Do you enjoy puzzles and detective mysteries? Medical coding might be just the right fit for you. Become a health information sleuth.
Medical Coder
Recent Graduates
There are 26 recent graduates of this Madison College program.
Student Satisfaction
95% of our recent graduates report they are satisfied with their Madison College education.
Annual Salary
Our recent graduates of this program reported an average starting salary of $42,024.
Medical Coding Specialist
Program Number: 315302
Your Degree:
Technical Diploma
Area of Study:
Health Sciences
Delivery Method:
100% Online
Some Online/Some In Person
Estimated Time to Complete:
35 Credits | Finish diploma in 1.5 years
financial aid icon Financial Aid Available
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What You'll Pay
Use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your tuition costs.
Estimated Tuition


$5,020.75 Tuition
$630.10 Materials/Supplemental Costs
$298.00 Other Costs
  • Program Overview

    Medical Coding Specialists translate written medical documentation, provided by physicians and other health care providers, into a numeric form. The Medical Coding Specialist assigns and sequences diagnostic and procedural codes using universally recognized coding systems, e.g., an anterolateral myocardial infarction (heart attack) is translated to I21.09.

    Coded Information Serves Many Purposes

    • Reimbursement - codes are printed on the claims submitted to insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid. 
    • Research - physicians can access medical records for research purposes based on coded information. For example, a physician may request to see the medical records for all patients who were treated for gastric (stomach) ulcers in the past two years. These records would be identified in a computer list of patients with diagnosis codes of K25.0-K25.9.
    • Public Health - a government or public health agency may use coded diagnostic information to track the occurrence of certain diseases. For example, they may find an increased incidence of a certain type of cancer in a certain region of the country.
    • Patient Care - a medical device manufacturer may issue a recall on a specific device, such as a pacemaker, and the records of such patients could be identified and retrieved based on the procedure code for pacemaker insertion.

    The Medical Coding Specialist technical diploma at Madison College will prepare you for a career in this high-demand field. 

    Aptitudes and Interests

    Possessing these aptitudes and interests may help you succeed in the Medical Coding Specialist program:

    • Ability to be precise and detail-oriented
    • Ability to adhere to standards and guidelines
    • Passion for medical information
    • Ability to communicate well with others
    • Ability to accept challenges and problem-solve
    • Respect for confidential information

    Program Details

    The Medical Coding Specialist Program is offered on a part-time basis only; it will take at least two years to complete the program. Classes are offered in the online format, including optional online-live discussions in some classes. A few classes require students to take proctored final exams on campus or by other arrangements. 

    Medical Coding Specialist is all online – virtual campus


    The Medical Coding Specialist program will prepare you for entry-level coding specialist positions in health care facilities such as hospitals, managed care organizations, skilled nursing facilities, coding and billing services, physician practice groups, governmental agencies, home health agencies, computer software companies, clinics, consulting firms, insurance companies and veterinary hospitals. 

    Career Outlook and Salary

    The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in the health information management field will grow faster than average (11% or more) through 2028.  

    The 2020 Madison College Graduate Employment Report (six months after graduation) indicates an average annual salary of $41,288 ($19.85/hour) for new graduates of this program.

    A 2020 national survey done by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) indicates the average annual wage for certified professional coders (CPC) is $56,164 ($27.00/hour) and for certified outpatient coders (COC) is $61,435 ($29.54/hour). Survey results for Wisconsin show the average annual wage for coding and billing professionals to be $54,601 ($26.25/hours).

    A 2019 national survey done by the American Health Information Management Association indicates the average annual salary for a coding professional is $56,164 ($27.00/hour). It also showed those with mastery-level coding credentials (CCS and CCS-P) garnered higher average salaries than those with entry-level coding credential (CCA): CCS $79,060; CCS-P $77,790: CCA $53,790.

    As of September 2021, the website indicates the annual salary range for medical coding specialists in the Madison area is $40,494 - $71,131 ($19.47 - $34.20/hour) with the median salary at $54,230 ($26.07/hour).

    Certification Opportunities

    There are several certification exams that can be taken to earn national coding credentials. The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam demonstrates entry-level skills. The other certification exams demonstrate mastery level (experienced) skills. Many employers require certification. Certification may result in a salary increase and/or promotion.

    American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA),

    • Certified Coding Associate (CCA)
    • Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)
    • Certified Coding Specialist - Physician-Based (CCS-P)

    American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC),

    • Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
    • Certified Outpatient Coder (COC)
    • Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)
    • Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC)


  • Curriculum and Experience

    Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2022-2023 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

    Current and newly admitted program students, go directly to your Degree Progress Report to view:

    • Progress toward your specific requirements
    • Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements

    If you have questions after reviewing your degree progress report (advisement report), please see Advising Services.

    Pre-Program Courses
    3 credits
    3 credits
    1 credit
    2 credits
    Core Program Courses
    Cluster 1
    3 credits
    3 credits
    Cluster 2
    3 credits
    3 credits
    1 credit
    2 credits
    Cluster 3
    3 credits
    3 credits
  • Admission

    To Apply

    Students need to complete the petition process to get into core-program classes for this program. Before submitting an application, it’s important to review the Petition Process webpage which also includes estimated wait times for each program.

      • View the admission requirements for application deadlines, materials, and requirements
      • There is currently 0-1 semesters between acceptance into pre-program and the start of core classes. The estimated time to enter the core-program is subject to change based on the variable number of students ready to petition each semester.
      • Learn more about the Madison College experience and get help with the admissions process

      After Acceptance

      Once you have been accepted in a pre-program status, your next step is to complete the Petition Requirements. See the Petition information in the next section.    

      Additional Notes

      Students will be required to meet the current admission and petition requirements. Requirements must be amended any time accreditation requirements are updated or changed. Requirements may also be amended based on Madison College programmatic assessment data.


      Contact Enrollment Services at or 608.246.6210.

    • Petition

      After Acceptance

      After you have been admitted into a pre-program status, complete all of the Petition Requirements for your program. Login to your student account and run a Degree Progress Report to review the Petition Requirements and see which requirements you have completed and which need to be satisfied.

      Requirements vary by program, and may include some or all of the following:

      • Prerequisites (examples: Algebra, Geometry, Chemistry, Biology, English and Reading): This varies by program
      • Course Requirements (examples: Anatomy and Physiology, Intro to Psychology, etc.): This varies by program
      • Testing Requirement (examples: ACT, HESI, TEAS): This varies by program
      • Petition Workshop: This is done online and can be found in Blackboard after you have been admitted in a pre-program status

      You can view the Petition Requirements for this program using the links below.

      Fall 2022 and Spring 2023

      Fall 2023 and Spring 2024   

      After completing the petition requirements, students are then selected for entry into core program courses through the Petition Process.


      Contact Enrollment Services at or 608.246.6210.

    • Career Outcomes

      After completing the Medical Coding Specialist program at Madison Area Technical College, you will be prepared to:

      • Collect health data
      • Apply coding and reimbursement systems
      • Model professional behaviors and ethics
      • Use electronic applications to support coding and data collection
      • Graduate Summary

        Graduate Report Summary Overview

        Number of Program Graduates233026
        Number of Surveys Sent233026
        Number of Surveys Returned192220
        Percent of Surveys Returned82.60%73.30%76.90%
        Available for Employment192119
        Percent Available for Employment100.00%95.50%95.00%
        Not in Labor Market011
        Percent Not in Labor Market0.00%4.50%5.00%
        Available for Employment

        Graduates Employed151714
        Percent of Graduates Employed78.90%81.00%73.70%
        Employed in Related Occupation11129
        Percent Employed in Related Occupation73.30%70.60%64.30%
        Employed in Unrelated Occupation455
        Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation26.70%29.40%35.70%
        Employed - No Response000
        Percent Employed - No Response0.00%0.00%0.00%
        Seeking Employment445
        Percent Seeking Employment21.10%19.00%26.30%
        Reaction To Training at Madison College

        Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4)
        Number of Satisfaction Responses192220
        Very Satisfied (4)81314
        Percent Very Satisfied42.10%59.10%70.00%
        Satisfied (3)1085
        Percent Satisfied52.60%36.40%25.00%
        Unsatisfied (2)110
        Percent Unsatisfied5.30%4.50%0.00%
        Very Unsatisfed (1)001
        Percent Very Unsatisfied0.00%0.00%5.00%
        Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

        Number of Primary Reason Responses192220
        Preparation for Getting a Job665
        Percent Preparation for Getting a Job31.60%27.30%25.00%
        Career Change111513
        Percent Career Change57.90%68.20%65.00%
        Improvement of Existing Skills101
        Percent Improvement of Existing Skills5.30%0.00%5.00%
        Preparation for Further Education000
        Percent Preparation for Further Education0.00%0.00%0.00%
        Personal Interest111
        Percent Personal Interest5.30%4.50%5.00%
        Percent Other0.00%0.00%0.00%
        When Employment was Obtained

        Number of When Employment Obtained Responses151714
        Before Enrollment243
        Percent Before Enrollment13.30%23.50%21.40%
        While Attending the College245
        Percent While Attending the College13.30%23.50%35.70%
        After Training at the College1196
        Percent After Training at the College73.30%52.90%42.90%
        Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

        Number of Employment Location Responses151714
        In College District13128
        Percent In College District86.70%70.60%57.10%
        In Wisconsin, Not in District155
        Percent of In Wisconsin6.70%29.40%35.70%
        Outside of Wisconsin101
        Percent Outside Wisconsin6.70%0.00%7.10%
        Employer Location Unknown000
        Percent Location Unknown0.00%0.00%0.00%
        Salary Trend
        Salary Trend201920202021
        Full Time Employment (Related Job)Full Time Salary Count9108
        Average Monthly Wage$3,086$3,336$3,502
        Average Hourly Wage$17.94$19.40$20.36
        Average Work Hours per Week40.540.240.5
        Part Time Employment (Related Job)Part Time Salary Count121
        Average Hourly Wage$22.00$20.30$16.75
        Average Work Hours per Week32268
      • Graduate Employers

        Graduate Employers for academic year: 2021
        Employer(s)Job TitleCity*State**Positions
        Beloit ClinicOutpatient CoderBeloit
        Prairie Clinic SCProfessional CoderSauk City
        St Coletta of WisconsinDirect Support ProfessionalJefferson
        Unity Point HealthHealth Unit Coordinator
        UW Health Hospitals & ClinicsMedical Coder
        UW Health Hospitals & ClinicsMedical Coding Specialist
        UW Medical FoundationMedical Coding SpecialistMiddleton2

        * - Only cities outside of Madison will display.

        ** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.

        *** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at

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