How Much Does a Medical Coder Earn?

Chapter 1

One of the biggest considerations, for some, when considering entering a new field is potential salary and earning potential. According to statistics published by the American Academy of Professional Coders, certified medical coders earn approximately $39,000 per year.

In their 2005 salary survey, the American Academy of Professional Coders also found:

- Medical coders with ten years of experience average an annual salary of $45,000.

- Those medical coders with three years experience average $38,000 per year.

- First year medical coders pull in an average salary of $39,106 while coders, with five years of experience, average $38,688.

The contrast between first year and fifth year salaries, according to AACP, may be attributed to the healthy job market, allowing for higher salaries for new medical coders.

Alternately, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook for 2005 offers slightly more conservative figures, citing that the median salary for health information technicians (the category into which medical coders fall) was $25,590 in 2004. However, at the upper end of the spectrum, the highest paid technicians were earning $41,760 or more. Higher entry-level salaries may also be attributed to a shortage of qualified medical coders in the United States.

Education also plays a role in how high you will get paid. For example, those medical coders with master's degrees will earn more than a coder with a bachelor's or associate degree. According to the survey conducted of members of American Academy of Professional Coders, medical coders with a master's degree average $58,000 a year.

To find out the average medical coding salary in your region, and to get a better idea of what kind of pay you can expect with your level of experience and qualifications, you can use the following salary calculators: