Medical Coder

Career Area: Health Care including Nursing

Occupation Group: Health IT Support

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Medical Coder earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $44,134

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $44,084

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Organizes and reviews patient medical records and assigns codes for each diagnosis and treatment. Prepares coded information for use by health care insurers or for research. May retrieve information for clinicians and billing offices. Works in healthcare facilities.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina797+13.5%
Nationwide24689+13.5%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Medical Coder is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Microsoft Excel: Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications.
  • Detail-Oriented: A detail oriented person is someone who pays attention to the details and can make a conscious effort to understand causes instead of just the effects, and that does this in a second nature type of way.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Medical Coding: Working experience of Medical Coding. Medical classification, or medical coding, is the process of transforming descriptions of medical diagnoses and procedures into universal medical code numbers. The diagnoses and procedures are usually taken from a variety of sources within the health care record, such as the transcription of the physician's notes, laboratory results, radiologic results, and other sources.
  • Medical Billing: Medical billing is a payment practice within the United States health system.
  • Billing: the process of making out or sending invoices
  • ICD-10: ICD-10 is the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), a medical classification list by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Customer Billing: A customer billing is any kind of business event where a business collects money from a customer for goods or services provided.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Medical Coder that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Electronic Medical Records: An electronic health record (EHR), or electronic medical record (EMR), refers to the systematized collection of patient and population electronically-stored health information in a digital format.
  • Acute Care: Acute care is a branch of secondary health care where a patient receives active but short-term treatment for a severe injury or episode of illness, an urgent medical condition, or during recovery from surgery.
  • Medical Records: The terms medical record, health record, and medical chart are used somewhat interchangeably to describe the systematic documentation of a single patient's medical history and care across time within one particular health care provider's jurisdiction.
  • CPT-4 Coding: Working experience of CPT-4 Coding, which are procedure codes used to tell insurance companies what kind of procedure or service was performed on a medical patient.
  • DRG Group Assignment: In carefully matched patients, the length of hospital stay after laparoscopic colectomy is shorter than after open surgery. Higher operating room costs for laparoscopic surgery are offset by lower costs for hospitalization because of less utilization of pharmacy, laboratory, and nursing services.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Clinical Documentation Improvement Program (CDIP): clinical documentation improvement (CDI) programs facilitate the accurate representation of a patients clinical status that translates into coded data.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years48%
3 to 5 years49%
6 to 8 years1%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Online Medical Billing & Coding Training - Learn Home
  • Medical Billing & Coding Career Training - Local Training
  • Medical Coder
  • Medical Biller And Coder
  • Medical Billing And Coding Specialist

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring similar occupations, you may want to research the following job titles: