Why should I get a medical billing and coding degree?

The field of medicine and healthcare continues to grow, and the need for medical billing and coding specialists is on the rise. While many private medical practices and hospital systems may use a variety of software to store patient information, they still need experts to load and check data to ensure patients are getting the right treatments at the right time and are also being billed appropriately.

As a medical and healthcare specialist, you can find work in a variety of settings, including a physician’s office, large hospitals, or other outpatient medical centers. Most medical billing and coding specialists make $34,160 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although salaries can vary by state and experience level. A 2011 survey by the American Academy of Professional coders found that medical billing and coding specialists could make $46,800 annually when they obtained the Certified Professional Coder certificate in addition to their medical billing and coding degree.

You might not think of this as a dynamic career, but medical standards are always in flux and as you learn more, you become more valuable in your field. Over time, you could move on to a management position, overseeing other’s work and developing best practices to reduce errors.

A medical billing and coding certificate can be earned in under a year, but if you’re wanting a degree, such as an Associate’s degree, it could take up to two years to complete. If you’re wanting to get a Bachelor’s degree, it will most likely be four years, whether you choose a traditional university or an online program.

Want to find a school that has an online medical billing and coding program? Click here to read up on our top 20 picks.