Mid-life career changers already employed in coding


Blue Ridge, VA
Best answers
I read through some early threads elsewhere from mid-life career changers in school. I would like to hear from those that have made the change and how they got through it. Mid-lifers have different issues than younger students. Some of us cannot accept positions without health benefits, have children to feed, etc. And then there is menopause.....:) So starting over is a bit scary.

Please share your experiences with me and others. Mid life for me is 48.

I made a mid life career change when I started in the coding field. It was scary making the change but in hindsight it was the best move I have ever made. I love the coding field and all of the vast opportunities that there are for many differant career paths. I say make the change you will be very happy---good luck to you
I made a career change to medical transcription a few years ago and still held the day job. Now I am considering "retirement" from the day job to pursue coding. I took a course and passed my CPC-A last August. In the spring I hope to start sending out resumes or do an externship at the local hospital in hopes of finding something. It is scary and I can relate. Hubby has health issues and healthcare costs are so expensive. I am leaving a well paying job with lots of perks to go into coding. Very scary. I am older than you are. Carol
Re: Mid Life Career Changes

I am currently working in the healthcare field mainly in the precertification/Utilization Management for the past 15 years and have lots of healthcare experience. I wanted to make a career change to try and go specifically into the coding field. I had experience with medical terminology which helped but taking classes again at 40 it was definitely harder to memorize and remember the terminology and anatomy. Working and going to school was not easy but nothing good comes without sacrifice. You definitely have to be disciplined and make sure you carve out the time for studying and this may be selfish for a time and the house may not get cleaned or you may not have a social life for awhile but it's worth it. Being older I had more commitment and drive to succeed and to do the best I could. Each time I passed a class and passed the CPC test I felt like I had really accomplished a great deal which is a wonderful thing. My best advice would be to make sure you have a coding externship close to your house/speak to the person offering the externship/go to a chapter meeting and ask questions. No one really told me how difficult it was to find an entry level position. Now I am in a quandry because my current career pays alot more than an entry level coder or even a seasoned coder position that is if I find one. I believe AAPC is trying to build up the xtern program which is good. At my local chapter meetings they try and give you advice to take any entry level position. But why at age 42 would I take a receptionist position just to try and get into coding? In this economy I could not afford to do that. But on the flip side I am trying to keep up my coding skills and knowledge by going to the chapter meetings, publications and continuing education which does actually help with my current position. Also, I still am holding out hope in finding an externship because I really would enjoy working in coding and think it would be a great career. All in all my best advice is make sure you have good contacts and someone that will try and assist you in obtaining an externship in coding before spending money on classes, books, test etc...
At the age of 40 I wanted to leave retail and get a regular 9-5 job. I took medical transcription courses and passed much to my surprise at that time. It took me a couple of months to get up the courage to seek employment in that field as I was very insecure with myself. After encouragement from family I looked into an employment agency and worked temp at one position and temp/perm at another. I got hired at the second place and stayed there 8 years and left when one of the doctors started his own practice to join him as his transcriptionist. No regrets!

At age 50 I wanted to learn something new. I took coding classes and now I am CPC-A. No regrets again!

I have not looked for a position outside of the office I am currently in. My main job is to do the transcription but I also get to do coding and I enjoy both. One of the reasons for my not looking elsewhere is that I get paid well here and am very happy with the doctors and other staff. The practice did help me financially with my coding classes as well. I was asked if I wanted to leave here and join the firm that does are billing. But I said no thanks.

I would say go for it if it is was you really want to do. I was a single parent when I started this at age 40 with 2 in college and one in high school. Yes, my children have grown and moved on now, but the happiness that I gained with the career change at age 40 made a huge difference!

Good luck to you!