University of Wisconsin–Madison

Medical Coding Specialist/Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Medical Coding Specialists review medical documents provided by Physicians and other healthcare providers and translates this into numeric codes. The Coding Specialist assigns codes to procedures and diagnosis using a universally recognized coding system.
  • The reimbursement to the healthcare provider is dependent on the diagnostic and procedural codes assigned. Knowledge of both the medical and business sides of healthcare make this an interesting profession.
  • These entry-level Medical Coding Specialists work in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, Physician practice groups, surgery centers, long-term care facilities, and home healthcare agencies.
  • They are also employed by consulting firms, coding and billing services, insurance companies, governmental agencies and computer software companies.
  • They work in office environments using medical records and computer.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Some would like more patient contact.
  • There is sometimes frustration with expectations of speed and accuracy.

Getting Started

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2014 (Wisconsin): 5,220
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 188,600
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 217,600
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 15%
Expected Annual Openings: 7,120
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $36,990

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.

  • Medical Coding Specialists work a 40- hour week.
  • Part-time employment can be an available option.
  • This is an entry-level exposure that can lead a person to pursue many other areas of healthcare.
  • Potential occupations with this training: Medical Coding Specialist, Coding Specialist, Coder, Claims Analyst, or Outpatient Coder.
  • Without further education, advancement opportunity is limited.