Learn about the interesting careers in medical billing and coding.

Cracking the Code: What You Can Do With a Medical Billing and Coding Certificate

By DeVry University

A 2014 study from the Department of Health and Human Services reported that in 2013 approximately 59% of hospitals adopted an electronic health record system with advanced functionalities; that’s quadruple the number in 2010.[1]

We live in an age in which new technology calls for qualified professionals who can organize and manage health information efficiently and electronically. Medical billing and coding specialists are in high-demand[2]; take a look at some growing careers in the industry, and see which might right for you.


Medical Coding Specialist

After patients visit a physician, insurance providers are sent a bill with codes for the office visit, condition treated and procedure performed. Medical coding specialists are integral to translating medical terminology into codes and assigning the codes to ensure providers are reimbursed.3

· Required Skills: Medical coders must have knowledge of the healthcare industry and coding, as well as extreme attention to detail to avoid over- or under-billing.[3]

· Work Environment: Most medical coding specialists work in facilities such as hospitals, physician offices, surgery centers, nursing homes, dental offices or mental health facilities.[4]

· Salary: Starting pay for medical coders is often ~$35,000. Those with specialty credentials can earn substantially more based on experience and specialty.3



Medical Billing Specialist

A medical billing professional ensures healthcare practices are reimbursed for care provided. As codes are input, billing specialists assemble all relevant data concerning the bill – charge entry, claims transmission, payment posting, insurance follow-up and patient follow-up.[5]

· Required Skills: Like medical coders, medical billing specialists must pay close attention to detail and have a clear understanding of insurance companies, policies, rules and regulations.5

· Work Environment: Certified medical billers work in hospitals, nursing homes, physician offices, rehabilitation facilities, and for third-party billing services such as consulting or insurance companies.[6]

· Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for billing specialists in any field is $33,820.[7]


Health Insurance Specialist

Health insurance specialists focus on examining claims and verifying eligibility for medical visits and procedures. They’re also responsible for making required changes and adjustments to medical charges and detecting coding errors. Other responsibilities may include assisting patients in understanding and obtaining their benefits and interfacing with internal electronic databases to update information.[8]

· Required Skills: Health insurance specialists should be trained in all areas of medical billing and coding, payment processing and medical terminology. They should also have knowledge of computers and data entry, strong verbal skills to engage medical staff, insurance providers and patients.8

· Work Environment: These professionals can work in medical offices or within government or insurance agencies.[9]

· Salary: The median salary for professionals working in insurance claims for any field is $50,463.[10]


Medical Administrative Assistant

Medical administrative assistants wear many hats, as they schedule appointments, maintain patient records, complete paperwork and arrange laboratory services. With more experience, some are charged with taking medical histories, collecting lab specimens and providing physicians with basic assistance during patient checkups.[11]

· Required Skills: Medical administrative assistants spend the majority of their time interacting with patients, nurses and doctors, so strong interpersonal skills are key.11 The ability to remain organized and to multi-task is essential as well.[12]

· Work Environment: Most medical admins work in physician offices, while some work in clinics and labs.

· Salary: Administrative assistants in any industry have a median pay of $35,330 a year.[13]

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these four medical billing and coding careers are projected to grow 22% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average.2

For more information on how an undergraduate certificate in Medical Billing & Coding from DeVry University could help jumpstart your career in the field, visit