How to become a Medical Biller or Coder in the New Year

become a medical billing and coding specialistFind out what it’s like to be a medical biller or coder

As you start the new year, are you dreading another year at your current job? Do you feel like you are hitting a dead end? Do you want to get into a more professional position, but don’t know how? If you answer “yes” to these questions, then it might be time to consider a short-term training program that can get you started in a new career field.

One popular career-training program is that of Medical Billing and Coding Specialist, also called Health Claims Specialist. This can be a good career choice for people who are interested in an office-based career in a professional healthcare environment.

What do medical billing and coding specialists do?

These healthcare professionals work in the back offices of hospitals, doctors’ offices, surgical centers, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. They are responsible for processing medical and surgical insurance claims. Health claims specialists use a special coding system to record the diagnoses, procedures, and surgeries that have been provided to patients. These codes are used during the billing process so that insurance companies can provide accurate reimbursements.

Why should I become a medical biller and coder?

People who are looking for a quick way to gain marketable skills may be interested in this career choice. Here are a few benefits to keep in mind:

Training for this career field can be completed in less than one year.
No previous experience is required to get into a training program. You just need to have a high school diploma (or equivalent) in order to apply for a training program.

You do not need a college degree for this career.
Many office jobs are in fields where you need a 2-year or 4-year college degree. But becoming a medical billing and coding specialist does not require a college degree. A one-year program will qualify you for entry level positions in this field.

Working in an office environment is a plus.
If you’ve ever worked in a fast-food kitchen, an outdoor job, or a retail environment, you know that your working environment can make a big difference in your job satisfaction. Working in a professional office can be a big plus: you’ll get air-conditioned comfort, a place to sit, a respectful atmosphere, and camaraderie with others in your workplace.

How do I become a medical biller and coder?

Training programs for medical billing and coding are offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and private career schools. Most schools do not require any prior training. All you need is a high school diploma (or equivalent) and a determination to study hard and stay committed to your education.

Most programs will start out with basic information that prepares you for an office job, such as keyboarding and basic office procedures. From there, the training will introduce you to basic medical coding, common medical terminology, electronic health records, the basics of the medical insurance field, and how to use computerized billing systems.

For more information on this career field, read A Day in the Life of a Medical Coder. Who knows, maybe this will be the start of a brand new career field for you!


The Harris School of Business, with campuses located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware, offers a Health Claims Specialist Plus program at several of its campuses. Contact us online for more info!