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Becoming a Medical Coder

Updated on September 24, 2012

How is the future for medical coder?

The future for medical coders is great!

In February 2009, Congress passed a stimulus plan with programs that President Obama envisioned as a way to reduce the cost of health care and pass the savings to the consumers.

The cost savings measure is the modernization of health information technology which will require all information to be stored and accessed by computers instead of folders and papers. More medical coders will be needed by hospitals, solo practitioners, physicians network, dentists, etc. to maintain the standardized data of patient records.

That means PLENTY OF JOBS in the near future for health information technicians, including medical coders!

How to Become a Medical Coder

Are you looking for a career in the medical field?

Are you afraid that your current job is not secured?

Are you looking for or want to switch to a steady, recession proof career?

If you answer "yes" to any of the questions above, then perhaps becoming a medical coder is the right move for you.

Medical coders are health information management technicians. They organize and evaluate patient records for accuracy, prepare and analyze statistical data, and in general, provide electronic quality control. They are specialist in both computers and medical terminologies.

This means they have to have training in computer technology and health information.

Video Clip on Medical Coders

What is the salary of a Medical Coder?

From the latest information published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, dated 2007, the average medical coder has a salary of $31,450. The ones who worked in hospitals and facilities in large cities or those who were employed in pharmaceutical industry made a lot more, as in over $53,000.

But, with the stimulus plan in place, the demand for medical coders will increase, so those who are properly certified with the right amount of experience will see a rise in their paycheck.

Barack Obama pledged to lower the cost of healtchare
Barack Obama pledged to lower the cost of healtchare

How long does it take to become a Medical Coder?

Many position already require certification. With the increase in demand and competition, you can be that almost all employers will require certification as part of the screening process. So you should get your medical coding certification as soon as possible before everybody else get theirs.

The certification exams and tests are provided by either AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) or AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders).

There are classes that you can take to prepare for the medical coder certification test. Your local junior colleges and trade schools offer them and can take anywhere from six months to a year depending on the program.

Do you need to get certified faster? Then consider online medical coding schools. Depending on how fast you learn, you can finish the course in less than six months. But you can also take over a year if you need to, although it's not recommended. Online classes are flexible, convenient, and you can learn from home.

Where are Certified Medical Coder Schools?

Classes to prepare for the certification exam are given by your local colleges and, sometimes, adult schools.

But some technical schools specialize in helping students pass the certification test and have a good job placement program to boot. It's good to ask when evaluating a potential program.

Lastly, online medical coding schools are available through mostly private schools. These online classes have the advantage of "working at your speed". Whether you want to study fast and quickly or slow and taking your time.

Video Clip President Obama on Health Care Reform and Putting People Back to Work

More on Recession Proof Careers

Learn more about other healthcare careers:

Learn about other careers depending on your skills and what you want to do:


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      That's what I call a "great hub". Thank you so much.

      Ron from Fitness

    • profile image

      Fosamax Fracture Lawsuit 

      9 years ago

      Great read. It's good to know that there would be opening for jobs that doesn't require someone to travel to an office or building. The fact that this new way of storing information between medical practitioners is economical indeed. Good job on the hub.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I have recently obtained an associates degree in HIT, including medical coding one and two. How can I get a foot in the door when everyone demands at least one year hands on experience.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Medical coders can work from home after having 2-3 years of experiacne. Now a days getting a job as freshers is difficut so be carefull before taking any traning course..

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Best Institute

      Getting quality teaching with an online degree means that you need to research each institute carefully. Talk to other students, if possible. Look at several schools offering both traditional programs and online degree programs. It doesn’t hurt to check out class size either. Try to find class sizes that are small and thus offer you the possibility of individual attention. Check into how the institute can help you……………….

      online medical certificates

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      There's lots of information on the internet to get through, but i am happy to have found this its has been very useful, if you have any more information you shouldn't hesitate to post it :-)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I want to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work.

    • reagu profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Los Angeles

      I thought the same. And you don't get the emergency calls late at night because of an accident. And you get the holidays off to be with family, unlike my two sisters who are nurses and they've been working either Christmas or New Years for the past 5 years.

    • profile image

      Twin XL 

      11 years ago

      Sounds like a perfect career for someone who would like to be in the medical field, but doesn't like all the blood and guts!

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 

      11 years ago

      I worked in management in hospitals for many years. I can testify to the accuracy of what you're saying. These positions are definitely in demand and offer good pay for the amount of training that's required.


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