The Center for Professional Studies at Towson University delivers professional certification courses that address critical skills gaps in high growth industries. One career that is forecast to grow at a rate of 15% a year for the next 10 years is medical coding. But did you know that Maryland ranks as one of the top paying states for medical coders with an hourly wage of $21.96 and an annual wage of $45,670? More than that, the Baltimore-Towson area ranks among the highest employment levels in the US.
A Career in Medical Coding
Medical coders work with confidential patient information. As a medical coder you compile, process, and maintain medical records for billing according to very strict regulations consistent with the healthcare industry. Medical coding professionals work in a variety of settings including: physician offices, nursing homes, ambulatory care centers, surgical centers, urgent care centers and with additional training, the hospital setting. Many medical coders are independent and work from home. If that isn’t enough to convince you, here are six more reasons!
1. Work in a Profession that is in Demand
We’ve already established that medical coding is a high-demand occupation, and will likely remain that way for the next few decades. But what does that mean for you? Job security for one thing. Competitive pay is a direct result of high demand which in addition to job security makes medical coding a really viable option for career changers.
2. Short Term Education
While most jobs in the health care industry require years of specialized training, you can be prepared for a career as a medical coder in much less time than other healthcare careers. Towson University Center for Professional Studies has just announced a new Medical Coding program that starts in July. By the time the holidays roll around, you’ll be ready to join the job market.
3. Work in the Health Care Industry
Working in medical billing is an excellent way to be a part of the health care field for those who are not necessarily inclined to work directly with patients. You can be proud that you are serving in an industry that helps countless people every day.
4. Lifelong Learning
The complex standards and best practices surrounding insurance billing, Medicare, and Medicaid are constantly changing. While often routine, there are enough regular changes to coding requirements to keep you active and alert in your job. The ability to keep learning is important to long-term job satisfaction and is something you will definitely find in the medical coding profession.
5. Predictable Work Schedule
The majority of medical coders work in physician offices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes or for contractors that provide support services for all of these. The advantage of steady work on a predictable schedule, often with good benefits, is appealing to many. While many in the health care industry work long and often unpredictable hours, a medical coder can expect to work a 40 hour work week.
6. Make Your Work Schedule Fit Your Life
So, we know that a 9:00 to 5:00 schedule is not for everyone. While most medical coders are employed to work normal business hours, a growing number are self-employed freelancers. The expanding use of internet technologies has made it possible for more medical coding to be done remotely. If you are an entrepreneur at heart or need the flexibility of working from home, working as an independent medical coder may be the perfect option for you.
It’s fast. It’s flexible. And it’s a great foundation for a new career. Medical coding offers many possibilities for someone looking to begin a new career. It is definitely a path worth considering. Want to learn more about Towson’s new medical coding program? Click here to view course details and to register.