Becoming a medical coding specialist is a rewarding and exciting career. However, like everything, it comes at a price in the form of time and tuition. With the new Health care plan to go into effect and will be fully operational by the year 2016. This field is expecting massive growth and as demand increases so will the medical coder salary. This article will give you a little more understanding of what is needed to becoming a medical coding specialist.
The first thing you should do is decide do you have the energy and time to go down a new career path. In today's world where we are forced to juggle so many things it may not be in your best interest to start a new career. If you are only going to get halfway through the course before dropping out, you are still going to have to pay back your tuition. A great way to avoid this is to put together a solid plan and be sure to leave room for emergencies. You are going to have to take a long hard look at yourself and make sure that you can take the time out for this. Once you have your plan set it's time to look for schools.
Medical Coding Schools are pretty easy to find these days thanks to the internet. A simple search on Google will reveal at least 3 to 5 schools in your area. Many of them will be offered at your local community colleges or one of the hybrid college/online colleges. Online classes can be a great way to learn the field but you much consider that it requires a lot more self-discipline on your part. If you are not a self-motivator this is not the way to go. Many people think online courses are easier but this is simply not the case. Only if you are a serious and well disciplined should you attempt online courses. Otherwise, stick to the more traditional form of education.
Now that you have your list of possible schools, it's time for you to do some research. You will need to check out reviews on each of the medical coding schools you plan to contact. Rip-Off report is a good place to start as they are one of the largest databases for complaints. The next thing you should do is look up to see if your potential school is accredited. Most of them will have some sort for accreditation listed on their website. The United States regulates and offers accreditation to all universities and colleges nationwide. This accreditation is extremely important to have as you will not be able to get federal aid or a student loan at you local bank without it. You also will have a hard time finding employment as most employers will not trust your degree if it is not properly accredited.
The next step now is to call the schools and institutions that made your shortlist. Make sure to ask how long the classes will be and setup an appointment with an advisor. Another good thing you can do is look up the teachers of the classes and stop by their offices. Most will be listed online in the school's faculty directory. They will give you some pointers on what to expect and even better, they will see how prepared and serious you are about this when you show up before enrolling. Most Professors give students a lot of slack and wiggle-room when they see them going above and beyond.
Once you become fully trained and certified, your can expect a medical coder salary of on average $35,000 per year based on statistics from the Department of Labor. Please keep in mind that the salary will be based on your work experience as well as where you are located in the United States.
Finally, you have to make a decision. By following all the steps listed above and doing a little of your own groundwork, you should have no problem becoming a medical coding specialist. Now is the time to make that plunge into a new exciting career and build that bright future for yourself.