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How Much Does A Medical Coder Get Paid?

It is crucial to know how much medical coders get paid if they wish to pursue a career in that industry.

This will inform your decisions as to whether to go ahead and choose the highest-paying state in the U.S. to relocate to.

This article is set to answer the questions related to salary and how to become a certified medical coder.

What is Medical Coding?

Medical coding involves interpreting and translating medical information in a treatment process into a universal medical alphanumeric code for record purposes.

Adopting medical coding creates an easily updated, accurate and detailed recording system without necessarily using many words. Also, one gets to maximize the space needed to store this information.

Medical coders can work anywhere as long as their work is unhindered. But one can most likely find them in healthcare insurance companies or any healthcare establishment.

In addition, their work affects the medical coding salary structure because the qualifications and experience of the medical coder determine it. The details to be coded come from the patient’s medical records, the treating physician’s clinical notes, and laboratory reports or diagnoses.

You should read: Highest Paying Jobs In The Medical Field in 2023

Which Medical Coding Aspect Are the Most Difficult?

Knowing the thousands of codes from many code sets that are updated frequently is one of the most challenging components of medical coding.

Medical coders must also understand health-related topics, including anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology, because they must translate complex medical notes and information into specific, well-defined codes.

Don’t Fail Also to Read: 10 Medical Assistant Skills You Should Include in Your Resume 2023

How Much Is A Medical Coder Salary?

As of 2020, the average medical coder’s salary was $45,240. Currently, medical coders earn $44,772 a year in the United States. 

In determining a medical coder’s salary, we should first know that medical coding is a high-income skill. It is also a much sought-after skill as most healthcare establishments now desire accurate records of all medical processes.

The medical coding salary, however, depends on experience and qualifications. Also, the medical coding type or branch determines the salary. In addition, medical coders who work remotely make more money than traditional medical coders.

According to the AAPC, non-certified coders earn an average salary of $41,543 per year, while certified coders earn 39% more — an average of $57,646 annually. Adding a second certification increases that average wage to $63,085.

The AAPC found that, on average, medical coders (certified and non-certified) make $53,051 annually. 

Medical coding as an industry project to grow much more significantly in the coming years, at least by 13%.

You should check out: How Much Does A Medical Coder Get Paid?

Medical Billing & Coding Salaries by State

Location is one of the most significant variables in determining medical coder salaries. Each state in the United States has its economy, cost of living, and average salary.

Let’s take a look at Medical coding salaries by state:

StateAverage SalaryAverage Hourly Rate
District of Columbia$54,667$26.28
New Hampshire$57,877$27.83
New Jersey$61,201$29.42
New Mexico$53,616$25.78
New York$59,695$28.70
North Carolina$53,141$25.55
North Dakota$50,236$24.15
Rhode Island$57,651$27.72
South Carolina$49,990$24.03
South Dakota$50,960$24.50
U.S. Territory$42,910$20.63
West Virginia$47,699$22.93
Table from

Types of Medical Coding 

There are several classes or types of coding employed for specific purposes. But these types of medical coding are the standard medical coding systems that most countries adopt. Thus, there are three types of medical coding, and they are:

1. International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10)

ICD-10 codes were set up and modified by the World Health Organization. Today, governments around the world use them. Currently, in the United States, this form of coding has further been divided into two:

  • ICD-10-CM, which deals with Clinical Modifications, and
  • ICD-10-PMS, which is the Procedure Coding System.

While the clinical modifications deal with the diagnosis, the procedure coding system deals with inpatient hospital procedures.

This particular type of coding has undergone ten modifications. Besides, the tenth and most recent modification add more causes of death to the list. A basic ICD-10 code may read like this:

  • A00-B99…infectious and parasitic diseases
  • C00-D49….Neoplasms
  • D50-D89…Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs, disorders involving the immune mechanism, etc.

2. Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)

They are the most commonly used medical coding types in most healthcare establishments. They are further divided into three categories:

  • Category 1 – Uses a set of five-digit codes that describes a particular medical service or procedure. It has six sections: evaluation and management, anesthesiology, surgery, radiology, pathology, and laboratory medicine.
  • Category 2 is a set of supplementary alphanumeric codes for tracking execution measurement.
  • Category 3 – These codes are used for developing medical technologies, procedures, and services. The CPT code may most often look like this; 90387, described as “Individual Psychotherapy. 60 minutes.”

3. Healthcare Common Procedural Coding System (HCPCS Level II)

This type of coding is built upon the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT). The HCPCS codes are used for paramedical supplies and products that are not directly related to a physician. Examples include medical services such as ambulances, drugs, stretchers, etc.

Note that ICD codes differ from CPT codes. The former refers to medical diagnoses and illness or diseases. On the other hand, the latter deals with treatment procedures.

To make the best out of the profession as a medical coder, you can take advantage of the available Free Medical Billing and Coding Online Courses with Certificates.

What Is The Importance of Medical Coding?

Medical coding has to do with data interpretation, exchange, and transfer. To have information overload, medical coding permits the effective and smooth conversion of large amounts of data. Medical coding also permits uniformity of documentation between healthcare establishments.

This means that medical coding for a given treatment procedure for an illness (cancer) reads the same everywhere, despite the location.

Consequently, medical coding permits efficient research and analysis in combating diseases within geographical areas. It also aids the government through its public health institutions to combat epidemics and endemic diseases.

Again, medical coding helps hospital administrators to judge the usefulness and effectiveness of a hospital’s prescribed mode of treatment for a specific ailment. It helps to present accurate data to healthcare insurers to pay medical costs. A medical coder’s biggest challenge is knowing current and efficient medical codes.

Where Can A Certified Coder Find A Medical Coding Job?

A medical biller or coder will find job opportunities at various companies. Some of these potential employers fall into the category of provider organizations, and some are part of the larger healthcare ecosystem.

With only a few states paying more than the national average, transferring to a new place as a School Nurse should be cautiously approached. Cost of living costs should also be taken into account.

Software and durable medical equipment vendors, insurance companies, government organizations, educational institutions, billing companies, risk adjustment vendors, healthcare consulting firms, and some law offices are among the companies that do not provide direct patient care.

Read Also: How can I become a Medical Coder in 2023? Schools, Cost, Programs & Salary

Skills Required To Become A Medical Coder

There are both soft skills and core qualifications a medical coder must possess to thrive in this profession. These skills are below:

1. Attention to detail

A medical coder must be able to pick the finer detail of every patient’s records. Because every code represents an item in medical practice, a medical coder must detect discrepancies or misinformation. Thus one must minimize errors.

2. Communication skills

The medical coder must communicate with both persons in his field. From medical personnel to patients and insurance companies, the medical coder must be able to convey information.

This is the customer care aspect of medical coding. It is needed both in verbal and written communication.

As a medical coder is also essential you understand nonverbal communication at work.

3. Computer Literacy

This is a requirement in medical coding. Bookkeeping will take place through the use of the computer and other applications. This does not, however, discount traditional bookkeeping.

4. Accounting and bookkeeping

Another requirement for medical coding is an understanding of the basic accounting principles.

5. Problem-solving

A medical coder must have the ability to solve problems and bring lasting solutions to difficulties. Putting order to chaos and creating structures in a system is functional and practical.

6. Teamwork

This is the ability to work with persons across several professions and fields without friction. To achieve optimum success in the workplace, you need to master the act of working as a team.

7. Discretion

A medical coder has access to sensitive materials belonging to a patient. Therefore, one must be confident about these medical cases. This is in line with the patient’s right to confidentiality. A default can lead to a lawsuit. 

8. Ability to work without supervision

The medical code should possess this ability to begin and complete a task without external motivation or supervision.

Related Post: What are the Highest-Paid Medical Coding Specialties in the World? 10 Best Careers

What Are The Qualifications Needed for Medical Coding?

Several qualifications are necessary to be certified in medical coding. Medical coders must acquire one or all of these certifications listed below to excel in their careers.

  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
  • Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)
  • Certified Medical Coder (CMC).

In addition, the above qualifications are tailor-made for the various aspects of medical coding. For instance, the certified professional coder codes for outpatients.

The certified coding specialist codes for inpatients, while the certified medical coder is less familiar than the other two. Still, there are general qualifications aside from the above, and these are:

  • Associate’s Degree in Medical coding or completion of a medical coding certification program
  • Basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology, and the medical coder should be able to update this knowledge.
  • Superior mathematical skills. This sounds like bad news for persons who have an aversion to math. However, what is needed here is basic knowledge of mathematics and calculations.
  • Familiarity with ICD-10 codes and their bookkeeping procedures.

What Medical Coder gets paid most?

The High Paying Medical Coder Jobs include:

  • Coding Director
  • Coding Manager
  • Medical Coding Manager
  • Remote Inpatient Coder
  • Coding Compliance Specialist
  • Physician Coder
  • Inpatient Coder.
  • Medical Coding Auditor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the benefit of becoming a Medical Coder?

One benefit of a medical coding career is that you can work from home. In fact, many medical health providers outsource their jobs, including medical coders.

What skills does Medical Coder need?

With the right certifications and soft skills, one can excel as a medical coder. Skills such as communication, attention to detail and understanding basic principles of math, accounting, bookkeeping, etc., are the prerequisites. Foremost is computer literacy. Asides from the certifications, one would need to either code for the inpatient’s arm of the hospital or outpatient.

What are the requirements for Medical Coder?

The requirements for a successful medical coding career are strong keyboarding and reading skills. However, if you want to know, you must also have basic math skills.

Is it possible to become a Medical Coder?

Yes, it is. If you have the right training and a little hard work, you can overcome the challenges of medical coding and billing. This will equally help you to land a great job at a critical time in the field. All you need to do is to enrol in the right medical coding program.


Medical coding is known for its resourcefulness in data collation and retrieval. Each code is the shorthand representing a medical terminology that describes every aspect of a medical treatment process. Facts used for medical coding are usually obtained from a patient’s records.

Lastly, knowledge of the medical coder’s salary will help you determine if it is the right career path for you.


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