Getting into the medical billing and coding field is an exciting career move. You can look forward to starting as a medical billing clerk and gradually aim for higher positions. According to the HR Reported market pricing survey data of September, 2011, the average salary for all medical billing clerk jobs in the United States is around $32,000.
There are variable factors that influence a billing clerk's salary such as company, level of experience, cost of living and geographic location, etc. This salary scale is commensurate to the job description of a medical billing clerk with at least a high school educational achievement or its GED equivalent.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual growth rate of an industry is around 10%. However, the job outlook for the medical billers and coders is expected to be 20% or more up to 2018. The places with large population of workers in this field are California (top place), followed by Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. From the traditional hospitals, you can find employment with a federal government agency, insurance carrier, specialty hospitals, nursing care facilities, physician offices and other business and related organizations.
With respect to the salary of a medical coder, many components such as location, kind of employer, experience and credentials can affect size of your compensation. According to reports, if you work in Dallas, you can get a paycheck of $31,000 to $40,000 while if you are based in California, you can earn $32,000 up to $52,000. A new medical coder can start on a $15 per hour salary if you are employed in Chicago but if you work in Maryland, you can expect a lower starting pay of around $13 per hour and then move to a higher rate based on your years of work. Additional data reveals that the middle-end ranked salaries in this field is between $39,000 up to $50,000 as of the year 2010. The top ranking group earns $56,000 and up.
Prospects for higher compensation can be bright also. You can specialize in a certain area like being a Medicare or Medicaid coder. If you are excellent in your job, you can see yourself getting promoted to a higher position and the benefit is additional pay and other bonus packages. Gaining a lot of experience and continuing your education and software technology advancement can also help improve your chances in climbing up the success ladder at a faster pace.
From your high school diploma, you can move to an associate or bachelors degree, then to postgraduate like masters and doctorate. Based on the data of the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC), salaries of credentialed medical coders continue to increase in 2010 despite the unstable economy. Salaries of credentialed coders rose by 1.5% while non-credentialed coders also increase by 1.2% during the period 2009-2010. Reports show that a credentialed coder with a doctorate degree can earn around $75,000 while a non-credentialed is around $63,000. If you are a credentialed coder with a master's, you can expect to make about $65,000 while if are not, it could be around $47,500. As a bachelor's degree holder, a credentialed coder can average about $51,500 in annual salary and $47,500 for a non-credentialed. And the same salary gap between a credentialed and non-credentialed goes on down the ladder from having an associate degree, technical, vocational and high school.
You need to have the determination and passion to gain the kind of success you are aiming by securing the credentials. Study and secure a Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Coder-Hospital Outpatient (CPC-H), Certified Professional Coder-Payer or others. You can also aim to be a specialist and be a neuropsychiatry, plastic surgery, interventional radiology or rheumatology coder. With this specialized field, you can expect to generate higher employee package benefits. Eventually, you can also aim for other administrative or management positions. When you have these credentials, experience and educational background, there is nowhere to go but up there in the highest ladder of the medical billing and coding salary scale.