Medical billing and coding specialists, also called health information techs, compile and process health records so patients receive correct reimbursement from insurance in a timely manner. The specialists typically rely on codes to ensure objectivity and accuracy when entering information into both electronic and paper systems. This info can also go into hospital databases or health registries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), coding specialists can earn an average of $32,960 per year ($15.85 per hour). The lowest-earning 10% make less than $20,440 yearly ($9.83) hourly while the highest-paid make over $50,060 annually ($24.07 per hour).
If you’re interested in the best employment opportunities for the profession, the best companies to work for are general medical and surgical hospitals, which pays $34,910 per year, or $16.78 per hour. Doctors’ offices are next, averaging $27,920 annually, or $13.42 hourly. Ranking third are nursing care facilities with a mean wage of $32,310 per year, or $15.53 per hour.
As for the highest salaries among employers, pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturers top the list, averaging $56,320 yearly, or $27.08 hourly. Next come business, professional, and political organizations at a mean of $49,500 annually, or $23.80 an hour. The federal government is next with a mean salary of $43,380 per year, or $20.85 per hour.
The state with the most jobs for the profession is South Dakota, with mean pay at $30,000 per year, or $14.42 per hour. Ranking second is Mississippi, averaging $26,850 annually, or $12.91 hourly. Nebraska rounds out the top three with a mean salary of $30,950 a year, or $14.88 an hour.
New Jersey boasts the best wages among all the states, averaging $44,470 yearly, or $21.38 hourly. The District of Columbia follows with a mean of $41,470 per year, or $19.94 per hour. Hawaii is next at an average annual $39,820, or $19.14 an hour. Among metropolitan areas, Flagstaff, Arizona, shows the most opportunities and has a mean pay of $34,220 yearly, or $16.45 hourly. In second is Yakima, Washington, averaging $31,240 annually, or $15.02 an hour, and third goes to Great Fall, Montana, averaging $27,600 per year, or $13.27 per hour.
The city with the highest-paying industries is San Jose, California, at a mean of $45,820 annually, or $21.77 hourly. San Francisco ranks next, averaging $44,800 per year, or $21.54 per hour, followed by Waterbury, Connecticut, at a mean $44,730 yearly, or $21.51 hourly.
The BLS predicts that jobs for medical billing and coding specialists will continue to increase by 22%, which is nearly double the projected 11% growth for other jobs in other industries. This is due to an aging population that will demand more medical services, which require entering into a computer. If you want the best prospects for the job, obtain industry-recognized certification, such as the RHIT or Registered Health Information Technician, on top of the required education.