Compare Degrees, Coursework and Career Potential
An online associate degree in medical billing and coding provides a relatively quick, practical route into a growing field in a lucrative industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the field of medical records and health technology to grow 13% between 2016 and 2026. An associate degree in this field prepares graduates for entry-level jobs or for transfer to related bachelor's degree programs.
Detail-oriented individuals who enjoy organizing, prioritizing, tracking, and transferring data typically excel in medical billing and coding careers and programs. The schedule flexibility of online programs also enables professionals to continue working while they prepare to advance in the current career or switch careers.
The page below outlines common career paths, curricula, admission requirements, and professional resources available to students pursuing an online medical billing and coding associate degree.
What is a Medical Billing and Coding Associate Degree?
Insurance companies or healthcare providers usually employ medical billers and coders to process medical information by transferring it into codes. These professionals then convert these codes into bills or claims, send bills to insurance companies or patients, and process payments received.
An associate degree program in medical billing and coding provides practical coursework on topics such as medical code and records systems, billing processes, and medical terminology. Learners usually complete most coursework online; however, a required practicum or internship at an approved site near the student's home gives learners a helpful introduction to medical contexts and operations.
Ideal for individuals interested in gaining a foothold in the healthcare industry, this degree qualifies graduates for entry-level positions at clinics, hospitals, doctor's offices, insurance companies, or other medical facilities. Eventually, most graduates either obtain coding or billing jobs or advance in related positions. An associate degree can also provide an inexpensive and convenient beginning for those interested in earning a more advanced degree.
The BLS indicates that medical billers and coders made about $40,350 annually in 2018, and it projects that this field will grow 11% through 2028, over twice as fast as the national average.
Why Earn an Online Medical Billing and Coding Degree?
An online associate degree program in medical billing and coding provides graduates with numerous personal and professional benefits. For instance, degree-holders earn the necessary medical and technological expertise to prepare them for continued education or entry-level healthcare work.
Career and Salary Potential with an Associate Degree in Medical Billing and Coding
While earning a degree does not guarantee graduates a career or a high salary, an online associate degree in medical billing and coding creates several career possibilities. Graduates who enjoy working with clients directly may enjoy general administrative support careers as medical receptionists, secretaries, or records coordinators. Conversely, those who like to work independently may prefer specialized positions as medical coders, insurance claims clerks, billing clerks, medical records technicians, and others.