With so many career choices in the medical field, it may not be easy to choose the right path. There are many high-paying medical certifications you can consider, one of them being in the medical coding field.
Most medical coding jobs pay well, but the salary may vary based on the employer and your experience. Your qualification also dictates the kind of jobs you qualify for, and you may need to undertake some courses in addition to your degree certificate.
Below we look at the ten highest paying jobs for medical coders and the qualification you need to help you make an informed decision.
Which are the highest paying medical coding jobs?
Many medical coding jobs pay well, depending on your qualification and experience. Below are 10 careers to consider:
1. Coding Director
A Coding Director is responsible for auditing medical records in a clinical setup. They perform supervisory responsibilities and duties to help the hospital meet its mission. These may include supervising daily activities for coding units to enhance performance appraisals and organizing administrative reports.
Different health facilities will require you to have various qualifications, but getting a bachelor’s degree and having prior experience working as a medical coder will be the best.
The average annual salary of a medical coding director is $92,980 per year. The job itself is among the highest-paying jobs for medical coders in the US.
2. Certified Emergency Department Coder (CEDC)
As a medical coder, you can work on procedures that require emergency services through coding. Procedures such as removing foreign bodies and thoracentesis are paramount to any hospital setting, which in turn creates an opportunity for CEDCs.
Like other medical coding jobs, you will need certification by studying a coding course and getting certified. Previous coding experience is an added advantage due to the sensitivity of the job.
You also need to equip yourself with Evaluation Management (EM) guidelines, global surgery rules of Medicare billing, moderate sedation guidelines, and coding of various surgical procedures.
While working as a CEDC, you can make an average of $73,843 per year, making it one of the highest-paying jobs for medical coders.
3. Registered Health Information Assistant (RHIA)
Registered health information assistants manage patients’ data, i.e. service referrals, insurance disbursements, and other medical decisions. They use coded data to ensure only the right people access the information.
There is minimal interaction with the patients, which makes the job good for introverts who might be uncomfortable dealing directly with clientele.
You must have completed an approved academic program and pass American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) exams to qualify for the job.
Getting certified not only increases your career mobility and earnings but also gives you the opportunity to work in pharmaceuticals and other medical-related industries.
The profession is dynamic and you learn more as you advance to areas such as database design, health data management, and human resources management.
You will equally get compensation for your efforts, as Registered Health Information Assistants earn an average annual salary of $72K.
4. Medical Coding Manager
The medical coding manager oversees the implementation of coding tasks. They are responsible for ensuring the coding staff handles all the medical information from patients while upholding privacy rights.
One must maintain professional coding standards and have a good understanding of networking security and the use of different software programs. Most employers require you to have at least 5 years of medical coding experience to qualify for the opportunity.
Medical coding manager in the US gets an average salary of $71,687 per year.
5. Certified Coding Specialist-Physician (CCS-P)
You can assess your mastery level in delivering health services by going beyond the hospital setting and applying for a CCS-P job. The job requires an in-depth knowledge of documenting health information. You should also pass a certification exam to get certified. To apply and sit for the exam, you need to have:
- Minimum of 2 years experience in coding, or
- Have a CCA credential
- Completed your courses in Anatomy & Physiology, pathophysiology, medical technology, and other core courses
Knowledge of quality and data integrity also gives you an upper hand in CCS-P opportunities. Your major working areas are in the physician’s office to code medical prescriptions for inpatients. You are also legible to work with Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC) with CPS, HCPCS, and ICD-10.
This is one of the high-paying medical coding jobs with an average annual salary of $67k.
6. Certified Outpatient Coder (COC)
Outpatient Coders work closely with physicians and give reports of medical equipment, services, and relevant drugs on behalf of the physicians and outpatients. One can also work with departments such as radiology, ambulatory surgery, outpatient cancer, and therapy.
Since this medical coding job is highly compensated, you will need to demonstrate knowledge and skills in pathology, medicine, radiology, speech therapy, chemotherapy, outpatient grouping systems, and UBO4 Field Locators.
The mean annual salary for certified outpatient coders in the US is $62,846, which makes it one of the high-paying medical coding jobs in the country.
7. Clinical Coder
Clinical coders give specific medical codes in regard to the documentation given. The job involves dealing with databases and systems, and hence one should have a fast typing speed to qualify.
And although most clinics have similar requirements for clinical coders, most of them will require you to be proficient in at least one of the following fields of practice:
- Certified Coding Associate (CCA)
- Certified Outpatient Coder (COC)
- Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)
A mastery of medical coding rules and regulations is also an added advantage. The mean annual salary for clinical coders in the United States is $62,400.
8. Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
The delivery of medical services is becoming more sophisticated, and Certified Professional Coders are in high demand. These coders oversee the medical coding in healthcare to ensure it complies with the laws and regulations. You can work as a CPC in your area of specialty with experience in medical coding and insurance regulations.
To become a Certified Professional Coder, you need to have a solid understanding of the three coding systems – ICD-10-CM, Current Procedural Terminology, and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding system (HCPCS) – in use. Certification gives you the upper hand in getting employment.
According to the American Academy of Professional Coders, certified professional coders earn a median annual salary of $58,055, but the pay increases with your level of experience.
9. Certified Medical Coder
Certified Medical Coders work on technically oriented jobs in a medical facility. They don’t operate in areas directly involving patients as they assign medical billing codes to procedures and treatments for medical claims.
You need to be well conversant with Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to qualify for the job. In addition, you need to express your prowess in coding systems such as the Classification of Diseases (ICD) and demonstrate professional skills.
You can start with post-secondary education, enroll in coding sessions, and scale up later as you advance in your medical field or even specialize. Once certified as a medical coder, you will need to enroll in ongoing education to recertify after every 2 years.
10. Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)
Working in a billing facility as a Certified Inpatient Coder can be very rewarding but requires persistence and commitment. Acquiring a certificate in this field qualifies you to work in different settings: Inpatient Rehab Facilities (IRF), acute care facilities, and other areas requiring Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems.
Certified Inpatient Coders are highly valued due to their understanding of Anatomy, Physiology, and medical terminologies besides coding reimbursement. But, you have to study and sit for a qualifying exam to be considered for the job.
There is a 7% annual salary increment for Inpatient Coders, with a median of $57,936 a year.
FAQs about high-paying medical coding jobs
Is medical coding a reputable career?
Medical coders are in high demand, which indicates their reputation. Statistics reveal that medical facilities have a higher demand for medical coders compared to other professionals. Students pursuing medical coding have high chances of getting a good job, particularly in big firms that pay well.
What percentage of medical coders work from home?
Most medical coding jobs are full-time and will require you to work from the hospital. An AAPC survey shows that 24.4% of medical coders are remote coders, which includes those who work from home. The survey also shows remote coders earn an average annual salary of $54,784.
How much money do you make as a medical coder?
The amount of money you can make depends on your years of experience. Most recruiters will pay well for experienced medical coders, while new professionals get a slightly low salary. You can also work for various companies working part-time to increase your earnings.
Which is the best certification for medical coders?
The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is the best and most common certification for any medical coder. It is essential and lays the foundation for additional certificates. It also gives you a chance to work in the physician’s office and the outpatient sections of the clinic. Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), Certified Medical Coder (CMC), and other certificates would equally give you an excellent opportunity to work as a medical coder.
What specialty in medical coding pays the most?
The most paying specialties for a medical coder are radiology, rheumatology, and cardiovascular thoracic coding. Working as an expert in these medical facilities puts you in high demand with a consistent income.
Medical coding is a profitable career path, and adequate experience to supplement your medical professional ensures you get a job that pays well. All the available options are diverse, and you need to check your qualification and interest to narrow down the choices.
Watch this video to know if medical coding career is good for you. Video by Contempo Coding.