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Medical Coding Specialist Career Guide

Written by: Leslie Ballentine

A medical coding specialist is a person who translates medical diagnoses and procedures from words into alphanumeric codes for billing purposes. Health-care facilities use the codes for billing purposes, for submission to insurance companies, to assess clinical care, and for research activity. Working as a medical coding specialist involves important responsibilities, and this type of professional has to be knowledgeable about medical terminology, pharmacology, and disease processes. The job outlook for medical coding specialists is strong, and medical coders often work in a variety of clinical settings.

Most medical coding specialists must first graduate from high school and then attend a program at a community college. Earning a degree is not necessary. Some coding specialists might also receive training through an online program. After completing the course of study, the student must then pass a coding credential exam to earn a certification in the field. After passing the certification exam, the graduate has earned the title of medical coding specialist and is ready to work as a medical coder.

Medical coding specialists will earn a salary that's based on their experience, their location, the work setting, and the difficulty of the coding work. Entry-level coders will earn less than more experienced coders, but salary increases are common. Some coders can also earn incentives based on the work performed. The demand for medical coding specialists is high, and projections indicate that coding specialists will continue to be in high demand for years to come.

Learn more about the field of medical coding by visiting these online resources:

Medical Coding Career Guide
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