Great careers you can get with an associate’s degree
It’s not a great time to be a Detroit autoworker. Or a Florida construction worker. But there is one fast-growing field in which it’s easy to find employment: healthcare.
There’s a continued demand for nurses, nursing aides and other healthcare support occupations, even in the recession. But what if you’re not really a fan of blood and bandages? You can still find a healthcare job – you just have to look for positions that put you behind a desk instead of at patients’ bedsides. These three medical careers require only an associate’s degree or certification to get started.
Medical coding careers
What do medical coders do?
When a patient goes to the hospital, every condition, drug and procedure they have must be accurately recorded using a code for each entry. This is important for two reasons: one, so the patient or their insurance company can be billed accurately, and two, so data on treatments and outcomes can be used for medical research.
Medical coders read the data on patient charts and record it in code. There’s a huge database of medical codes you’ll need to learn. You definitely don’t want to mix up T33.8, which means “superficial frostbite of ankle and foot,” with L23.7, which means “allergic contact dermatitis due to plants” (a.k.a poison ivy). Medical coders aren’t just typists – to succeed in this job, you have to understand medical language and conditions. Medical coding is a popular field for nurses who want to switch careers. Medical coders make $28,000 per year, on average.
Do I need a medical coding degree?
Medical coders usually have an associate’s degree in health information technology or something similar. A medical coding degree program will teach you about anatomy, physiology and medical terminology as well as database management and computer science. You’ll also learn how to use medical coding software programs. To advance in the field, you may need to pass an accredited certification course to become a CPC (Certified Professional Coder).
Medical billing careers
What do medical billing professionals do?
Medical billing is similar to medical coding in that both jobs involve processing lots and lots of data from patient records. Medical billers use codes to describe the different levels and types of care a patient receives. They enter this information into software used to process bills and submit claims to insurance companies. In this job, you’ll learn the complexities of Medicare, Medicaid and insurance policies. Medical billers make around $28,000 per year, on average.
Do I need a medical billing degree?
The training for medical billing is very similar to what’s required for medical coding. Most medical billing professionals have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in health care administration or health information technology. You can also get a diploma or certification in medical billing.
Medical transcription careers
What do medical transcriptionists do?
Medical transcriptionists listen to doctors’ recorded notes and type them out in written reports.
Just like medical billing and coding, medical transcription requires patience, determination, and attention to detail. It’s extremely important for a medical transcriptionist to record information accurately – if he or she doesn’t, a patient may get the wrong care. Medical transcriptionists make about $33,000 a year, on average.
Do I need a medical transcription degree?
To begin working as a medical transcriptionist, you’ll need to complete certified medical transcription training, which can be a certificate, diploma or associate’s degree program. Getting your associate’s degree in medical transcription will give you the best preparation and may make it easier for you to find a job.
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