Medical Billing

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medical billing coding programs

How Long Are Medical Billing Coding Programs?

Starting a career can be an exciting journey. But some elements temporarily hurdle the way of achieving your career goals and that is courses. Almost all careers require skill knowledge about the profession which only comes through courses or programs. Talking specifically about the healthcare industry, medical billing coding programs will be your first ever step to stepping into this career.

So what are the types of these programs and how long does it take? Have a look at the detailed guide on whether you should go for medical billing coding programs or not.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Medical Biller And Coder

Before understanding what these programs are, let us tell you the entire career process that can help you know when to expect to become a biller or coder. This average duration may help you plan your career.

With the help of this assessment, you better know when to take these programs and how to get started.

High School Diploma Or Equivalent

This diploma may take 4 years of your high school.

Post-Secondary Education

In this step, if you take medical billing coding programs, it will take you 1-2 years.


During your program duration, coursework will take 1-2 years approx.


After completing high school and taking billing/coding courses, you become eligible for an internship which may take 3 to 6 months.


Even after the internship, if you want to polish your skills, you can take proper medical coding exams and gain a certificate. It will also help you secure a high salary.

Certification may depend on institutes, but typically it lasts several months.

Job Search

Here you are fully equipped to handle a full-time job. But it depends on your luck.

Some people have expanded networks which get them a job as soon as they are done with their education, while some people are stuck in the job-hunting process.

So in total, when we start from scratch until we get a job, after high school it takes 2-3 years only to become a medical biller or coder. Again, time may vary based on your continuity and pace, so it may take more or less years as well.

How Long Are Medical Billing Coding Programs?

Course outline of medical billing and coding

In order to get a high-paying job, it is essential to enhance your skills through relative courses.

Here when we talk about medical billing coding programs, you should know that it increases your chances of securing a high salary and other benefits.

While some organizations consider these programs a basic requirement, many healthcare facilities may prefer you over other candidates just due to this achievement. 

So how long does this program take? The answer is difficult, as there are different types of courses. Let’s see about these program’s variability and how much time each takes.

Certificate Programs (6 months to 1 year)

These programs are a direct and most efficient way to become a medical coder or biller. In this course, you will study all the essentials of coding billing. It enables you to start a career without basic educational requirements.

Diploma Programs (1 year to 18 months)

Diploma medical billing coding programs include more in-depth study. You will gain more knowledge when you complete these diplomas. These programs may also include additional coursework to polish your skills.

Associate’s Degree Program (2 years approx)

This is the most vast medical billing and coding program which includes education about other related areas as well. Since this is a descriptive program, it may take 2 or more years to complete. 

Following is the impact of program type on career growth:

Program TypeInitial Salary RangeTypical Entry-Level PositionsTypical Mid-Level PositionsTypical Senior-Level Positions
Certificate$35,000 – $45,000Medical Billing SpecialistCoding SupervisorCompliance Auditor
Diploma$40,000 – $50,000Medical CoderBilling ManagerDirector of Medical Billing
Associate’s Degree$45,000 – $55,000Health Information TechnicianRCM ManagerChief Compliance Officer

Average Costs Associated With A Medical Program

One thing that should concern you about medical billing coding programs is how much they cost.

Though you know how much time you will complete a course, knowing about the budget will help you choose a program based on your financial condition. 

On average, certificate or diploma programs may cost up to $2,000 to $5,000. And for a proper degree-based program, you will have to spend $10,000 as an estimated amount. 

It is obvious that costs may vary depending on the institutions, let’s discuss some factors that may contribute to the total cost of the program.

Study Material 

Some courses are offered online, but if it is offline, you will have to spend some amount on buying studying material. It may include textbooks, notes, pens, and other essentials that may cost hundreds of dollars if you are a brilliant student. 

Certification Exam Fees

Besides basic course exams, you can also take other specialization exams to improve your academic portfolio. But these exams may charge a fee that may reach up to a few hundred dollars.


As discussed earlier, if you take online classes, you may be saved from a number of expenses. But online study too has some cons.

You must have a proper device, a stable internet connection, and other equipment like headphones and mobile at hand all the time to participate in the class. 

Travel Expenses

If you live far away from the Institute of medical billing coding programs, then your travel will become a huge hustle. This is not only a waste of time but also requires an ample amount to be spent on daily traveling expenses. 

So besides basic program expenditures, these factors may add up to the total cost. Now, choose the best mode of learning according to your financial stability. 

Best Institutes For Medical Coding And Billing Programs

certificate vs diploma vs adp

Now that you know enough about medical billing coding programs, let us make your work easier and tell you some of the best institutes in town that should be your first priority for these courses.

But first have a look at coding program demand state-wise:

USA StatesCertificate ProgramsDiploma ProgramsAssociate’s Degree
New YorkMediumHighHigh
North CarolinaMediumHighHigh

Based on our research and user reviews, the following are the best institutes to spend your budget on:

Certificate Programs (6 months to 1 year)

  • Ultimate Medical Academy
  • CareerStep
  • Penn Foster College
  • Ashworth College
  • Northwest Career College

Diploma Programs (1 year to 18 months)

  • Fortis College
  • Kaplan University
  • Concorde Career College
  • DeVry University
  • Everest College

Associate’s Degree Programs (2 years approx)

  • Keiser University
  • Purdue University Global
  • Drexel University
  • Montgomery County Community College
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College

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    Plan For A Lucrative Future

    This guide about medical billing coding programs will serve as a starting point for you when planning a career. Based on how much you can afford, choose a program type among the above-mentioned three. 

    But the more you spend your time taking a lengthy course, the more it will increase your chances of securing a high-paying job. So spend your time and resources in the right place.