Medical Coder Jobs - Where to Start
Looking for a medical coder job? Good for you, you are in the right field at the right time. The US Dept of Labor expects a 27% or more increase in health information technician jobs by 2014.
Who hires medical coders?
Coding specialists are hired by hospitals, clinics, physician's offices, insurance companies, dentists offices, mental health facilities and more. Government and state health agencies also employ medical coders. As the health information field grows increasingly complex, more trained coders are needed to efficiently and accurately process information. Hence, the demand to fill medical coder jobs.
What hours do medical coders work?
Generally a coder works a standard 40-hour week. In hospitals there may be 2 nd or 3 rd shift positions available, but all others work a normal 1 st shift job. Work environments are usually standard office environments. Coders are one of the few allied health professions that do not involve direct contact with patients.
What type of education is required to be hired as a medical coder?
There are several levels of coding education. A two-year AAS degree in Health Information Management is preferred by some employers, while others will hire entry level employees with a diploma or certificate from a community college or online school. If you are interested in a particular job position as a medical coder, check their requirements before applying.
How do I become certified as a medical coder?
There are 2 main professional organizations that offer certification exams. The American Health Information Management Association(AHIMA) offers the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) or Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exams for $385. The CCA exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions and 13 case studies This exam may be retaken after 91 days, if needed, with additional fee. The American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam for $285. This exam includes over 150 questions and takes 5 hours.
Where do I find a medical coder job?
There are several possible routes to finding a job for medical coding :
Community college or online school job assistance resources
Traditional nonspecific employment websites (Hotjobs, Careerbuilder, etc)
Specialized healthcare employment websites (Biohealthmatics.com currently lists over 2,000 coder jobs)
Professional association job banks—AHIMA and AAPC both maintain job bank listings for members
Government sites such as USAJOBS.opm.gov or state job banks
Local hospital or clinic listings
Networking—your friends and family, your doctor, pastor, college instructors.