1. You'll be in demand.
Healthcare is an everyday reality. In fact, U.S. physicians see roughly 860.4 million patients each year - and every patient encounter requires a medical coder to report the office visit. So, yes, medical coding is a great career choice in terms of job demand and the financial stability an in-demand profession offers.
2. You'll earn a competitive salary.
AAPC certified coders earn an average of $58,055 annually, according to AAPC’s Annual Salary Survey. Not only is this income above national averages for all occupations, but the average salary jumps to $64,712 for coding specialists with two certifications. Career advancements as certified auditors, documentation specialists, and compliance officers raise earning potential even higher. In 2022, these professionals averaged $70,320, $73,723, and $80,550, respectively.
3. You'll have educational options.
You can choose from multiple training scenarios to become a medical coder. Though an associate degree or bachelor's degree is not required, you might prefer traditional coursework at a technical school, community college, or other institution of higher education. Some schools offer convenient, online courses you can complete at your pace. AAPC offers a full curriculum of training classes and study guides to help you become a certified coder, including classroom and online options.
4. You can start a career in months, not years.
Although some schools offer a two or four-year degree in medical coding, it isn't necessary to devote extensive time and expense to become a certified professional coder (CPC®). AAPC's training courses can be completed in is little as four months. To receive a CPC® designation, you must have at least two years' medical coding experience. The good news is, you can earn while you learn with your CPC-A, which stands for certified professional coder apprentice.
5. You'll have opportunities for advancement.
An experienced certified coder develops skills and knowledge that are valuable in many healthcare business roles, including practice management, medical auditing, compliance, clinical documentation improvement, education, and more. AAPC offers a variety of specialized certifications to help you advance your career and elevate your earning potential.
6. You'll always be learning.
Healthcare is a dynamic industry of emerging technologies, advancing standards of care, and evolving code and payer guidelines. A medical coder's job, in other words, never gets old. No matter how long you've been working in the field, you’ll face new challenges and find there's always more to learn. This feature of the occupation is one veteran coders say they most enjoy.
7. You can work from home.
While medical coders work in physician offices, hospitals, and many other types of healthcare facilities, a growing number of work-from-home opportunities are becoming available. Remote work gives medical coders flexibility and saves the time and cost of commuting. Working from home, though, does require the self-discipline to stay productive.
8. You can dress comfortably at work.
Coders typically work in back offices, or from home, which means you can dress for comfort. Sometimes coders working in facilities wear scrubs. If you like to dress in professional attire, you’re free to do so, but isn’t it nice to know you can choose sneakers over dress shoes once in a while?
9. You can make a difference.
Although medical coders don’t save lives in the way healthcare providers do, their contributions are vital to ensuring the continuity of patient care, which affects patient outcomes. Medical coders also play a role in keeping healthcare providers in business, and this helps to make healthcare sustainable and available to all.
Read More- How to get CPC certified?
Last Reviewed on July 5, 2022 by AAPC Thought Leadership Team