Medical Billing & Coding Career Guide [+ 10 Pros & Cons]

two people sit at a table together looking at and pointing towards a laptop on the table. there is a stethiscope and pad of paper on the table, one hand of the first person is pointing to the computer screen while the hands of the second person are holding a pen and the pad of paper

For those interested in a career in healthcare, but not the demands of seeing patients and spending many years training, there are still important roles to consider.

A career as a medical biller and coder involves translating medical services for use by insurance providers, as well as ensuring that claim processing happens with efficiency and accuracy.

Keep reading to learn how to achieve a medical billing and coding career, plus differences between each role, salary expectations, and career outlook.

About the Medical Biller and Coder

How to Become a Medical Biller and Coder

Pros and Cons of Medical Billing and Coding

Medical Billing vs. Medical Coding Salary

About the Medical Biller and Coder

Though medical billers and coders have differing job responsibilities, they must work closely to achieve consistency and accuracy. Separately, these healthcare professionals must achieve the following:

Medical billers are responsible for determining the cost of medical procedures, submitting claims to insurance, and creating itemized bills for patients. Any issues that arise during this process are also handled by the medical biller, who is a liaison between medical coders, insurance providers, doctors, and patients. The medical biller is also tasked with ensuring that bills are paid and that processes are clearly explained.

Medical coders are responsible for collecting data from physicians, then translating it into an alphanumeric code that is understood by insurance companies. As translators of sorts, medical coders liaise between healthcare professionals and insurance providers for technically accurate and clear communication.


Taking a medical terminology course is a great first step to equip you with the skills and knowledge you’ll need to be successful.

Why You Need a Medical Terminology Course

How to Become a Medical Biller and Coder

The process of becoming a medical records specialist is relatively straightforward, though educational requirements will range by employer.

Some medical biller and coder positions require a high school diploma, or equivalent, and experience in a healthcare setting. Other positions may require a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. It is helpful to complete courses in subjects such as biology, anatomy, and computer science.

To advance your knowledge and stand out to employers, consider elevating your understanding of medical terminology as well. The University of San Diego offers a 100% online course designed for working professionals looking to earn an education on their own time.

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Pros and Cons of Medical Billing and Coding

Consider this side-by-side comparison of various aspects of being a medical biller and coder.

Job security Relatively short training period compared to other healthcare positions Fewer education requirements Involvement in patient care Remote work opportunitiesStrict deadlines Repetitive tasks Limited career growth Complicated cases may heighten stress levels Emotional impact of dealing with frustrated patients

Medical Billing vs. Medical Coding Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical records specialists is projected to grow 8% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the 3% average for all occupations. That equates to about 15,000 openings for medical records specialists projected on average each year over the decade.

The median annual salary across the occupation in 2022 was $47,180. However, earning potential is based on specific positions, location, job requirements, and more.

As you consider educating yourself and deciding which career path is right for you, remember that there are ways to advance your skill set and stand out from the crowd of applicants. When it comes to learning medical terminology, consider this free USD offering, “Why a Medical Terminology Course is Valuable to Your Career.”


Your health care career

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