Why You Should Consider a Certified Coding Specialist Certification


By DeVry University

September 30, 2022
3 min read

If you’re already working in the industry or working toward pursuing a career in medical billing and coding, then a certified coding specialist (CCS) certification may be a useful tool to have. This professional certification allows you to demonstrate your understanding and commitment to the medical coding industry as well as your determination.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the reasons why you should consider a CCS certification, it’s potential benefits for you and your career and more in the following sections:

What is a Certified Coding Specialist Certification?

A certified coding specialist, or  CCS certification, is a professional credential for medical billers and coders awarded by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). It shows you have achieved a high level of proficiency with various skills essential to medical billing and coding, including data quality, accuracy and proficiency. During the exam you will be tested on reviewing patient records, your comprehension of the latest ICD codes and various medical terminology.

What Education is Needed to Earn a CCS Certification?

While AHIMA does not outline any education requirements specifically, it does recommend you complete some of the following before pursuing the certification exam:

  • A minimum of 2 years of experience applying codes
  • Complete courses in anatomy, pharmacology, physiology and other healthcare subjects, plus a year of applying codes
  • Hold a Certified Coding Associate (CCA) certification, plus 1 year of coding experience
  • Hold another coding credential from a certifying organization, plus 1 year of experience, or a CCS-P, RHIT or RHIA credential

While formal medical billing and coding training might not be required, not having any might make it more challenging when it comes to preparing for and taking the exam. As you prepare to pursue your CCS certification, consider enrolling in a medical billing and coding program can help you develop many of the foundational skills you need to pursue a career in this field.

At DeVry, our Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding offers hands-on learning experiences that give you the chance to practice with some of the technology and tools you’ll encounter in the medical billing and coding field, and has CCS certification exam prep built right into the curriculum. 

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What are the Benefits of a Certified Coding Specialist Certification?

While this list is not exhaustive, here are a few examples of the ways that earning a CCS certification can be a very beneficial step in your medical billing and coding career:

  • Increases medical knowledge: By studying and preparing for the certification exam, you will have the chance to not only deepen your current knowledge, but also learn new information that can expand your understanding of the field you as you move forward.
  • Demonstrates initiative: Actively pursuing a certification of this kind shows potential employers a forward-thinking, goal driven mindset that might help you stand out.
  • Shows competency and proficiency: A certification is a great measuring stick for how well you grasp the information that’s on the exam, and how well you can apply it.
  • Expands the types of jobs you can consider: Certain jobs may require candidates to hold a CCS certification. If that’s the case, becoming a Certified Coding Specialist may help you broaden the list of jobs you might want to consider after graduation.
  • Boost your confidence: Earning a certification can serve as a reminder of your accomplishments, skill level and boost your confidence for yourself, or when you want to advance your career. 

Prepare to Pursue Your CCS Certification with Help from DeVry

If you’re preparing to take the Certified Coding Specialist certification exam, DeVry can help. Our 100% online Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding program has CCS exam prep built right into the curriculum, and is taught by knowledgeable and experienced staff who are there to answer your questions and help guide you along the way. Classes start every 8 weeks. 

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Lana Gatewood

Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding, 2023


Before I began my classes here at DeVry, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I saw an advertisement for Medical Billing and Coding and thought, "I can do that." So when I called to speak with Admissions they were very friendly and helpful.  I started the classes, which I was very nervous about, as I am an older student, and I realized that learning online wasn't as hard as I thought it was. I managed to maintain at least a 3.78 GPA and learned so much about Medical Billing and Coding. I definitely recommend DeVry for your educational needs.


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