Medical billers and coders, sometimes referred to as medical records and health information technicians, are important members of the health care industry. Billers and coders are responsible for assigning standard codes to specific medical tests, diagnoses and treatments, and for acting as a liaison between the medical service provider and a patient's insurance company. Many employers prefer to hire billers and coders who hold at least an associate degree, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. These health care technicians are well compensated for their skills and education.
Wages for medical billers and coders ranged from less than $10.03 per hour to more than $24.76 per hour as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median hourly pay rate for billers and coders was $15.04, and their mean hourly wage was $16.29. These hourly wages represent wages paid to all medical billers and coders at all levels of experience across the United States.
Wages for medical billers and coders may be significantly impacted by the geographic location in which the biller or coder works. Those medical billers and coders who worked in New Jersey earned the highest mean hourly wages in the country, at $21.99 per hour. The mean hourly wages paid to billers and coders in Hawaii and the District of Columbia also exceeded $19.00 per hour.
Most employment opportunities for medical billers and coders are with medical hospitals, surgical hospitals, private doctors' offices and nursing care facilities. Mean hourly pay rates for billers and coders who worked in these environments ranged from $13.69 to $17.24. Significantly fewer job opportunities were offered by the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, the federal executive branch of government, and scientific research services, but these organizations paid a mean hourly wage of more than $20.00
Many employers prefer to hire medical billers nnd coders who hold credentials from an independent, non-governmental certifying organization, according to the bureau. Credentialed billers and coders may also have an advantage when it comes time for promotion. Experience plays a significant role in determining biller and coder pay rates. Medical billers and coders can expect to earn $11.38 per hour during their first year on the job. Those with more than five years on the job earn approximately $12.75 per hour, while those with more than 10 years on the job can earn $14.77 per hour.