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If you're considering changing careers, think about a position in medicine or administration. Here are 10 great reasons to start considering a medical billing and coding career.
Many people considering a career change often don’t have time to devote four years or more to obtain a degree for their new career. You don't need a college degree to get started. Medical billing and coding programs don’t take long to complete. Many of them can be completed in under a year. After that, you can take exams offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and you’ll be certified and ready for the job market.
If you’re worried about finding a job after devoting the time and money to get trained and certified, we’ve got good news for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates demand for medical billing and coding specialists to rise by 15% from 2014 to 2024. That’s “much faster than average”. By comparison, the average job in the United States is estimated to see demand for workers increase by just 7% over that same period. That translates into a lot of new hiring for medical billing and coding specialists.
Of the areas within the healthcare industry, billing and coding is actually one of the areas experiencing the greatest evolution today. By improving the way patient medical records are shared and used, the US healthcare industry is looking for ways to reduce costs and improve outcomes. Medical billing and coding specialists are at the core of these vital reforms, placing them in the middle of one of the most exciting areas of healthcare.
With medical billing and coding, you have the potential to work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, administrative support centers, and medical laboratories. The fact that such a wide variety of organizations need medical billing and coding specialists means that you can look forward to a more dynamic job market that has plenty of options for you.
If you’re the kind of person who would love to have a job that allows you to help people without necessarily working with them on the front lines every day, then medical billing and coding might be right for you. Workers in this field generally don’t interact with patients. Instead, they’re in the background, handling patient records and ensuring all the billing and coding aspects of their treatment are handled properly. Introverts are welcome!
Night owl? Morning person? Someone who likes to be able to work when they want to work? Then you're in luck. Since most of the institutions employing medical billing and coding specialists operate 24/7 – such as hospitals – there’s a need for all kinds of shifts. That means if you’re not a 9-5 kind of person, it’s no problem. But there are even greater sides to that flexibility when it comes to where you can work.
Because most of the work done by medical billing and coding specialists is done on a computer, some employers offer the option to work from home for some part of the week. Whether you’re a young professional who’d like to skip the commute on occasion or a busy parent who’d love to spend more time around their kids, this option is an enormous advantage.
The BLS also has a wealth of data about where hiring for medical billing and coding specialists is highest. The answer is good news for anyone who loves sunny weather, because cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Houston are top places to work. Other areas that are looking to hire in large numbers are the greater New York City region, Chicago, Boston, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Dallas, and Baltimore. If you don’t already live in one of these exciting and dynamic areas, this may be the chance for a new start.
Nobody likes the idea of getting stuck in a position without any real chances to grow. It can leave you feeling frustrated, stuck, and looking for new opportunities elsewhere. Luckily, getting certified and working in medical billing and coding can put you right in the middle of the entire medical administration field. That means there’s the possibility of expanding your skill set and potentially moving up the ladder to becoming a healthcare administrator one day.
As of this year, the most recent date for which data is available from the BLS, the median medical coding and billing salary was $37,110 a year. That’s about $1,000 above the average for all occupations tracked by the BLS. But those numbers can be much higher depending on the location, type of employer, and amount of experience. The top 10% of earners in this field, for example, earn more than $61,400 a year. The highest earners tend to work for scientific and technical companies, where the median is $40,790 per year.