Online Medical Billing and Coding Programs

Coding and billing represent two separate roles, but the professionals who fill these jobs work closely together. When a patient receives service from a healthcare provider, these specialists code and prepare an invoice, or claim, which is then sent to the patient’s insurance company. Coders translate healthcare providers’ services into numeric codes, and billers use the code to create claims.

The field is expected to grow considerably through 2024, meaning that billers and coders will remain in high demand. Professionals who succeed in these roles are detail-driven and have the people skills needed to communicate with patients on a daily basis. Medical billing and coding specialists keep the healthcare industry running smoothly with skills learned through medical billing and coding online programs.


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Degrees

Online Medical Billing and Coding Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $18,732 18.13% 2 years $28,600 $34,100 1.7%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

Medical billing and coding roles typically require an associate degree, which can be earned in two years through online medical billing and coding programs. Graduates who complete medical billing and coding programs online face very low unemployment rates and can expect an average salary of $28,600.

Online Medical Billing and Coding Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Medical Billing and Coding

While not all the roles in this field require an associate degree, it can give professionals a competitive edge and accelerate their career advancement. A two-year associate degree earned through online medical billing and coding programs cost approximately $18,732, and job prospects for degree holders are strong.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Anatomy, Terminology and Healthcare Payers, Introduction to Healthcare Computer Information Systems, and The Healthcare Claims Cycle

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Associate of Science in Medical Billing and Coding, Associate of Science in Health Sciences: Medical Office and Billing Specialist, and Associate of Science in Health Sciences: Medical Administrative Assistant

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Health Information Coder, Clinical Lab Technician, and Medical Billing Specialist

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $28,600

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    15% increase from 2014-2024

Online Medical Billing and Coding Programs
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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Medical Billing and Coding Associate’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Davenport UniversityGrand Rapids$$$$$6191 Kraft Avenue S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49512-9396
(616) 698-7111

As one of the top medical billing and coding schools in the nation, Davenport University focuses on providing its students with the skills to meet the demands of today's industries while anticipating those needed for the future. Part of DU's mission is to maintain a 21st century approach to education, which is why it offers 390 courses and 50 full degrees online, including a health information technology AAS degree that provides access to state-of-the-art technology from the American Health Information Management Association’s Virtual Lab. Granting online degrees since 1999, DU is a leader in eLearning and has established several options for students looking for an online and on-campus blend. In many available programs, including the school's medical billing and coding certification, students enjoy the ability to start their studies in-person at any one of the available 14 campuses across the state of Michigan. This allows students to enjoy the level of on-campus experience they desire.

2Northwest Technical CollegeBemidji$$$$$905 Grant Avenue SE
Bemidji, MN 56601-4907
(218) 333-6600

For over 50 years, Northwest Technical College has been providing the employers and industry of the state of Minnesota with highly trained graduates in several different fields. To meet the needs of regional and global employers and students, NTC has partnered with Distance Minnesota to provide a number of online degrees, diplomas and courses, including medical billing and coding online. One of the school's missions is to match all programs with high-demand careers which is why each NTC degree prepares graduates for a variety of professional settings, including the school's medical billing and coding certification, which utilizes nationally recognized coding systems to ensure that each student has the necessary transferrable skills for a diverse health care field. To ease the transition from in-person studies to eLearning, NTC also offers students a free online orientation workshop to familiarize themselves with the eLearning system prior to starting their course.

3Cowley County Community CollegeArkansas City$$$$$125 S 2nd St
Arkansas City, KS 67005
(620) 442-0430

Since 1922, Cowley County Community College has been committed to providing student-centered education while embracing communication and engagement with the surrounding community. With over 80 programs available at the main campus in Arkansas City, Kansas, including 70 online programs, Cowley College is accessible for students across the country and the world. In addition to the increased flexibility online classes offer, eLearning students are just as prepared for their desired careers as in-person students. Students who choose the medical coding AAS degree online, for example, are eligible to sit for the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) and the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credentials, just as students who hail from in-person medical billing and coding schools. To ensure that students in the medical billing and coding online program have the necessary support, Cowley College provides one-on-one access to instructors and mandatory Blackboard orientation, making its online courses convenient and empowering.

4Community Care CollegeTulsa$$$$$4242 South Sheridan
Tulsa, OK 74145
(919) 610-0027

Community Care College in Tulsa, Oklahoma is a non-profit private educational institution that strives to meet the career demands of both the present and the future. In addition to courses taken at its 66,000 square foot facility, CCC also offers online studies, including its medical billing and coding online program, which is available 100% online. Benefiting from carefully crafted course curricula that teaches the latest industry methods and standards, CCC students become graduates with up-to-date knowledge, making them ideal candidates for the evolving demands of their professions. For a competitive advantage over students from other medical billing and coding schools, CCC students are trained in ICD-10, the medical classification system used in medical facilities today. All graduates of the institution also receive career assistance from a dedicated career services team, assistance that helps identify ideal career options and assists in putting together an application to secure the prospective position.

5Northland Community & Technical CollegeThief River Falls$$$$$1101 Hwy One East
Thief River Falls, MN 56701
(218) 683-8800

Northland Community & Technical College has provided education and career training for students in some fashion since 1949. With four campuses across the state of Minnesota and 10 overarching fields of study, NCTC offers something for anyone anywhere. To accommodate prospective students who require online studies, such as an online medical billing and coding school, NCTC also offers 18 online programs. Through eLearning, students are provided with nationally recognized training in a program that works around their individual schedules. Like the online courses at NCTC, students are trained to be flexible and well-rounded in their fields, such as in the medical coding specialist program which prepares students to work with a variety of medical insurance programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE. In addition to the eLearning experience, NCTC also offers a variety of clubs and organizations that students can join, including groups that focus on specific programs, clubs for like-minded individuals, and organizations for academic achievements.

6Central Texas CollegeKilleen$$$$$6200 West Central Texas Expressway
Killeen, TX 76549-4199
(254) 526-7161

Operating a total of six campuses around the world, including its Central and Service Area Campus (just outside of Fort Hood, Texas), its Fort Hood Campus in Fort Hood, Texas, its Continental Campus (made up of 25 military installations around the United States), its Navy Campus in San Diego, its Pacific Far East Campus, and its European Campus, Central Texas College has a true global reach. To bolster its influence even more, CTC also established a significant online education system that offers 30 eLearning degrees to students around the world, including a medical billing and coding online program which trains students in the latest terminology and coding standards in the medical field. As part of its institutional purpose, CTC vows to provide the necessary support and resources to all students, including those taking online courses. To accomplish this, the school provides full technical support to online students, anytime of day and any day of the year.

7Highland Community CollegeHighland$$$$$606 W Main
Highland, KS 66035-4165
(785) 442-6000

Serving a 230-mile area of Northeast Kansas with six locations, Highland Community College's mission is to provide students with lifelong learning opportunities and to enrich the surrounding community. With over 150 years of history, HCC offers associate degrees in 50 academic disciplines, 15 technical education degrees, nine online degree programs, and several certificates, including a medical billing and coding certification. While there are minimum technical requirements that must be met in order to pursue online learning at HCC, as there is in all online medical billing and coding schools, many programs, like the Medical Coding AAS degree and certificate program at HCC, provides computer literacy courses as part of its core curriculum to help ensure that online students are not hindered by the technological aptitude requirements of eLearning. By providing these computer skills, HCC also gives its students transferrable and universal skills that are necessary to succeed in any competitive market.

8Central Maine Community CollegeAuburn$$$$$1250 Turner Street
Auburn, ME 04210-6498
(207) 755-5100

Outside the twin cities of Auburn and Lewiston on the shores of Lake Auburn, Central Maine Community College offers students a range of degree programs, courses, and certifications both on-campus and online. In addition to its main campus next to Lake Auburn, CMCC also has courses available at partner institutions in Franklin, Lincoln and Oxford Counties. While CMCC gives students the option to take a variety of classes online, currently, the school's medical coding and electronic health records degree is its only program available 100% online. Students in the medical billing and coding online program have access to e-Racer, a web-based delivery system that provides 24/7 access to all coursework. Graduates of this program will not only be prepared to enter the workforce in a variety of medical settings, but they will also have access to additional medical billing and coding certifications and upper division coursework from other postsecondary medical programs.

9Minnesota State College - Southeast TechnicalWinona$$$$$1250 Homer Rd
Winona, MN 55987
(507) 453-2700

Set apart by 60 miles along the Mississippi River, the two campuses of Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical provide students in the Minnesota area with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. Additionally, with a student-to-faculty ratio of approximately 15:1, MSC Southeast manages to provide students with something many medical billing and coding schools struggle to provide: an individualized and interactive education. Both campuses were recently remodeled giving them a fresh look and feel for on-campus students, but the school also offers more than 20 programs that are fully online, including its medical billing and coding certification and program, for students who are studying out-of-state or need a flexible schooling schedule. Every one of the online programs offered by MSC Southeast, including the Medical Coding Specialist AAS degree, is asynchronous, meaning students can access coursework anytime, but, as with in-person classes, there are still deadlines that must be met.

10Cosumnes River CollegeSacramento$$$$$8401 Center Parkway
Sacramento, CA 95823-5799
(916) 688-7344

Set in Southwestern Sacramento, Consumnes River College is one of four colleges in the Los Rios Community College District. CRC is an open-access community college dedicated to empowering its students and community by offering 176 degrees and certificates over 50 program areas. To best serve its prospective students from its surrounding community and beyond, CRC also offers online programs, including some, like the Health Information Technology programs, which are completely online. As one of the leading medical billing and coding schools in the United States, CRC's Health Information Technology AAS degree enables graduates to take the national AHIMA exam, which is required to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). For students without a computer or Internet access, CRC opens a computer lab where students can complete their online assignments. While reinforcing the community by granting access to a well-rounded education, CRC also strives to preserve the environment for the future by promoting green initiatives on campus and within its students.

Online Medical Billing and Coding Choose Your Career

Average Medical Billing and Coding Salaries

$29,960
$62,300
$35,900
$49,310

Medical Assistant

Salary: $29,960
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
23% 591,300 Certificate None

Medical assistants typically work in a clinic and help physicians by filing patient information in medical recordkeeping systems. They may also collect samples of bodily fluids or tissue for lab testing, prepare physician tools and equipment, and check patient vitals. Medical assistants should be detail-oriented and should feel comfortable working with patients.

Health Insurance Adjuster

Salary: $62,300
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
3% 315,300 High School Diploma or Equivalent License required in some states

Health insurance adjusters process medical claims while identifying fraudulent claims and inaccuracies on bills. They negotiate bills, gather additional information from patients and doctors, and authorize payments by insurance companies. Adjusters must be highly organized and possess strong communication skills.

Health Information Coder

Salary: $35,900
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
15% 188,600 Associates Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist Certification

Health information coders translate patient medical reports into numeric or alphanumeric codes, making the data easier to process for invoicing. Professionals should be familiar with the three main coding systems studied in medical billing and coding programs, including CPT, ICD, and HCPCS. Successful coders will be able to process large amounts of information quickly without sacrificing accuracy, and computer skills are a must.

Clinical Lab Technician

Salary: $49,310
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
16% 328,200 Associates None

Clinical lab technicians analyze bodily fluids and tissue to diagnose medical conditions. They most often work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and diagnostic laboratories. Clinic lab technicians must be comfortable handling sophisticated equipment and working with limited supervision. Since technicians don’t work directly with patients, people skills are less important for this role. For this career path, earning a higher degree generally equates to higher pay.

Online Medical Billing and Coding Professional Requirements

While certification is not required, it can greatly maximize job prospects for those who complete their medical billing and coding programs online. Not only are certified graduates of medical billing and coding online programs more likely to find employment, but they typically earn around 20% more than their noncertified counterparts.

Medical Coding Certification

Individuals can choose between several different coding certifications. The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is the most common, and shows proficiency in coding and billing claims in a physician’s office. The Certified Outpatient Coding certification (COC) validates proficiency in coding and billing in outpatient hospitals or facilities. The Certified Inpatient Coder certification (CIC) covers coding and billing claims in inpatient hospitals and facilities, and the Certified Risk Adjuster certification (CRC) shows proficiency in applying diagnosis codes in risk adjustment payment models. The Certified Professional Coder – Payer certification (CPC-P) validates proficiency in coding and billing for health plans, Medicare, Medicaid, and other payer environments. Other specialty coding credentials exist to demonstrate advanced expertise in specific disciplines.

Is it required?

Strongly recommended

How long will it take?

4 months or less (though it varies per individual)

Medical Billing Certification

The primary medical billing certification available for grads who complete medical billing and coding programs online is the Certified Professional Biller (CPB) credential. A biller who earns this certification has demonstrated proficiency in all aspects of the revenue cycle, including various insurance plans, coverage determinations, coding guidelines, and the rules that govern the healthcare industry.

Is it required?

Strongly recommended

How long will it take?

4 months or less

Medical Auditing Certification

The primary medical auditing certification is the Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) credential. Auditors who graduate from medical billing and coding online programs earn this certification by demonstrating expertise in medical documentation; coding concepts; medical record auditing skills and abstraction quality; quality assurance and coding risk analysis; and communication of results and findings.

Is it required?

Strongly recommended

How long will it take?

3 months or less

Medical Compliance Certification

The primary medical compliance certification is the Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO) credential. Professionals who earn this certification demonstrate expertise in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, laws surrounding health care fraud and abuse, self-disclosure protocols, and common risk areas such as conflicts of interest.

Is it required?

Strongly recommended

How long will it take?

3 months or less

Practice Manager Certification

The primary practice manager certification is the Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM) credential. Practice managers who complete online medical billing and coding programs can earn this certification by demonstrating expertise in HR management, insurance plan differences, medical office accounting and the revenue cycle, and corporate compliance measures.

Is it required?

Strongly recommended

How long will it take?

3 months or less