Medical billing and coding is becoming one of the most sought-after careers. Part of the reason for this is that the average pay is very enticing. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) prepared its 2023 Medical Coding and Billing Salary Report to determine the average salary for each state based on 2022 salaries.
Generally, having a higher education degree and more credentials is attributed to a higher wage in a STEM-related field. This is true in medical coding and billing as well. Medical records specialists who are certified earn an average of $56,290 each year, almost eighteen percent higher than the annual salary of $46,321 made by those who are not certified. Specialists with three certifications have an average salary of $71,361.
The District of Columbia, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have the highest medical billing and coding salaries throughout the country. This is largely due to the overall economy and the importance of healthcare. For example, Massachusetts houses the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which has produced extremely qualified and intelligent graduates who are amongst the top earners in the STEM field. In an effort to keep the "brain drain" phenomenon from leaving the state, most STEM fields have higher annual salaries to not only attract high performers to MIT but to also retain them within the workforce in the state of Massachusetts.
Similarly, California and the District of Columbia are home to large medical research centers. These have attracted foreign funding and increased immigration of medical and technological professionals to come work within the state borders.
Unsurprisingly, the criteria that make the difference between salary estimates on average per state are their cost of living and their importance in STEM - particularly in the medical field. Indiana has the lowest annual salary at $47,176. Mississippi has the second-lowest average in the nation, only paying around $48,908 yearly. It also has one of the lowest cost of living indicators in the country, placing first on the Forbes list of the cheapest states to live in.
Other than Indiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, all other states pay their technicians at least $50,000 per year or more, on average. Some of the lowest include Louisiana, West Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Montana, and North Dakota. Again, these are states that generally do not have a high cost of living and do not have access to major medical centers.
In 2022, thirty-nine states saw growth in medical billing and coding salaries. Vermont saw a 17.4% growth over the average 2021 salary within the state. Iowa (8.9%), Idaho (8.8%), Rhode Island (8.2%), Wisconsin (6.8%), Illinois (6.5%0, Mississippi (5.7%), Delaware (5.2%), Tennessee (5.2%), and Arkansas (4.8%) also saw improved salaries as well.
These trends may also change with the changing environments of medical billing and coding workers. While the job used to primarily be onsite only, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a change. In 2022, 55% of those who answered the AAPC survey worked remotely, while an additional almost 20% worked a hybrid of remote and in-person. This means that people may be able to live in a lower cost of living area while working for a medical practice in a higher cost of living area, allowing them to make a higher salary.
Average Medical Billing and Coding Salary
|District of Columbia||$65,000|