Medical coding classes are available both as online courses and as a traditional courses in a classroom with an instructor. The American Academy of Professional Coders and the American Health Information Management Association provide information about reputable medical coding classes both online and in the classroom.
Medical coding is not a licensed medical profession. This means that unlike nurses, physicians assistants or some other medical professionals, medical coders do not require official certifications to practice their trade. However, in addition to work experience, most employers prefer to see some level of certification from applicants.
There are typically three different types of medical coding certifications. The first certifies coders in the types of codes used in individual doctors offices. Another certification exam focuses on the codes used by hospitals. The most difficult certification focuses on codes used by payers, meaning Medicare and insurance companies.
Medical coding certification examinations, like tests for other types of medical certifications, are expensive. For this reason, most new graduates from medical coding training take positions in smaller medical or dental offices while studying and saving money for the examination itself. These employers place less of an emphasis on certifications, but they do not compensate medical coders as well as health maintenance organizations, hospitals or insurance companies.