Why This Matters

  • 12,000+ MORE MEDICAL CODING PROFESSIONALS ARE NEEDED

    Positions for medical records and health information techs will grow 7% by 2031. The increased demand is projected to add another 12,300 jobs in the field.

  • EARN MORE THAN THE AVERAGE SALARY FOR ALL WORKERS

    The median annual salary for medical records and health information techs is $46,660, which means you’ll earn about $1,000 more than the average salary for all occupations.

  • WORK IN MORE THAN A HALF-DOZEN SETTINGS

    Medical coders work in many settings, including hospitals, healthcare consulting services, doctor’s offices, educational institutions, insurance agencies, government agencies, and law firms. They can even work from home.

Our Research

This list features some of the best medical and coding degree programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. The programs on our list are accredited by agencies like the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Health Information Management (CAHIIM), both of which are reputable organizations that assess healthcare programs for educational excellence and commitment to quality education.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of medical and coding degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 8 Medical and Coding Programs

Best Medical and Coding Degree Programs 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Keiser University
01
Best Certificate Program
Eastern Gateway Community College
01
Best Transfer Options
Cowley College
01
Best Scholarships
East Mississippi Community College
01
Fastest Degree Completion
Remington College
01
Best for Veterans
Northland Community and Technical College
01
Best Self-Paced Program
Lakeshore Technical College
01
Best for Dual Credit
Moraine Park Technical College

 

What You Should Know About This Degree

Most medical coding programs offer either a certificate or an associate degree. Associate degrees take longer to finish than certificate programs, but the courses for an associate degree can later be applied to a bachelor’s degree. Consider your ultimate educational and career aspirations as you evaluate which of these two types of programs is right for you.

Online programs can usually be completed remotely, but some might have a brief in-person component. Check for any such component, and make sure it’s compatible with your schedule.

Certification in this field is optional, but almost all medical billers and coders are certified. You’ll have a hard time getting hired if you don’t hold a certification. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Agency (AHIMA) are two nationally recognized certifying bodies.

Because certification is so important in the field, many programs will pay for your first certification exam. You’ll likely be responsible for additional attempts if you don’t pass on the first try.

Medical coding and medical billing are different job categories in the healthcare field. Medical coders work for healthcare providers, while medical billers work for insurers. The two professions use essentially the same knowledge, though, and the academic preparation for both jobs is the same.

What’s Next?

As you evaluate medical coding programs, consider these questions:

  • How long does it take to earn this online degree? Associate degrees usually require between 27 and 48 credits to complete. This will generally take two years if you study full-time. Certificates may be measured in courses, credits, or hours, and some can be done in as little as a few hundred hours. A few hundred hours of coursework takes a few weeks to complete at a full-time pace.
  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Coursework may be synchronous or asynchronous, meaning classes may be attended at a specific time or you may be allowed to do the work on your own schedule. Many programs offer a combination of synchronous classes and asynchronous homework.

When you identify a potential program, find out the required application materials and submission deadlines. You can get this information from a program’s website or by contacting the admissions department directly.

Also consider how you’ll cover the cost of tuition. Depending on the program and your employment situation, you might qualify for financial aid, scholarships, or tuition reimbursement.