed my Coc and ICD 10 certification, I am having 2years of experience in ICD9CM coding… What will be opportunities for me in USA..please can any one guide me..

  37. Aderemi Adetoyese Emmanuel says:

    Hello friends, please i based in United Arab Emirates, and i am planning to register for CPC certification exam. I have checked the website but couldn’t get any available centre in UAE.
    Kindly assist me, am confused.

  38. Sherry Brown says:

    I am a Student at the University of Phoenix and I have a Medical Billing and Coding Diploma and I would like to get my certification in Medical Coding but when I grauduated I used ICD-9 codes could you please help me to achieve the goal that Im trying to achieve which books do I need and what to do next. Thanks Sherry Brown 615-485-4125

  39. Paramdeep Singh says:

    Hi, This is Param, completed BCA from distant learning, anyone suggest me whether I should go for CPC course or not, i have 2 years of experience in HealthCare industry handling radiology, nursing facility, E&M, and sometimes in-patient claims. I have very less knowledge of Anatomy and medical terminology, also drop out for 2 years after senior secondary schooling, does it impact the career if there is a GAP? Suggest me the books which would be helpfull for me to develop knowledge in Anatomy or Medical Terminology at this point. Seeking your support, honestly I am tired of my aimless life!. Wish you all best of luck for career in coding. Thanks.

  40. ravi says:

    the experienced coders(2-3 years) in india are not getting paid with atleast 10% of the salary which is paid to a fresher in America. There is a huge variation in pay scale, yet the exan fee was same for all. Dont know
    why is it so ??


    Hi, completed cpc certification and having 3 years of experience in ED (PROFESSIONAL+ FACILITY), OFFICE VISIT, EDIT RESEARCH, DENIALS.What will be opportunities for me in US..please can any one guide me.
    Thanks in advance.. 🙂

  42. Cathy says:

    Anyone have knowledge or experience of what would be a fair percentage of collections added to an hourly rate or salary? In the Southern California market.

  43. lili says:

    Hi, I am taking a billing and coding certification and want to work from Mexico, is this possible, how much should I expect?

  44. Jennifer T says:

    Besides billing is there a difference in Medical coding for a critical assess hospital verses an acute care hospital?

  45. ASaiz says:

    Thank you for your comment. You’ll find a lot of suggestions and better answers to your question in the Member Forums.

  46. Arokiaraj P says:

    Jannie, a follower of you…