Medical billing and coding professionals can verify their knowledge, skills and experience by obtaining professional certifications. These credentials are offered by two main governing bodies and can be earned by taking exams. Some certifications also require specific work or educational experience.
While it is possible to pursue careers in medical billing and coding without professional certifications, certification shows that a person has been properly trained and has the knowledge and skills needed to be a proficient medical coder or biller. Here are some top reasons to get certified:
According to American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) salary reports, Certified Professional Coders (CPC) earn 20 percent more than their noncertified counterparts.
Although the medical coding and billing field is growing faster than average with a 15 percent project growth by 2024, it is a competitive market. Most employers look for professionals who have at least one certification or who can get certified shortly after hire. (Job outlook) (How to become)
Opportunities for advancement
Becoming certified, especially in multiple coding specialties, allows professionals to move into new job positions more easily and shows employers a dedication to continuing education and the field as a whole. This display of dedication pays off. In fact, in 2015, AAPC members with two or more certifications earned 24.5 percent more than those with one certification. Members with three or more certifications earned nearly 40 percent more than those with only one. (Align your credentials) (Credentials tip the scale)
While becoming a member of certification-granting organizations is not always necessary to become certified, membership does open up connections to other medical coding and billing professionals. Connecting with individuals and groups who understand and value professional certifications and education can lead to a variety of opportunities. (Networking)
The benefits that come with passing a certification exam are not just for potential employers. Certified individuals can feel confident in the accuracy of their work, and training for certifications can lead to new knowledge and growth as a professional.