Medical coders have a place in virtually every medial office in America. They are ever-present and they are an integral part of the healthcare system. Their skills are in demand and they command good salaries.
One of the best ways to illustrate the value a good medical coder provides is to look at reimbursement rates and medical coding errors. Good coders will have better reimbursement rates and fewer erros. Both of these results in a direct improvement to revenue without any increase in costs.
Because more revenue collected than otherwise it is obvious that a medical office, group, or hospital facility would want to hire the best in the business. And when you consider the fact that accurate medical billing/coding can decrease the amount of lawsuits brought against a medical facility you can see that experienced coders with excellent track records can command top dollar.
Medical Coding Salaries As Reported By The AAPC
The American Academy Of Professional Coders (AAPC) does an annual survey of it's members and publishes the results. In the most recently published study based on 2011 statistics, the organization reported that the area of the country you work in matters a lot in regards to your final salary.
States Where Medical Coders Make The Least Amount Of Money
It is not possible for everyone to just up and move for work but if you can and want to go to the state with higher salaries this may help.
Medical coders in the states of Kentuky, Tennesee, Mississippi, and Alabama earned the least amount on average. These states combined only averaged just shy of $40,000 per year in salary.
This is pretty good for the state based on cost of living adjustments but it is much lower than elsewhere in the country on a absolute basis.
States Where Medical Coders Make The Most Money
The flip side of the spectrum are those states where coders make the most money. These states include the Pacific coast states: California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. Of these top states for medical coding salaries California coders made the most averaging almost $58,000 per year.
Want to know how much medical coders make in Hawaii, Texas, Florida, Illiniois, or any other state the survey can give you a good estimate but it can't give you an entriely accurate picture because experience matters a lot in setting the salary level of a coder.
Other Factors That Influence A Medical Coders Salary
In fact there are a number of additional factors involved in setting the expectation for one's level of pay outside of physical region. To learn more about these other factors I have a post called: How To Make More Money As A Medical Coder which might help.
To summarize that post however I will say that experience is absolutely key. The less esperience you have the lower your earning power will be.
If you are just looking to get your first job in medical coding then you have show your employer that you have experience. This can come through the completion of online medical coding programs, through membership to one of the top medical coders organizations such as the AAPC, the completion of a coding internship or aprenticeship, or a combination of the three.
Before jumping right into the job field make sure to check out a few top medical billing and coding schools to see what their curriculem is like. The best employers that will pay top dollar will only be looking for well educated and experienced employees.