Not everyone wants to work a standard forty hour work week. Whether due to school, outside interests, or taking care of children, for some people part-time hours are all they can – or want – to give. Luckily, medical coding is a profession a person can pursue on a part-time basis; a primary concern, though, is exactly how much money one can earn working less than forty hours a week.
The cost of living in a given state or regional area has a significant influence on hourly rates. Current data indicates that the state of New Jersey has the highest hourly wage for medical coders at $22.62 an hour. Following close behind is the District of Columbia with $20.74 an hour. As to be expected, Newark and Trenton – both cities in New Jersey – pay $25.26 and $23.84 per hour respectively. Demand also influences the hourly rate that will be paid. For example, Arizona is currently the state that employs the most coding professionals. Because of this, the hourly wage is much lower at just $16.69 an hour.
Education also determines hourly rates. For instance, a person with an associate degree makes approximately 9% more ($22.47 per hour) than one with no education beyond high school. Likewise, an employee with a bachelor’s degree earns an average of 21% more ($27.13 per hour) than a person with an associate degree. Finally, those who hold a master’s degree receive about 46% more ($39.70) than those with a bachelor’s degree.
Like most professions – in healthcare or otherwise – employers are willing to pay for experience. Entry level medical coders (0 – 1 years of experience) earn an average hourly wage of $16.00 per hour. After 2 – 4 years of working in the industry, that rate increases to $18.50. With 5 – 9 years of experience, the rate goes up to $21.50. From there, professionals working for 10 – 15 years earn $24.50 per hour, and those with 15+ years bill out at $30.50 an hour, on average.
Findings show that workers with professionally recognized credentials receive higher compensation (up to 12%, according to AAPC) than those who do n0t. Amongst those with one or more certifications under their belt, hourly rates range from $24.00 per hour to $30.00 per hour. (Note: for more information about the impact of certification on earning potential, read “What Is the Impact of Certification on a Coder’s Salary“)
By Work Setting
The work setting is another determinant of hourly compensation. Those who work for the Federal government have perhaps the lowest median wage at $12.50 per hour. This is much lower than a self-employed coder who, with sufficient experience, can earn a median wage of approximately $14.75 per hour. That dovetails nicely with the hourly wages paid to those who work in a hospital setting, at about $14.50 per hour. Keep in mind that these figures are nationwide medians and as discussed above, actual hourly rates will vary depending on geography.
Calculating Your Yearly Earnings
With the hourly rates established, you can easily determine your total salary (yearly earnings) by multiplying the number of hours you worked by your hourly pay rate. Be sure to consider your net pay as well – that is, your annual wages minus any taxes (federal, state, and/or local), as well as any eligible benefits you elect to receive.
There is obviously some planning involved in becoming a part-time medical coder. While fewer hours will free up time, the bills still have to be paid. As such, be sure do the math ahead of time to confirm you’re able to afford working a reduced number of hours.