Why This Matters

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 23,100 MORE OF YOU BY 2028


    The job outlook for medical coders and billers is bright, with 11% projected job growth in the next decade. Job prospects are best for those with training and professional certifications.

  • CHOOSE FROM 9 DISTINCT HEALTHCARE SETTINGS

    Medical coders and billers have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, physician offices, mental health facilities, and more.

  • CAN BE THE 1ST STEP IN A MANAGEMENT CAREER

    With additional experience and education, Individuals working in medical billing can go on to other lucrative administrative jobs, such as medical and health services managers.

Our Research

Education in medical coding typically comes in the form of an associate’s degree or a certification program. An associate’s degree typically takes longer to complete, but includes coursework that may be applicable to a bachelor’s degree, should you choose to pursue one. We included both types of programs on our list.

To ensure quality, all of the listed programs are offered by regionally accredited institutions. Many of the programs on our list have programmatic accreditation through bodies like the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Health Information Management (CAHIIM) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The programs we reviewed are delivered online, on-campus, and in hybrid formats.

Programs were evaluated based on their reputation, course strength, cost, faculty and flexibility. We calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best medical coding schools are flexible, well-respected, and affordable.(For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 69 hours to write this article
  • 183 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 243 education programs we compared

The Top 60 Online Medical Coding Schools

badges
01

 

What You Should Know About This Degree

Besides education, the most important step in becoming a medical biller and coder is getting certified through an agency like the American Health Information Management Agency (AHIMA) or the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). They offer nationally-recognized certifications that confirm to employers that you have the necessary training in medical coding and billing. You must pay a fee and pass an examination to earn certification. Many programs will cover the fee for one attempt at a certification exam.

The field of medical billing and coding is ever-evolving, as regulations and procedures are updated on a continuous basis. Select a program that regularly updates its curriculum to reflect changes in the industry, so that you are learning the skills you need to obtain certification.

The minimum level of education needed for a medical biller and coder is a post-seconday certificate, but some students choose to obtain an associate’s degree, as it is good preparation if you intend to pursue a bachelor’s in a related field.

Many medical billing and coding programs are offered online. However, they may have experiential learning components, like job shadowing or practicums. Review the program’s curriculum to find out if there are any in-person requirements, so you can determine if they will fit into your schedule.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Medical Coding programs:

  • Can certificate credits be applied to future degree programs? Some schools offer both certificate and associate’s degree programs in medical coding and billing, and allow students to apply credits from the certificate program to the degree. If you are interested in obtaining a degree in the future, selecting a school that will allow this can help you save time and money.
  • Is the program eligible for financial aid? In most cases, only students enrolled in degree-granting programs, not certificates, are eligible for federal financial aid. If receiving federal financial aid is a consideration for you, talk to the school’s financial aid office to find out what your eligibility is, so you can choose a program that’s right for you.

Research the program’s admission requirements and deadlines as well, and prepare application materials well ahead of their due date. This will help your admissions process go as smoothly as possible. You can find admissions information on the program’s website, or by contacting the school’s admissions office directly.