If you are thinking about switching to a career in the medical field, medical billing and coding might be what you’re looking for. On average, medical billing and coding specialists make around $61,000 annually, with no college degree required. These medical specialists help healthcare providers get paid for services billed to customers of insurance companies. Read here to learn more about the day-to-day of a Medical Billing and Coding specialist.
Increased demand for healthcare services by an aging population has caused a shortage in qualified medical workers, including billing and coding specialists. For those considering a switch to healthcare, now might be a good time to get started, here is why.
Medical billing and coding specialists don’t have to go through college to work in the field
One of the biggest roadblocks people face when thinking about a career in healthcare is affording a 4 year college degree. In contrast, working as a medical billing and coding specialist requires successful completion of a certification program which can take less than a year. The entire certification process costs between $1,200 and $2,500, making it amongst the most accessible but trained medical careers.
People don’t have to worry about not finding a job if they switch careers to medical billing and coding
If you are unhappy with your current job, you are not alone. A study by The Conference Board revealed that 53 percent of employees are unhappy with their jobs. Many people stay in jobs they hate for fear of not finding an opening in a new field. As is often the case, jobs go to the candidates with the most experience. This means those who switch careers may have to fight for even the less competitive positions.
However, medical billing and coding doesn’t follow that pattern. Medical billing and coding specialists are trained to work at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, medical laboratories, and other healthcare facilities. Most healthcare institution rely on these specialists to carry out their business, which means they will constantly need workers.
The demand for specialists is growing due to an aging population and a shift to modern billing and coding practices
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that demand for medical billing and coding specialists will grow 15 percent by 2024. By comparison, average worker demand for other careers will grow only 7 percent during the same period. This means people pursuing a career in the field are much more likely to find a job.
The reason is twofold. First, the number of senior citizens is growing, which increases demand for healthcare services. Second, health providers are updating to modern billing and coding practices, replacing paper with digital records. Both have caused an above average demand for qualified professionals who have the requisite technical skills.
Medical billing and coding is a career with flexible shifts and the potential to work from home
Large healthcare providers, such as hospitals, operate 24 hours a day. As a result, there is always demand for specialists willing to cover different shifts. There are positions which require working from nine to five, but non-traditional shifts have become popular as health providers outsource their billing cycles to third parties. Extra shift flexibility means that medical billing and coding might be a good choice for people looking for a second job.
Another attractive quality of medical billing and coding as a career choice is the potential to work from home. Innovation in technology and computer programs has allowed specialists to perform their job from any place with internet connection. This means a single specialist can offer their services to several healthcare providers at the same time, increasing income.
If you are looking for a career choice with abundant growth potential, medical billing and coding might meet those requirements. For example, someone starting off as a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) can be promoted to a managerial role as employers adapt to increased customer demand.
Medical billing and coding specialists enjoy good salaries
Medical billing and coding is among the best paid jobs not to require a college degree. In general, how much money a specialist makes depend on several factors, including location, experience, employer size and certifications. However, increased demand has raised salaries as well.
In 2015, workers without a certificate made $45,000 a year, while those those with one certificate receive closer to $51,000. By 2017, those numbers had risen to $49,000 and $54,000 respectively. Medical billing and coding specialists with advanced certifications earn even more. The latest survey from the AAPC reveals that employees holding advanced credentials such as Physician Practice Manager or Professional Compliance Officer make between $65,000 and $74,000 annually.