How to become a Medical Coder

Woman standing at laptop

There are two paths to becoming a certified medical coder. You can either become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) with the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). 

The certification is required for most careers in medical coding. A certification exam if offered through AAPC and AHIMA. Each association offers courses on the exam, resources to find in-person instruction, and networking opportunities. If you are considering a career in medical coding, you are welcomed to attend a meeting in your area to better understand the industry. You can find a local AAPC Chapter here. This is a great opportunity and free for guests!

The career outlook for medical coders is highly positive in any area of the United States! Take a look at AAPC’s graph on salaries

AAPC Salary Map
This is the AAPC Salary Map for 2019. You can see the salary levels vary by region. Find out more information with AAPC.

Medical coders are an important position within the healthcare revenue cycle. Once you’ve gained experience in this area, you might be interested in a related career or a move up the career ladder. AHIMA has created a helpful interactive career map to search these interesting roles.

I became a medical coder in 2012. The most rewarding experience has been encouraging my colleagues whether in the workplace or through AAPC opportunities. Are you interested in this career? I welcome your questions and discussions!


Published by Sofia Colón

With my stories and those of inspiring Latinas, I share how to balance our family, community and career lives while maintaining our self-identity. I hope to help you become more active in these areas while maintaining your well-being.

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