2023 Medical Coding and Billing Salary Report

Medical Coding Salary

Every year, tens of thousands of medical records specialists — a term that encompasses coders, billers, auditors, practice managers, and compliance officers — take the AAPC Medical Coding and Billing Salary Survey to provide an overview of compensation and income trends within the industry. The 2022 Salary Survey results show healthy growth across the board, as well as promising indicators for the future. The number of medical records specialists working remotely is still high at 55 percent. Data also indicate that opportunities for medical records specialists continue to grow: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) projects 7 percent average yearly growth in the healthcare business industry, compared with 5 percent average growth for all career professions. 

If you’re considering a career as a medical coder, biller, or other healthcare business profession, AAPC’s 2023 Medical Coding and Billing Salary Report isolates factors influencing compensation, and will help you: 

  • Assess your income potential
  • Prepare for compensation and wage negotiations
  • Plan your career path in healthcare for greater financial reward

Table of Contents

Career profile of a medical records specialist

How much money do medical records specialists make?

What state pays medical records specialists the most?

Bigger employer, higher income

Experience makes a difference

2022 income trends

Is working from home here to stay?

Steps to becoming a medical coder or biller

Career profile of a medical records specialist

Medical records specialist — a term used to describe a variety of positions tasked with managing patient revenue in the various healthcare settings — ranks high in job opportunities and career advancement potential. The income range is competitive and far exceeds the required financial and time investment compared with preparing for many other professions. What’s more, working with healthcare providers in the medical field offers a career path rich in personal rewards. 

How much money do medical records specialists make?

On average, medical records specialists (certified and noncertified) average $55,389 annually according to the 2022 Salary Survey results. Those without certification average $46,321 per year, while certified medical records specialists average $56,290 annually — 17.7 percent more than their noncertified colleagues. 

Like surveys from past years, the 2023 Medical Coding and Billing Salary Report demonstrates that certification pays. The income for medical records specialists with two AAPC credentials averages $66,198 annually. Those with three or more AAPC credentials earn an average $71,361 per year. 


Credential Median Income
Certified Professional Biller (CPB®) $56,981
Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) $58,895
Certified Outpatient Coder (COC®) $64,267
Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P) $62,494
Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC®) $58,730
Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC®) $64,192
Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA®) $72,304
Certified Documentation Expert-Outpatient (CDEO®) $72,619
Certified Professional Coder-Instructor (CPC-I) $76,804
Certified Professional Practice Manager (CPPM®) $75,699
Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO®) $81,495
AVERAGE $67,680

In addition to competitive incomes and standard employment benefits, many employers also offer paid continuing education. Full or partial coverage of continuing education is particularly valuable, given the correlation between income and AAPC credentials.

Other variables that weigh into the income equation include experience, the types and number of credentials, specialty/medical field, employer type, and location.

Average Medical Coding Salary

What state pays medical records specialists the most?

The AAPC 2022 Salary Survey shows annual income averages for medical records specialists across the 50 states and territories differ by up to 30.3 percent, with the highest in California at $67,660, and the lowest in Indiana at $47,176. That equates to a $32.53 hourly wage in California and $22.68 per hour in Indiana. These averages are not indicative of aspects such as experience, the types and number of credentials held, and education level.

This income contrast reflects differing state economies. California, for instance, has higher employment costs and consumer price indices than Indiana. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) points out that geographic location often affects incomes. Workers tend to earn more in large metropolitan areas where a higher cost of living often drives incomes upward. For example, costs such as those for housing are usually more in urban areas since more people in a geographic market create more competition for available homes. 


State Average Income Average Hourly Salary
Alabama $49,481 $23.79
Alaska $60,531 $29.10
Arizona $58,065 $27.92
Arkansas $52,868 $25.42
California $67,660 $32.53
Colorado $60,615 $29.14
Connecticut $62,659 $30.12
Delaware $56,845 $27.33
District of Columbia $65,000 $31.25
Florida $58,020 $27.89
Georgia $56,600 $27.21
Hawaii $55,000 $26.44
Idaho $56,190 $27.01
Illinois $58,476 $28.11
Indiana $47,176 $22.68
Iowa $55,463 $26.66
Kansas $55,427 $26.65
Kentucky $53,286 $25.62
Louisiana $50,917 $24.48
Maine $57,348 $27.57
Maryland $63,068 $30.32
Massachusetts $66,222 $31.84
Michigan $55,273 $26.57
Minnesota $60,462 $29.07
Mississippi $48,908 $23.51
Missouri $54,604 $26.25
State Average Income Average Hourly Salary
Montana $53,591 $25.77
Nebraska $54,909 $26.40
Nevada $57,191 $27.50
New Hampshire $60,959 $29.31
New Jersey $65,568 $31.52
New Mexico $55,273 $26.57
New York $62,369 $29.99
North Carolina $56,166 $27.00
North Dakota $53,929 $25.93
Ohio $55,086 $26.48
Oklahoma $53,094 $25.53
Oregon $59,972 $28.83
Pennsylvania $56,964 $27.39
Rhode Island $65,110 $31.30
South Carolina $54,433 $26.17
South Dakota $56,360 $27.10
Tennessee $57,159 $27.48
Texas $59,393 $28.55
U.S. Territory $45,556 $21.90
Utah $54,171 $26.04
Vermont $62,500 $30.05
Virginia $56,680 $27.25
Washington $61,920 $29.77
West Virginia $51,240 $24.63
Wisconsin $60,204 $28.94
Wyoming $57,917 $27.84

Medical records specialist incomes versus individual incomes across all industries and education levels

Nationwide, medical record specialists, which include medical coders and billers, earned an average income of $55,389 annually in 2022. This is on par with average third-quarter incomes across the country in all industries at $55,640, according to the DOL. Keep in mind that the all-industries number includes the incomes of people with advanced education degrees. We see a sharp distinction in state economies when we look at median individual incomes across the country. The range between the highest and lowest single-earner income across all industries is 38 percent (Hawaii at $75,797 and Mississippi at $47,446). 

This 38 percent gap notably exceeds the 30 percent gap we see in medical records specialist incomes by state and is worth noting if you’re considering a career in this industry. We see less discrepancy in these incomes compared with individual incomes across all industries.  

In New Mexico, for example, medical records specialists earn on average 9 percent higher incomes than the state’s median single-earner household incomes. In Arkansas, the same jobs pay 8 percent more than the state’s median single-earner household incomes. 

Bigger employer, higher income

The average medical coding income varies by type of employer, with larger healthcare provider organizations offering higher wages. This trend, like income variations by state economies, has proved consistent in 10-plus years of surveying income by workplace. 

The American Hospital Association reports that there are currently 417 U.S. health systems, and that 67 percent of U.S. hospitals are part of these health systems, the majority consisting of three to 10 hospitals. Health systems also include physician groups, urgent care clinics, and rehabilitation centers. As the largest employer type, the health system pays medical records specialists approximately 14 percent more income than the medical office of a solo physician or small physician group.  

Medical records specialists employed by individual hospitals earn the second highest income, followed by those employed by large physician group practices (50 or more physicians), then medium group practices (11-49 physicians), and finally, solo physicians or small physician group practices (2-10 physicians). 

Average Medical Coding Salary

Where can a certified medical coder find a coding position?

Besides physician offices, hospitals, and health systems, other organizations relying on billing and coding staff include ambulatory surgery centers, walk-in clinics, assisted living and long-term care facilities, home health agencies, hospice groups, telehealth companies, labs, and imaging centers.

Other employers not related to direct patient care include software and durable medical equipment vendors, insurance companies, government agencies, educational institutions, billing companies, risk adjustment vendors, healthcare consulting firms, and some law offices.

Experience Makes a Difference

The fact that certification is the No. 1 factor influencing medical records specialist incomes is not surprising. After all, professional certification is the litmus test of a job candidate’s value. Nothing provides hiring managers more confidence in a medical coder’s proficiency than passing the Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) exam. Consider that in 2022 first-year medical records specialists earned $39,569 for the year, while those with at least 31 years of experience earned $74, 237 — a 46.7 percent difference.

The next best vote of confidence — also the second biggest influence on income — comes with experience. Consider that in 2022 medical records specialists as a group averaged $58,895 in 2022, while those with three or more AAPC certifications averaged $71,361 for the year, a 17.5 percent increase.

Experience Makes a Difference

Certification proficiency and experience tell employers that you are prepared to handle a variety of responsibilities and situations that may arise, collaborate well with others, and are thriving in the industry.

The starting income for a Certified Professional Coder® (CPC) is approximately $45,701 per year, averaged for all states and territories. Experience, as an isolated influence on compensation, adds upwards of 47 percent to income over the course of the CPC’s career. The biggest gains occur in the first 15 years.

2022 Salary Survey respondents report a median 11.3 years in the industry. With medical coding experience comes career advancement opportunities into high-paying healthcare business roles, such as in practice management, medical auditing, compliance, and clinical documentation improvement specialist.


Years on the Job Average Income
0 - 1 $45,701
2 - 4 $49,244
5 - 9 $55,472
10 - 15 $60,892
16 - 20 $65,254
21 - 25 $69,609
26 - 30 $71,412
31+ $74,513

2022 income trends

Medical coding income trends based on location

2022 Salary Survey respondents report income losses in 13 states and U.S. territories, an improvement over the 15 states reporting income losses in 2021. Among them, Hawaii, Indiana, and U. S. territories suffered the most with losses of at least 5 percent.

The trend of improving incomes continues, as nine states report increases of at least 5 percent, an improvement over last year’s six states seeing gains of 5 percent or more. The three states reporting the biggest gains in 2022 are Vermont (17.4 percent), Iowa (8.9 percent), and Idaho (8.8 percent). Other states with improved incomes: Delaware, Illinois, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

The remaining 30 states and the District of Columbia all saw modest gains up to 4.9 percent.

Top 10 States with Biggest Income Gains in 2022

State 2021 Annual Income % Increase 2022 Annual Income 2022 Per Hour
1. Vermont $53,239 17.4% $62,500 $30.05
2. Iowa $50,939 8.9% $55,463 $26.66
3. Idaho $51,641 8.8% $56,190 $27.01
4. Rhode Island $60,179 8.2% $65,110 $31.30
6. Wisconsin $56,351 6.8% $60,204 $28.94
5. Illinois $54,929 6.5% $58,476 $28.11
7. Mississippi $46,250 5.7% $48,908 $23.51
8. Delaware $54,050 5.2% $56,845 $27.33
9. Tennessee $54,352 5.2% $57,159 $27.48
10. Arkansas $50,430 4.8% $52,868 $25.42

Medical records specialist income trends based on credential

AAPC members have established a reputation of excellence within the healthcare industry. This is attributed to quality training, certification, and on-the-job experience. Incomes increase year over year, underscoring the value of medical coding certification as a measure of proficiency.

In 2022, the biggest income increases go to Certified Physician Practice Managers® (CPPMs®).


Credential 2021 2022 % Pay Change
Certified Professional Practice Manager (CPPM) $70,895 $75,699 6.78%
Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P) $60,753 $62,494 2.86%
Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) $70,320 $72,304 2.82%
Certified Professional Coder-Instructor (CPC-I) $74,822 $76,804 2.65%
Certified Outpatient Coder (COC) $62,846 $64,267 2.26%
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) $58,055 $58,895 1.45%
Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC) $57,936 $58,730 1.37%
Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO) $80,550 $81,495 1.17%
Certified Professional Biller (CPB) $56,652 $56,981 0.58%
Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC) $64,995 $64,192 -1.23%
Certified Documentation Expert-Outpatient (CDEO) $73,723 $72,619 -1.50%

Medical records specialist income trends based on education

Although certification carries the most weight with employers and does not require an associate or bachelor’s degree to obtain, our survey shows a modest influence of education level on medical records specialist incomes. Post Secondary

Based on 2022 data, medical records specialists with no college education average $26.13 per hour, while those with some college or an associate degree average $26.84 per hour, or 2.7 percent more.


Medical records specialists with a master’s degree earn 10 percent more on average than those with no postsecondary education, according to the AAPC 2022 Salary Survey. This income hike, however, has more to do with the professional’s role and job title than it does with education. 

If you have your sights set on revenue cycle management, a four- or six-year degree program may be a wise decision. Regardless of education, however, there are several paths a certified medical coder who bypasses college or university can take to leadership and its financial rewards.

Employer trends in medical records specialist income

Only 10 percent of survey respondents report working for small physician practices in 2022. This number represents a notable shift from 22.4 percent in 2010. More than 52 percent of medical coders, billers, and other healthcare business professionals now work for the largest employer types, which include health systems, inpatient and outpatient hospitals, inpatient-only hospitals, and outpatient-only hospitals.  Where Medical Coding Work

Is working from home here to stay?


Historically, remote coding and billing opportunities were reserved for only the most experienced employees. Before 2020, medical records specialists working remotely held at 30 to 33 percent, according to AAPC’s annual salary reports.

The COVID-19 pandemic beginning in early 2020 changed that. Rapid global spread and infection of a little-understood virus at the time shuttered onsite transactions for countless businesses of every size and form as the epidemiology and infectious disease community scrambled to learn more about the disease. This forced businesses to carefully rethink how to manage everyday duties without sacrificing quality. 

Throughout the pandemic, employers have learned how to perform business functions in ways that not only reduce disease spread (of all types of infections), but also reduce office overhead and operation costs. This in turn has created a sought-after employee benefit in the form of remote work. 

Employers of medical coders, billers, and other healthcare business professionals are part of the trend, as shown by a whopping 55 percent of the AAPC 2022 Salary Survey respondents reporting that they work remotely full time, with 18.8 percent working a remote and onsite combination. This leaves 26.2 percent working onsite at an employer full time. As recently as 2017, 70 percent of medical records specialists worked exclusively at an onsite office.

A remote position can provide employees with even more savings than the paycheck itself. Consider that remote work cuts down on commuting costs, the need to buy business professional clothing and accessories, and the temptation to spend money for lunches out. Remote work may also lead to improved work-life balance with reduced commute times. You can read more about remote work benefits on AAPC’s blog.

What is the outlook for the medical records specialists?

Considering that every patient encounter requires coded documentation submitted to insurance and federal payers, it’s not surprising that medical records specialists enjoy favorable job prospects. The BLS projects the following for medical records specialists:

  • Job growth for medical records specialists is projected to grow 7 percent through 2031.
  • An increasing share of the population is entering older age groups, which typically require more medical services. As a result, more medical records specialists will be needed to convert related health information into standardized codes to be used for insurance reimbursement and other purposes.
  • Additional records, coupled with widespread use of electronic health records by healthcare providers, will support demand for specialists to code and maintain the associated information in all areas of the healthcare industry.

Moreover, as payers focus more on data drivers of health outcomes and expenditures and further implement pay for performance models, medical coders will become increasingly important in revenue cycle management.

How much does a medical coder make year over year?

If you’re interested in becoming a medical coding or medical billing specialist and want to review long-term income trends, you’ll find yearly details archived in AAPC Salary Survey blog posts.

Steps to becoming a medical coder:

Why choose AAPC for your coding and billing training?

AAPC is the world’s largest association representing medical coders, billers, auditors, compliance officers, documentation specialists, and practice managers. For more than three decades, AAPC-trained professionals have established an unwavering reputation of excellence. The CPC® and CPB® core credentials come with high expectations and respect, as do their specialty credentials.

AAPC’s medical billing and coding programs will prepare you to earn your credential — and help you to maintain your expertise with numerous resources exclusively available to our members. Additionally, you’ll become part of a large nationwide network of coders through our local chapters and online forums.

Prepare for your certification exam today and get your future started!

Got Questions?

Visit our medical coding and billing training pages to learn more about a career in medical coding and billing — or contact an AAPC career counselor online or call 800-626-2633 for a free consultation.

Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by AAPC Thought Leadership Team

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