Allied Schools Career Guide: Medical Coding Specialists – How ICD …

As a resource to all current and prospective students, Allied Schools, Inc. has developed this blog to provide relevant information to students, job-seekers and professionals alike. Use this blog as your “career guide,” turning to Allied Schools for industry updates, career trends, and job search advice. We thank you for visiting!

When your skills and knowledge are needed, they often become a hot commodity in markets where there are not enough qualified people to meet that need. This is what is happening with medical coding specialists trained in the ICD-10 coding system. As all physicians and hospitals transition to the ICD-10 system on October 1, 2014, the demand is now greater than ever for qualified medical coders.

Becoming a qualified medical coding specialist also means commanding a competitive wage. Recently, the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) conducted an annual salary survey of certified medical coders and medical billers. Factoring in differences of where the survey was conducted geographically, as well as the level of job responsibilities among those surveyed, the results concluded that the earnings potential of medical coders and medical billers is well above minimum wage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, certified medical coders average $34,160 annually, with an expected job growth rate of up to 22% from 2012 to 2022.

One reason why certified medical coders have such a bright career outlook is the specialized training involved, such as provided by Allied Medical School’s Medical Coding Specialist training program. Also, medical coders often utilize skills that touch on all areas of health care delivery, such as reimbursement issues, appropriate documentation of medically-necessary services provided, and as a resource to help ensure the physician or hospital stays compliant with government programs and commercial contracts. Being able to go above and beyond their job duties earns medical coders a good wage and the respect of their employer who depends upon them for accuracy and integrity with everything they touch.

Jobs For Medical Coders

As with most jobs, starting at the entry-level means new medical coders will likely be responsible for data entry, charge entry, and claim reconciliation. These tasks require basic knowledge and understanding of medical coding and the health care reimbursement system, and are extremely important for the vitality of a medical practice’s financial picture.

When the medical coder gains experience and training, they are often given more responsibility with the reporting of health information to third-parties and outside agencies. The medical coder can now determine the coverage of government and commercial health care insurance, and know the different code combinations they require in the insurance claims process. By helping to create coding strategies for the employer, medical coders assist them with legally maximizing reimbursement as well as preventing fraud and abuse of this system.

Medical coders may also choose to become consultants rather than work for an employer. Medical coding consultants work with clients to research code methodology, perform coding audits and give professional coding advice. They can also choose to become educators of the ICD-10 coding system, and train the next generation of certified medical coders.

No matter which route the medical coder takes, experience is the key to moving forward. Nowhere is this more important than when the medical coding student passes the Allied Medical School training and moves into the externship included with the program. 

The Medical Coding Externship allows new medical coders to get hands-on experience under direct supervision in a real work environment. This experience also helps the medical coder stand out as a candidate in the field.

Providing Positive Results


The world of a certified medical coding specialist is demanding, but also rewarding. Learning how to become one through the Allied Medical School medical coding training program will help you master what is involved, and put you on the path toward a high-growth, top-earning career that positions you as the physician’s friend.

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