The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

Anne Dennon
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Updated May 23, 2024
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Medical billers and coders turn patient diagnosis and treatment information into numerical codes that insurance companies and government agencies use to reimburse healthcare providers. You typically need a certificate or associate degree to become a medical biller or coder.

Attending an accredited medical billing school can equip you with valuable clinical and clerical skills to manage patient records and accurately process claims. Learn more about the top medical billing and coding programs in this guide.

Popular Online Medical Billing and Coding Programs

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Top Best Medical Billing and Coding Programs

#1 The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

GateWay Community College-Central City

  • Location-markerPhoenix, AZ
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$0
  • Out-of-state$0
  • Retention Rate88%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled661
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

Fox Valley Technical College

  • Location-markerAppleton, WI
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,230
  • Out-of-state$6,345
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled11,664
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment31%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

Sinclair Community College

  • Location-markerDayton, OH
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,649
  • Out-of-state$7,396
  • Retention Rate78%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled18,544
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment63%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

  • Location-markerBowling Green, KY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,296
  • Out-of-state$15,048
  • Retention Rate69%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled4,368
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment57%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

South Georgia Technical College

  • Location-markerAmericus, GA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,000
  • Out-of-state$6,000
  • Retention Rate63%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,611
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment56%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

Lake Land College

  • Location-markerMattoon, IL
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,139
  • Out-of-state$12,941
  • Retention Rate69%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled3,644
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment47%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

Waubonsee Community College

  • Location-markerSugar Grove, IL
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,079
  • Out-of-state$9,884
  • Retention Rate71%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled7,779
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment62%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

Paris Junior College

  • Location-markerParis, TX
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,210
  • Out-of-state$4,710
  • Retention Rate57%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled4,365
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment56%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

Barton County Community College

  • Location-markerGreat Bend, KS
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,368
  • Out-of-state$3,136
  • Retention Rate69%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled3,748
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment69%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 The Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools of 2024

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

  • Location-markerFennimore, WI
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,233
  • Out-of-state$6,345
  • Retention Rate65%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,520
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment35%
  • AccreditationYes

Benefits of Attending a Medical Billing and Coding Program

  • With a certificate program, you can become a medical biller or coder in under one year.
  • As of 2022, more than 70% of billing and coding staff work entirely or partially from home, according to AAPC’s 2023 salary report.
  • Promising job security — the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for medical billers and coders to grow 8% from 2022-2032, much faster than the average job.
  • Certified medical billers and coders can earn $50,000-$80,000 per year, reports AAPC.
  • With continuing education, billers and coders can advance into senior roles within 10 years.

Does Accreditation Matter for Medical Billing and Coding Schools?

Accreditation ensures that a program meets educational standards. Many employers only consider graduates of accredited programs, and accredited schools generally only accept transfer credits from other accredited medical billing and coding schools.

Types of Medical Billing and Coding Education Programs

You can choose from three primary types of accredited medical billing and coding schools or programs. While each type prepares you for the national certification examination, they differ significantly.

The right program depends on your preferred time frame, budget, and career goals. However, credits from accredited programs often transfer to other schools, so you have options as you continue your career.

Medical Billing and Coding Degree Program

A medical billing and coding degree program includes general education and classes specific to medical billing and coding. An associate degree program typically takes two years for a full-time student, while a bachelor’s degree typically takes four years. The bachelor’s degree includes more advanced topics and courses in the general healthcare context.

A degree program can be a valuable differentiator if you want to take on a leadership role in medical billing and coding. An associate degree from a community college is typically the most affordable degree option.

  • Time to Complete: 2 years for an associate degree, 4 years for a bachelor’s degree
  • Program Outcomes: Associate or bachelor’s degree

Medical Billing and Coding Non-Degree Course

A medical billing and coding non-degree course can provide a faster route to a career than a degree program. This shorter timeline may be worth considering if you want to start earning as quickly as possible, have a degree in another subject, aim to transition to medical billing and coding, or are unsure if this is your ideal career.

However, it is vital to ensure that the program is offered by an accredited medical billing and coding school or an accredited organization. Non-degree courses typically suit working students and are typically offered online for added convenience.

You may be able to transfer some or all of your credits to a certificate or degree program. If you want to pursue a certificate or degree in the future, check the credit transfer policy at the accredited medical billing and coding school you want to attend.

  • Time to Complete: 3-9 months
  • Program Outcomes: Eligibility to take the certification examination, the possibility of transferring credits to certificate or degree programs

Medical Billing and Coding Certificate or Diploma Program

A medical billing and coding certificate or diploma program can be very quick, with some lasting just four weeks, though most take approximately six months. Shorter courses may require you to attend on a full-time basis. Be aware that a certificate program is different from certification.

A school can award you a certificate, but only a certifying body can issue a certification. Like a non-degree program, you may be able to transfer some or all of your credits to an accredited medical billing and coding school.

  • Time to Complete: 2-8 months
  • Program Outcomes: Eligibility to take the certification examination, possibility of transferring credits to certificate or degree programs, diploma or certificate

Common Medical Billing and Coding Certifications

There are more than 30 medical billing and coding certifications available, primarily from the AAPC (formerly known as the American Academy of Professional Coders) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The following list explores some of the most common and widely offered certifications.

  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC): The CPC is offered by the AAPC, and is one of the most popular certifications. The median salary for somebody with the CPC certification is $58,895, according to the AAPC. The test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions across 17 different areas of knowledge. To qualify, you must be an AAPC member and take the required AAPC course or have relevant experience.
  • Certified Professional Biller (CPB): CPB certification demonstrates knowledge and expertise in medical billing processes, coding systems, insurance claims, and reimbursement regulations. Like the CPC, you must take the required AAPC classes or have experience in healthcare or medical billing to take the CPB certification examination. The test includes 135 multiple-choice questions about billing. The median salary for a healthcare worker with CPB certification is $56,981, according to the AAPC survey.
  • Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC): Risk adjustment coding is a specific area of coding that ensures providers and health plans receive the funding they need to cover healthcare for high-risk patients. This assurance improves healthcare equity. The exam includes 100 multiple-choice questions and is known for its difficulty. The 2023 median salary for CRC-certified coders is $64,192, according to the AAPC.
  • Certified Coding Associate (CCA): The AHIMA offers CCA certification for entry-level medical coders. You must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify. The AHIMA recommends but does not require either six months of coding experience or a preparation course. There are 105 questions on the examination, and you must bring your own codebook to the exam. The average salary for a CCA is $53,790, according to 2019 data from AHIMA.
  • Certified Coding Specialist (CCS): The CCS is a more advanced AHIMA certification than the CCA, and the AHIMA recommends either a CCA and one year of experience as a coder or other combinations of experience and education. As of 2019, the average salary for a CCS is $79,060, according to the AHIMA.

Advanced Credentials

Earning even more advanced certifications can help you progress in your career and negotiate a higher salary. These credentials require specialized knowledge of coding and coding administration. For example, the average salary for a specialty certification in healthcare privacy (CHPS) was $100,560 in 2019, according to the AHIMA, and a certified professional compliance officer (CPCO) earns a median of $81,495, according to AAPC data.

While advanced certifications like these may not have experience or education requirements to qualify for the examination, the AHIMA and AAPC recommend professional experience, training, or both before taking these exams.

What Courses Do You Take in a Medical Billing and Coding School?

Student billers and coders take hybrid courses in medical and clerical matters. Medical subjects focus on language — the medical Latin and shorthand communications of hospital settings — and how to translate those terms into thousands of codes. Office administration skills focus on billing communications among healthcare providers, insurance companies, government agencies, and patients.

  • minus

    Medical Billing and Health Insurance

    The core skills of the medical billing and coding trade focus on the reimbursement processes of health insurance and government agencies like Medicare and Medicaid. Improperly coded claims are regularly rejected, requiring time-consuming resubmission. Students need a solid understanding of coding procedures, payment systems, and fee schedules.

  • minus

    Coding for Hospital Applications/Medical Office Applications

    Students learn to submit and manage standard hospital billing claim forms, interpret medical data, and perform basic coding with two or more coding systems. Widely used systems such as CPT, ICD-9, and ICD-10 provide a shorthand for conditions, diagnoses, and treatments.

  • minus

    Medical Terminology

    Translating medical services into code requires familiarity with medical terms, including the names of obscure ailments and surgical jargon. Student medical billers learn the origins and fundamentals of medical Latin, along with the terminology and shorthand used in laboratories and pharmacies. Courses cover vocabulary for basic anatomy, body systems, and specific fields.

  • minus

    Medical Contracts, Ethics, and HIPAA

    Medical billers and coders handle private information, requiring training in ethics. Topics include care contracts, protected health information and disclosure under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and electronic health record incentives offered under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.

  • minus

    Medical Office Procedures

    Medical office administration includes managing electronic, telephone, and print mail; business letter writing; logistics planning; and task management.

How Much Can You Make as a Medical Biller and Coder?

Attending an accredited medical billing and coding school can be a good investment, especially if you want to earn an above-average salary without having to earn a college degree. The BLS reports a median salary of $48,780 per year for all medical records specialists, compared to the $46,310 median across all jobs.

The BLS also projects a job growth rate of 8% from 2022-2032, which is above the average rate. Some specialty certifications can earn much more. For example, according to the AAPC, certified professional practice managers earn a median income of $75,699 as of 2023, while certified professional compliance officers earn a $81,495 median salary.

Q&A With a Real Medical Billing and Coding Specialist: Julie Muniz, CPC


Q: Is there a lot of technical change to keep up with in the medical billing and coding field? What is the continuing education experience like?

“[In medical billing,] every year we receive new and/or updated ICD-10 Diagnosis code changes October 1 and new or updated CPT changes January 1, so every year you will need to have new manuals. […] There are also continual CMS (Medicare) updated guidelines throughout the year. In addition, you would need to earn continuing education units (CEUs) yearly to renew your certification. In my case, it’s 36 CEUs every two years for a Certified Professional Coder with the AAPC. This can be done with conferences, webinars, local meetings, etc.”

Q: In your experience, what are the most valuable credentials a medical biller and coder can receive?

“I would say the CPC for professional coding and the CPB for professional billing. Certification already starts you off at a higher salary level, and, of course, any experience you have before your certification will also add to your compensation. There are many other certifications if you are interested in other areas, such as inpatient hospitals, risk management, auditing, and compliance. There are also specialty certifications within the medical coding field that can increase your compensation and promotion.”

Q: What are the most rewarding aspects of medical billing and coding?

“The appreciation of the physician group that I work for with employee acknowledgments throughout the year. Also, the opportunity to work from home is huge.”

Q: What are the most challenging aspects of medical billing and coding?

“In my day-to-day, it’s staying focused, reading operative reports and deciphering the procedure(s) that the physician performed. Insurance company appeals can be very challenging when a code is denied. And also staying up to date on coding guidelines.”

Q: What advice would you give someone looking to enter the field?

“Definitely get your basic certification to get your foot in the door. Many employers will not hire without having at least a CPC designation. I have many co-workers who left other fields to learn medical coding and love it. It’s a great field to get into.”

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Billing and Coding Schools


Page last reviewed on April 18, 2024. All rankings and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by the ASO Rankings Team.

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