The average medical coding and billing salary is around $40,000 per year, which is considerably higher than that of the average American. The relatively high medical coding and billing salary can be attributed to the increased demand for specialized coding and billing professionals in the medical sector. Medical billing and coding professionals play an important role in keeping track of services rendered to patients and in generating an invoice once the payment is made.
It is important to note that there isn’t a standard medical coding and billing salary for all individuals. Instead, the medical coding and billing salary of each individual in this field is dependent on a number of factors, which are listed below.
1. Work Experience
Medical Coding and Billing Salaries generally increase with the improvement of skills and increased experience. Trainees start their profession with a salary as low as $20,000 per year, but their pay can increase to between $23,000 and $35,000 per year within the first year of practice. Five to ten years of experience increases the salary to approximately $32,000 per year, while those with over twenty years of experience usually earn over $50,000 per year.
2. Expertise and Certification
Certified coders earn considerably higher salaries than their non-certified counterparts. Non-certified coders earn less than $30,000 per year during their first year and their salary generally remains below $45,000 per year, even for coders with more than twenty five years of experience. On the contrary, those who have degrees in coding and billing earn more money than those with lower qualifications or no certification. Specialization also varies the pay because of the wide variance in the amount and complexity of the tasks assigned to the employees. For example, those who specialize in medical coding earn an average of $13.05 per hour, while those who specialize in Medicare and Medicaid billing earn $17.45 per hour.
3. Place of Work and Job Definition
Those who work in larger organizations also tend to earn more than their counterparts, who are employed by smaller companies. Coders and billers working for insurance companies receive the highest salaries, which average about $54,000 per year for certified coders and $49,000 per year for non-certified coders. Hospitals pay slightly lower salaries; these coders generally earn around $34,000 per year. Home health and long-term care facilities pay the lowest at around $27,000 per year.
Job definition also affects the salaries of medical coders and billers. Those who serve as consultants earn the highest, an average of $78,000 per year for certified coders and $58,000 per year for non-certified coders. Those employed as office staff received the lowest, averaging about $39,000 per year for certified coders and $33,000 per year for non-certified coders.
4. Geographical Location
The salaries of coding and billing professionals vary from state to state as well. According to an AAPC coder salary survey, the best paying states are California, Maryland and New Jersey, where they earn an average of $55,000, $53,000, and $51,000 per year respectively. Professionals in Arkansas, Mississippi and Kentucky are paid the least, earning an average of $36,000, $37,000, and $37,500 per year respectively.
Professionals working in urban areas earn more than those working in rural areas. In cities and large towns, the average medical coding and billing salary is about $47,000 per year versus approximately $40,000 per year in rural areas.