Train for a Career in Medical Coding and Billing

Career Step’s Medical Coding and Billing program will prepare you to work in the rapidly growing healthcare industry and secure a better future for your family. As a professional medical coder and biller, you can earn a great income and possibly even work from home. This career path offers many advantages:

Financial security

Medical coding and billing professionals enjoy competitive salaries, averaging between $52,600 and $60,300 annually, and the potential for employment benefits.

Nationwide shortage

Well-trained medical coders and billers are in demand nationwide—it is estimated that 50% more coding positions are available than professionals to fill them.

Growing healthcare industry

The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing in the country, and medical coding and billing in particular Is expected to enjoy new job growth of 13% by 2026.

Employer partners

We’ve partnered with RCM Health Care Services, a premier provider of staffing solutions for over 400 healthcare institutions, to give you more job placement opportunities.

AHIMA student membership

When you enroll in Career Step’s Professional Medical Coding and Billing with applied PCS program you’ll also receive a one-year student AHIMA membership.

Expert-designed training

Our online classes are designed by experts with decades of experience to make sure you gain the skills you need to stand out to employers and excel in the field.

Over 100,000 Career Step students can’t be wrong. Choose Career Step and learn medical coding and billing online from the comfort of your own home. As one of the most trusted online schools for medical coding and billing, you can enjoy a successful career as a nationally certified coder and change your life for the better.

Medical Coding And Billing Job Description

What will I be doing as a medical coder and biller?

Medical coding and billing specialists review patient medical records and assign codes to diagnoses and procedures performed. The codes are then used to bill insurance and other third-party payers (such as Medicare or Medicaid) as well as the patient.

Most medical coding and billing jobs require professionals to work on-site for hospitals, clinics, physicians, and a variety of other healthcare facilities. However, it's possible to find medical coding and billing jobs from home as well. Many of these positions require a year or two of experience first, but Career Step’s relationships with employers have provided some of our graduates with the opportunity to work from home right after graduation.

Coders use 3 different code sets: CPT, HCPCS, and ICD-10. Career Step’s training will teach you to use all of these codes.

The Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program covers the CPT, HCPCS, ICD-10-CM, and ICD-10-PCS code sets. Most entry-level programs only teach students the ICD-10-CM codes, so the ICD-10-PCS training will give you a head start in the job market. With PCS knowledge you'll have better career advancement opportunities, and you'll be prepared to apply for positions in hospitals. When you graduate, you'll have the skills you need to earn a national certification and start working right away.

How much can I make in medical coding and billing?

Pay scales of medical coders and billers vary by employer, geographic location, and experience, and you can quickly increase your earning potential with industry credentials:

  • Average salary with 1 credential
    According to the 2016 Salary Survey published by AAPC, professional medical coders and billers with 1 credential earn an average of $52,605 annually.
  • Average salary with 2 credentials
    Medical coding and billing professionals with 2 credentials earn an average annual salary of $60,305 according to the same 2016 AAPC salary survey.
  • Career Step certification prep
    Career Step graduates are eligible to sit for the CCA, CCS, or CCS-P exam offered through AHIMA or the CPC or COC exam offered through AAPC. Your coding support instructor can help you determine which exam is right for you.

Career Step's Medical Coding and Billing program is approved by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), so you can have confidence that you'll have the knowledge and skills to maximize your earning potential in your medical coding job after graduation.

Is a career in medical coding and billing right for you?

If you want to work in healthcare, but don't want to deal with needles, becoming a professional medical coder and biller might be the perfect fit for you. Watch this video to learn more.

Medical Coding And Billing Training

How long will the training take?

Career Step's online medical coding and billing program is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study. However, the online format allows you to study on your own schedule and at your own pace, so your enrollment includes 12 months of program access in case you need extra time.

Are medical billers and coders in high demand?

Jobs for medical coders are booming and expected to grow 13% through 2026. And not only are there more medical coding jobs, but there are fewer coders! 6,000 new professionals will be needed each year to fill the gap created by retirees. However, only about 2,000 grads enter the field each year. This shortage means great opportunities, great jobs, and great earning potential.

What type of education is needed for medical coding and billing?

The entry-level requirement for medical coding and billing is post-secondary education. Vocational training programs or an associate degree is a good start. Typically, medical coding and billing programs include courses in medical terminology, coding systems, healthcare reimbursement methods, anatomy and physiology, and health data requirements, just to name a few.

What's the difference between an associate degree and a certificate programs?

Many people wonder about the differences between earning a certificate compared to earning an associate degree. A certificate program consists of taking courses focused solely on a specific professional or technical field. Associate degrees, on the other hand, usually require the student to take additional courses in other subjects such as writing, math, or other general fields. Earning a certificate tends to be the more streamlined approach once you know what career you want to pursue. So getting that medical coding and billing certificate is faster than pursuing an associate degree, allowing you to focus on career training rather than spending time on unrelated courses.

What will I be learning?

The Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program has been designed by experts with decades of experience working in and teaching medical coding. This experience has led us to a 3-part program design:

Foundations

The first section of the program covers things like computer fundamentals, the health information management process, and reimbursement methodologies so you thoroughly understand how medical coding fits within healthcare.

Biomedical Sciences

In order to correctly assign codes, you’ll need a good understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, and this section of the course teaches all of that from a coding perspective.

Code Training

The final section introduces students to all of the different code sets. You'll gain hands-on experience with 3M encoding software as you practice coding actual medical records and reports provided by our employer partners.

Some of the largest and most respected names in healthcare (including the leading provider of healthcare services in the U.S. and one of the nation's largest managed healthcare companies) use our curriculum to train their employees. Our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation. Choose training employers prefer.

In addition to knowledge and skills gained through the comprehensive curriculum, the program includes a one-year student membership in AHIMA, which will give you access to AHIMA’s mentor program, online peer communities, member discounts, and quality industry information. The connections you make with other HIM professionals through the membership will give you a distinct advantage in the job market.

Start your medical coding and billing classes online now!

Want more details about what's included in the program? Download the brochure or learning objectives.

Career Step Medical Coding and Billing instructors

Our instructors are medical coding and billing experts and are there to help you. Watch this video to see what they say about the state of the industry and the training we offer.

Medical Coding And Billing Online Courses With Tuition Assistance

How much does the medical coding and billing training cost?

Everything you need to succeed is included in one, low tuition payment of .

The tuition fee entitles you to an initial 12 months of access to the course. The program is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, and we provide you 12 months of access to ensure you have the time you need to complete your training and prepare to pass a national certification exam.

Are payment plans or tuition assistance available?

Career Step is committed to providing you with an affordable educational experience. To provide flexibility, several payment options are available.

What is included with my training course?

Everything you need to succeed as a medical coder is included with the Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program. You’ll have:

  • Complete online access to expert-created curriculum
  • ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS industry codebooks
  • Ebook textbooks
  • AHA ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Handbook
  • AHIMA student membership
  • AHIMA ICD-10-PCS Coding: An Applied Approach
  • Access to 3M encoding software
  • One-on-one support from your instructors and our technical support team
  • A voucher to take the CCA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, or COC national certification exam upon graduation (a $325 value)
  • Graduate support designed to help you turn your education into a job

The Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program includes 640 hours of curriculum. Start your course online now!

Do MyCAA grants cover the Medical Coding and Billing program?

Yes. Military spouses can receive a MyCAA grant covering up to $4,000 in program expenses. The MyCAA program covers 100% of the cost of Career Step's approved courses, so you can go to school with no out-of-pocket expense. If you have questions about this program, please call 855-261-7366 to speak with a dedicated military academic advisor.

CNBC reported on the growing need for medical coders and the current shortage.

WATCH THE REPORT

Explore A Medical Coding And Billing Video

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Career Step Reviews: Enoch, Medical Coding and Billing Student

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Medical Coding and Billing Career: Career Step Webinar

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Career Step Reviews: Devi, Medical Coding and Billing Student

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Medical Coding and Billing Career: Is It Right For You?

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Career Step Student Reviews

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State of the Medical Coding and Billing Industry Video


Medical Coding And Billing Program FAQs

Get answers to the most common and important questions about enrolling in a medical coding and billing program at Career Step. Our FAQs section provides answers to help you make an informed decision about your education.

Medical coding and billing is the process of translating information from patient records—treatments, tests, procedures, and diagnoses—into the standardized codes used to bill patients and third-party payers such as insurance companies and Medicare.

The U.S. Department of Labor's 2016-2017 report on the medical records and health information technology field encompasses both medical coders and medical billers. The report predicts:

  • A growing job market as industry employment is projected to grow by 13% from 2016 to 2026. In addition to these new jobs, there will also be open positions as people retire or leave the profession.
  • A high demand for coding services, sustained by an aging population and the increasing number of tests, treatments, and procedures.

In addition to this growth, there is also already an existing shortage of medical coding professionals. This shortage is estimated to be about 30% and is expected to increase to at least 53% with the industry’s shift to ICD-10.

Career Step’s training is trusted by many employers, including the leading provider of healthcare services in the U.S. and one of the nation’s largest managed healthcare companies. Some of our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation. Choose the training employers prefer!

CNBC

CNBC reported on the growing need for medical coders and the current shortage. Watch the Report »

Healthcare facilities and providers were required to transition to the ICD-10 code set on October 1, 2015. This was a huge undertaking as the number of codes increased (from about 17,000 ICD-9 codes to over 155,000 ICD-10 codes), the specificity of the codes increased, and thousands of personnel had to be trained on the new code set in addition to updating all of the systems that are in place.

These big changes have intensified the need for medical coders nationwide. With Career Step’s Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to stand out in the job market and excel in this field.

As in any industry, medical coding and billing pay information varies depending on the source. Career Step uses the 2016 Salary Survey published by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) to determine medical biller and coder salary information as it most closely reflects the skillset of Career Step graduates:

  • One credential—Medical coding and billing professionals with one credential earn an average salary of $52,605 annually.
  • Two credentials—Professionals with two credentials earn an average salary of $60,305 annually.
  • Three credentials—Professionals with three or more credentials earn a salary of $66,999 annually.

Those who hold more credentials likely also have more years of experience than those holding one credential, so it should be noted that experience could also be a factor in the increase in salary.

Medical Coding Career Paths Infographic

For more information about what medical coding and billing professionals can expect to earn throughout their careers, check out Career Step’s Medical Coding Career Paths Infographic .

The Career Step courses are specifically designed to prepare students for national, entry-level coding certification exams, even though certification is not always a prerequisite for employment. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), or Certified Coding Specialist – Physician Based (CCS-P) exam offered through AHIMA or the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) or Certified Outpatient Coder (COC) exam offered through AAPC. Your coding support instructor can help you determine which exam is right for you.

Although graduating from a Career Step medical coding and billing training program does not automatically award you a coding credential, the courses are specifically designed to help you gain the foundation and skills you need to earn the appropriate credentials, and you will receive a voucher to take the exam of your choice upon graduation (a $325 value). In a recent Career Step survey, over 81% of respondents who had taken a certification exam after graduation reported passing the exam and earning their credential—which is 15 percentage points higher than the national average!

Career Step has been providing quality healthcare education for over 25 years, and we’ve trained over 13,000 medical coding students since 2004. Our online training format allows you to study at your own pace and on a schedule that fits your busy lifestyle. Our Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS course is:

  • Employer trusted – Some of the largest and most respected healthcare employers in the nation are using Career Step’s curriculum to train their employees. Some of our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation. Choose training employers prefer!
  • Expert designed – Our program was built by experts who have decades of experience working in and teaching medical coding to ensure you gain the skills you need to excel in this field, and you’ll also be trained on ICD-10-PCS codes, which can help you stand out to employers.
  • AHIMA membership – A one-year AHIMA student membership is included with enrollment, which means you will have access to AHIMA’s mentor program, online peer communities, member discounts, and quality industry information. The connections you make with other HIM professionals through the membership will give you a distinct advantage in the job market.

With Career Step’s Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program, you’ll train on the CPT, HCPCS, ICD-10-CM, and ICD-10-PCS code sets. Most entry-level coding programs don’t include training on the PCS code set, so this will help you stand out to employers. You’ll graduate prepared to earn national certification and start working right away.

Get a peek inside the Career Step training program and find out what sets our training apart in our quick information session video.

In order to be admitted, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or a General Education Development Certificate (GED). There are no specific skills or experience that are considered prerequisites for entry into the Career Step training program.

The Career Step program is offered entirely online, providing 24/7 access to all material and allowing you to progress through the curriculum on your own schedule and at your own pace. The program is broken into modules, or course subjects, and has been designed by experts with decades of experience working in and teaching medical coding. Their experience has led us to a 3-part program design:

  1. Foundations – This first section of the program will teach you things like computer fundamentals, the health information management process, and reimbursement methodologies to ensure that you thoroughly understand how medical coding fits within healthcare and that you have the basics down.
  2. Biomedical sciences – In order to correctly assign codes, you’ll need a good understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, and this section of the course teaches all of that from a coding perspective.
  3. Code training – This final section introduces you to all of the different code sets and teaches you how to use them. You’ll practice coding actual medical records and reports (provided by our employer partners) and use the 3M encoding software so you have lots of hands-on experience and graduate ready to earn your credential and start working.

We’ve specifically designed this medical coding training program to ensure you gain exactly the skills you need to start working as a medical coder, and with our applied PCS training you’ll stand out to employers.

Some of the largest and most respected names in healthcare (including the leading provider of healthcare services in the U.S. and one of the nation's largest managed healthcare companies) use our curriculum to train their employees. Our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation.

See what makes Career Step different in our quick introduction .

Career Step student support includes access to:

  • Student Support Instructors and Advisors have professional experience in the industry and are uniquely qualified to answer questions about both the curriculum and the industry. They provide timely answers to questions about the program material and offer a number of personal consultations throughout the training to help students master important concepts.
  • Technical Support Advisors are knowledgeable, experienced, and available 5 days a week to help you work through any technical or computer issues encountered within the training program.
  • Graduate Support Advisors help you transition to the workforce after graduation. Your Graduate Advisors will help prepare the best resume, develop solid interview skills, and teach you valuable job search techniques.

Though the course is entirely online, you'll never be on your own. Career Step's student support team is available to offer personal, ongoing support all the way through the training program.

Meet your Career Step Medical Coding and Billing instructors!

The Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program includes 640 hours of curriculum. Since the program is completely self-paced and the online training format allows you the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows, the time it takes you to complete the course will vary from other students. Some students are able to complete their training program in as little as 4 months (working on the course full-time, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week) and others, who are more limited in the time they can devote to the course, take longer (for example, students who can devote about 20 hours a week may finish in about 8 months).

Every student who enrolls in Career Step’s Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program receives an initial 12-month period of enrollment. Though the programs are designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, you'll have a full year to complete your training. If you need extra time to complete the course after your initial one-year enrollment, we have 4-month extensions available for purchase.

Get an idea of how long the course took other students by checking out a few of the stories in our Graduate Success Library !

Career Step offers personalized, post-graduation resources for your job search, including:

  • Personal consultation with a Graduate Advisor
  • New job opening notifications
  • Personalized interview tutorials and training
  • Individual resume and cover letter review, tips, and advice
  • A CCA or CPC certification exam voucher upon graduation (a $325 value)
  • Access to Career Step's help hotline for a full year after graduation

These resources offer the personalized help you need after graduation to transition to the workplace. With this individualized help and attention, the majority of our graduates are hired within a few months of graduation.

In fact, many employers prefer Career Step’s medical coding and billing training. Some of the largest and most respected healthcare employers in the nation are using Career Step’s curriculum to train their employees. Some of our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation, and with the additional ICD-10-PCS training included in Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program, you’ll be prepared to work in a hospital and take advantage of advancement opportunities.

Learn more about Career Step’s graduate support in this quick interview with several of our Graduate Advisors.

Enrollment in the Professional Medical Coding and Billing program includes:

  • Complete online access to expert-created curriculum
  • Ebook textbooks
  • ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS industry codebooks
  • AHA ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Handbook
  • AHIMA ICD-10-PCS Coding: An Applied Approach
  • Access to 3M encoding software
  • One-on-one support from your instructors and our technical support team
  • Graduate support designed to help you turn your education into a job
  • A voucher to take the CCA or CPC national certification exam upon graduation (a $325 value)

Since the course is completely online, your computer will play an important role in your learning experience. We recommend the following minimum computer system specifications:

Hardware

  • Active internet connection (High speed/Broadband connection recommended)
  • 800 X 600 minimum resolution (1024 X 768 or higher recommended)
  • Sound card and speakers (Earphones recommended)
  • Available USB port

Software

  • Adobe Flash Player (ver. 10 or higher)
  • Windows Media Player (ver. 10 or higher) or Quicktime Player (ver. 7 or higher)
  • PDF reader

Browser

  • Internet Explorer 9.x/10.x/11.x
  • Firefox 3.x or greater*
  • Safari 3.1 to 8.0 (Mac only)*
  • Javascript and cookies must be enabled

Operating System

  • Microsoft Windows (XP®, Vista®, 7 with latest service pack)
  • Mac OS X (10.4.11 or greater)*

*The Medical Transcription Editor program includes a third-party software tool that makes the training only compatible with Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer.

Note: Mobile browsing devices are not currently supported. However, Career Step is investigating the implementation of mobile device support, and these specifications will be updated once a decision has been reached.

We realize that one of the most important questions tied to education is how it will be paid for. Because this is such a big part of the decision of whether or not to go back to school, Career Step has designed several tuition assistance and payment options. Please visit our Tuition Assistance page for more information.

It takes 2-3 business days to process the application, depending on your method of payment. Once the payment is processed, you will be emailed your course login and password and can start training immediately. Additional course materials are shipped UPS Ground after the payment is processed. The average wait is about 7-10 days. Your coding reference materials will be sent after you reach a certain point in the training program to ensure that you receive the most up-to-date materials.