According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics the outlook for job growth in the medical coding field is 15% over the next 10 years, that’s much faster than average. One reason for this growth is that in October of 2015 a major change in the industry occurred. All healthcare providers were required to switch from using ICD-9 codes to a more complicated, internationally recognized set of codes called ICD-10. This system is even more detailed and has more than quadrupled the number of codes available. It is estimated that this major change will reduce the average coder’s productivity by up to 50%. As a result, even years after this change-over, many employers are hiring, and more are willing to overlook their 1-2 year experience requirement to train newly certified coders in-house.
The average annual salary for medical coders is $40,000, however this varies greatly depending on the region you live in and level of experience. Top-level coders can expect to make around $60,000. There are a variety of websites out there that can help you estimate what the average medical coder makes in your area. Glassdoor provides detailed salary information based on your zip code. Indeed uses local job listings to give you an overall picture of what local employers pay.
There is room for advancement in the medical coding field. Experienced coders can advance their earnings potential by receiving multiple credentials from the AAPC and AHIMA or by expanding into specialized certifications like cardiology or pediatrics. They can also be promoted to peer reviewers, supervisors and auditors.