Are Billing and Coding Jobs for You? Read On…

Do you want to get involved in a profession where you can help others, and also earn a steady salary?  Are you looking for a job which is going to offer you opportunities not only now but in the future?  Are you tired of applying for jobs with too many applicants and not enough openings?  If so, you might want to check into billing and coding.  These jobs have plenty of openings right now for trained professionals, and also will continue to grow in the coming years.  They offer a lot of flexibility in terms of workplaces and allow you to help out others in the medical field.

billing and coding jobsIf you’re not already familiar with medical billing and coding jobs, here’s what they are and why they’re important.  Medical coding is a process by which professionals classify different conditions and procedures into alphanumerical codes.  These codes make it easier for other health professionals to communicate with each other, and they are particularly important in the healthcare claim submission process.  That’s where medical billers come into play.  Medical billers have the job of submitting claims on the behalf of healthcare providers.  Claims may need to be paid by insurance companies or patients, depending on each case.  Sometimes costs are shared, in which case appropriate bills need to be sent out so that the doctors and nurses can receive their compensation.  Billers must also follow up on all bills to make sure they get paid.

You can see now why there is such a high demand for medical billers and coders.  Just as patients will always need doctors and other healthcare professionals to treat their ailments, healthcare providers will likewise always need to get their money.  That makes billers and coders important auxiliary staff members who are indispensable to the functioning of a hospital, clinic or other healthcare facility.

Training for Billing and Coding Jobs

If you want to get into billing or coding, you’re going to need to get some basic training.  These careers typically appeal to people who want to get into the medical field but have neither the time nor the budget to spend on an education to become a doctor, nurse or technician.  Some people also simply prefer to work in an administrative or support capacity and not be on the front lines in the hospital.  If this sounds like you, you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t take long at all to complete training for either of these medical professions.

Where can you get your education to start on the path to your new career?  You will have many different options.  Some people go to university to learn the skills they need, while others choose vocational school.  Online university is a popular choice to save time and money.  If you also want to get some direct experience in the workplace, you can try to get an internship through your educational program.  Both online universities and offline schools offer internships to hopeful professionals.  An internship introduces you to the medical environment and helps you to get a feel for the job.  You may also make valuable connections this way that can help you to transition into the professional world once you’re done with your education.

How long will it take you to finish your education and go into your chosen field?  Most people complete their training in under a year.  You may only need a few months if you’re focused.  You’ll be taking classes in the alphanumeric codes which coders and billers use along with classes in human anatomy.  Since the skill set for both jobs is similar, most people qualify to work in either billing or coding.  Some people do both at once, though most choose a specialty.  This is all part of the flexibility which the field offers you.  There is further flexibility in terms of where you decide to work since billers and coders are needed in many different types of facilities throughout the country.  Most billers and coders work fulltime but you may find some part-time positions.

How Well Do Billing and Coding Jobs Pay?

Before you decide for sure that this is the career for you, you probably want to know how much money you can expect to be paid if you go into billing and coding.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage earned by billers and coders in 2008 was $30,610.  The minimum amount was $20,440 while the high earners made as much as $50,060 per year.

So medical and billing are not the highest-paying jobs in the world—this much is true.  They aren’t bottom of the barrel either, though, and you can certainly live on the median salary, and probably put away a little each month toward your savings.  As you advance in your career, you might manage to climb into the higher earnings bracket and make as much as $50,000 a year, which is a pretty good salary, particularly these days when so many professionals aren’t being paid enough to live on.  Think about how many people you support and how much money you need to make annually before you commit.  These roles might be more suitable for an individual who doesn’t have a family to support than someone who does.  Or they might be better for a family with multiple earners and not just one breadwinner.

There’s also something to be said for having a steady income at a time when it’s hard to get a job with any sense of real security.  Unemployment figures have been rising and falling and rising again, and there’s no certainty on the horizon.  What is certain however is that people will continue to get sick and injured and will always need help.  Just as medical professionals know their jobs are secure and always in demand, medical auxiliary workers with billing and coding jobs know they can depend on the demand for their help to always be there.

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