Hello, I live in the northern region of New Jersey and about a month ago, I graduated a medical billing and coding school. Right before I graduated the school, I took the AAPC certified Possessional Coder exam and passed and am now looking for a job. I graduated at the top of my class with a 4.0. Now, for the past Month, I have been looking for a medical billing job around the Morris County area. I have mostly seen jobs offering $12-$13 an hour some with benefits, and some without. Before I even attended this program, I made $15 an hour working in a Gym without any college degrees. While attending this program, I was told that I could easily ask for $18 to $20 an hour as a starting salary especially because I'm certified, which I have now realized is not the case. I have also realized that being certified as a medical coder means nothing because to even do any coding I would need at least two years of experience. I paid $13,000 for the program and can't find a job that I can afford to take that would enable me to live and even pay my bills. Not only that, there are almost no jobs around where I live. Every job I have gone to is about an hour away. Is this situation normal for this area of the country, or is it just me? I would appreciate any advice someone could give me.