Medical Billing Administrator Careers: Salary & Job Description

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Learn about a medical billing administrator's job description, salary and education requirements. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of medical billing administrator careers.
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Pros and Cons of Medical Billing Administrator Careers

Medical billing administrators work with computers and patients, entering code data and dealing with sensitive patient information. By looking at the pros and cons of the career field, you can determine if the opportunity might be a good fit for you.

PROS of Medical Billing Administrator Careers
Very good career growth (22% from 2012-2022*)
Relatively simple educational entry requirements*
Most careers are full-time*
Clean, lit, comfortable work offices*

CONS of Medical Billing Administrator Careers
Potentially tedious computer and desk work*
Possibility of part-time work or odd shift hours*
Employers may prefer certification or special code knowledge*
Limited advancement without additional education*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Information

Job Description

Medical billing administrators will find most of their employment opportunities in doctor's offices and hospitals. While they work in the healthcare field, medical billing administrators don't provide any health care to patients; interaction with patients consists of helping to address insurance claims and billing issues. Administrators also assist with administrative tasks regarding patient accounting and maintaining confidential information in patient's files. Billing administrators work with patients in-person, via computer and over the phone. Medical billing administrators must be computer savvy while working with electronic data and entering claimant coding information. Some of their common job duties include:

  • Patient billing and accounting
  • Claim coding and processing
  • Patient data recordkeeping
  • Routine office tasks

Salary and Career Outlook

According to PayScale.com in July 2015, medical billing specialists typically earn a median salary of about $34,000. Employment statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) place 37% of medical record workers in hospitals and 22% in doctor's offices, with the others in various other related locations.

Though job-growth information specific to medical billing administrators is not available, the BLS reports that jobs in the medical records and information field should grow by 22% from 2012-2022; this is significantly faster than the average career. Growth in the market will be aided by a focus on new healthcare legislation, advances in technology and an increase in the average age of U.S. population. The work that billing administrators perform is a staple within the healthcare industry that will continue to be in need well into the future.

Education Requirements

Medical billing administrators need to complete a post-high school certificate program in order to gain the education necessary to enter the career field. These programs are available at universities, technical and vocational schools, online and on-campus. Students learn about medical billing and coding, administrative functions, medical terminology and some variation of keyboarding or word processing. In a year or less, you can finish a certificate program and be on your way to completing certification, which is often desired or needed for career entry.

What Employers Desire

Employers are seeking applicants with billing experience and knowledge of code or software specialties in a number of instances. Many facilities desire candidates who can work flexible schedules and handle some office administrative work. Listed below are some examples of job opportunities as of May 2012:

  • In Kentucky, an experienced medical billing administrative specialist is desired; this position handles all billing and processing of claims. Candidates must have at least a high school or equivalent education.
  • A medical billing coordinator is needed in Michigan for a long-term nursing care facility. Position requires billing experience, and the employer prefers candidates with MDI software knowledge. This is a full-time job with health benefits and 401k.
  • A Nevada medical practice seeks a medical billing and reimbursement representative. Applicants should have at least two years of e-billing experience. It is a plus for candidates to have ophthalmology experience. Job is full-time and several coding specialties are mentioned.
  • In Illinois, a medical billing administrative representative is needed for a medical practice. The job is part-time, three days per week, with the possibility for 40-hour work weeks. Medical coding, posting and administrative duties are listed as job functions.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Associate of Medical Office Administration

It's possible for candidates to complete an associate degree program related to medical billing, rather than a certificate program, but most employers don't require it. The BLS states that a post-high school certificate is all that is necessary to be considered for the field. Therefore, completing a 2-year degree program, such as an Associate of Medical Office Administration, can really help you stand out.

Certification Information

Obtaining certification is important for medical billing administrators to advance in the field or gain employment. There are a multitude of professional organizations that certify in billing and coding specialties. The titles of the certifications may vary, but obtaining any of them can be beneficial to your career. Regardless of the certification you choose to earn, maintaining that certification over time requires the completion of continuing education courses. Some of the common certification options include:

  • Certified Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Certified Coding Specialist
  • Certified Professional Coder

Similar Careers to Consider

Health Services Manager

While there are other entry-level administrative options in the field, sometimes you will need to complete additional education or training to make that jump. Becoming a medical or health services manager is a viable option for those who don't shy away from learning. You would need to complete at least a bachelor's degree in order to enter the field, but the financial rewards may be worth it. Medical or health services managers earned a mean of $96,000 per year in 2011, and employment was expected to grow 22% from 2010-20, according to the BLS.

Registered Nurse

If you are a people person who doesn't mind some potentially stressful situations, few careers are more rewarding than becoming a registered nurse (RN). RNs provide medical care to patients, under the supervision of doctors or advanced healthcare practitioners. The BLS reports that careers are growing very fast, at 26%, from 2010-2020, and registered nurses earned an annual income of $69,000 in 2011. An associate's degree in nursing coupled with a license will qualify you to work in the field.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Health Informatics
      • Master of Health Information Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Healthcare Admin
      • BS in Health Information Management
      • Bachelor: Health Science
    Certificate
      • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MSHS Clinical Operations & Healthcare Management
      • MSHS in Biomedical Informatics
    Bachelor's
      • Dual Degree: BSHS in Clinical Research Administration/MSHS in Regulatory Affairs
      • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Penn Foster

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Career Diploma - Medical Billing and Coding
  • Campus Locations:
    5. American National University

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Medical Billing and Coding - Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    6. The University of Scranton

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA - Healthcare Management
      • Master of Health Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management
      • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
      • Master of Public Administration - Healthcare Policy and Ethics
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Organizational Leadership: Health Care Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    9. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
      • Master of Science in Health Informatics
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Health Care Administration, B.S.
    Associate's
      • Health Care Administration, A.S.

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Master of Health Informatics
  • Bachelor: Healthcare Admin
  • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

American University

  • Master of Science in Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education?

The George Washington University

  • MSHS Clinical Operations & Healthcare Management
  • MSHS in Biomedical Informatics
  • Dual Degree: BSHS in Clinical Research Administration/MSHS in Regulatory Affairs
  • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education?

Penn Foster

  • Career Diploma - Medical Billing and Coding

What is your highest level of education?

American National University

  • Medical Billing and Coding - Diploma

What is your education level?

The University of Scranton

  • MBA - Healthcare Management
  • Master of Health Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Regent University

  • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Northcentral University

  • MS - Organizational Leadership: Health Care Administration

What is your highest level of education?