What Are the Highest Paying States for Medical Coding?

Medical coding is considered a well paying job and there is a lot of data to support that. Like many professions, however, compensation figures can vary significantly based on location, so it’s important to understand impact on where you live to how much you get paid.

Top 3 Highest Paying States

  1. New Jersey: The Garden State pays medical coders an annual average of $47,050. Within the borders of New Jersey, the individual city that pays the most is Newark, with an annual average of $52,530.
  2. Washington: Formerly the The District of Columbia and the current capital of the United States, Washington D.C. compensates medical coders with an average annual salary of 43,140.
  3. Hawaii: The newest of the 50 states in America, and consisting solely of islands, Hawaii-based businesses offer an average annual salary of $42,430.

Supply and Demand

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When reviewing statewide figures, it’s important to keep in mind that average salary figures by state are, in part, a by-product of the total number of workers that occupy it. Arizona, for example, has a large number of medical coders which is why the average salary is a bit lower at $34,720. Does this mean it’s best to live in a state where coders are more in demand? Not necessary. The lower numbers in a state that drive up the average annual salary may also mean fewer job openings and less opportunity for advancement. In general, rural states like South Dakota and Montana have high concentrations of jobs for medical coders, and this might mean a trade of better opportunity for wages that are a bit less. It’s all in how a person interprets the figures and decides where the best advantage lies.

City Figures vs. State Figures

Another important point to make regarding salary averages by state, is that major metropolitan areas often pay working professionals significantly more than statewide averages suggest. For instance, while Washington D.C. ranks second on the list of highest paying states, San Jose, California pays a higher annual average at $46,850. Likewise, Rochester, Minnesota pays more than both Washington D.C. and Hawaii with an average annual salary of $45,940.

Employment Settings

In addition to the geographical location, a medical coder can make more or less money depending on the type of facility where he or she works as well. Nationally, the highest annual median wages for coder’s come from positions in the federal executive branch of the United States government and the lowest are paid in the offices of doctors. As with geography, a professional in the field must decide what type of environment he or she chooses to perform their job.

The above considerations are some of the variables a medical coder should keep in mind before packing their bags and moving to a given state. These considerations aside, the proper coding work is so important to accurate billing that the wages will ultimately correspond to the significance of the work; as such, medical coding is typically considered a lucrative job.

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