Looking for a career in medical billing and coding? The median annual salary for professionals in this field is $34,000, or $16 per hour. The range of salaries for the middle 50% of workers is between $31,000 and $36,600. This equates to an hourly pay range between $15 and $18. Employees working in the lowest 10th percentile make on average about $28,600, or $14 every hour. However, those working in the top 10th percentile can make $19 or higher per hour. This adds up to at least $40,500 every year.
Many factors will determine the salaries for such a profession. These may include experience, certification, and geographic location. Professionals with both a bachelor’s degree and the proper certification will rake in a higher income. However, neither of these two are specifically required. Furthermore, geographic location plays a part on salary. States such as Texas and California tend to pay medical coders and billing specialists higher salaries. States in the Midwest tend to provide lower wages.
The average total compensation package for this field after benefits is $51,000. Benefits paid for by an employer may include social security and pension, health care insurance, and vacation time, among others.
Job Description of Medical Billing and Coding
Professionals in the medical billing and coding industry normally work in hospitals, clinics, and medical offices. However, nursing homes also employ such specialists. There are various position to be held in the field include administrative assistant, billing specialist, office manager, and front desk receptionist, to name a few.
With the help of these professionals, patient medical services are coded, billed, and entered into a computer. The invoice is then sent to the patient. Employees must handle insurance claims and account transactions. Overall, the daily tasks of someone in medical billing and coding involves a ton of paperwork.
Training for Medical Billing and Coding
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The educational path to become a medical biller and coder is a fast-track into the medical industry. Only an associate’s degree or diploma from an accredited program tailored specifically to medical billing and coding is required. However, earning a bachelor’s degree can raise job opportunities and provide higher wages.
Certification is not required, as many medical billers and coders have worked without it. However, greater job opportunities and higher wages lie in store for the coder that has all the proper credentials. One certification to obtain would be the Certified Professional Coder (CDC) designation.
Medical Billing and Coding Salary in Other Countries (UK, Canada and Australia)
Believe it or not, the United States pays rather low wages to medical billers and coders. The field has become much more lucrative in other countries. For instance, employees working in Australia can take home a yearly salary of about AU$180,000 on average. This is significantly higher than U.S. standards. Even the United Kingdom pays high wages to medical billers and coders. An average of £73,000 is reportedly paid to medical billing and coding employees every year. This is equivalent to $117,000 in America.
Canada, however, falls in the same category as the United States. Canadian employees can earn an average of C$33,000 per year.
Verdict on Medical Billing and Coding Salary
A career in medical billing and coding can be rewarding. The educational requirements are slim, so the path can be a fast-track into the medical industry. Wages are comfortable, but much lower than many other professionals working in the health care fields. The best thing to do is research information on becoming medical billers and coders in Australia or the United Kingdom. That’s a hefty salary to bring home.