The difference between CPT codes 99213 and 99214 could be life or death. Patients and doctors are relying on your expertise.
Medical Coder
Recent Graduates
There are 30 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 $40,032.
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 training in as little as 1 year (programs vary)
financial aid icon Financial Aid Available
net price calculator sketch
What You'll Pay
Use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your tuition costs.
Estimated Tuition


$4,935.00 Tuition
$726.98 Materials/Supplemental Costs
$293.00 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 that may help you succeed in the Medical Coding Specialist program include:

    • 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 2021-2022 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.

      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 2021 and Spring 2022                 

      Fall 2022 and Spring 2023

      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

        2018 2019 2020
        Number of Program Graduates 23 23 30
        Number of Surveys Sent 23 23 30
        Number of Surveys Returned 14 19 22
        Percent of Surveys Returned
        Available for Employment 13 19 21
        Percent Available for Employment 92.9% 100.0% 95.5%
        Not in Labor Market 1 0 1
        Percent Not in Labor Market 7.1% 0.0% 4.5%
        Available for Employment

        2018 2019 2020
        Graduates Employed 12 15 17
        Percent of Graduates Employed 92.3% 78.9% 81.0%
        Employed in Related Occupation 6 11 12
        Percent Employed in Related Occupation 50.0% 73.3% 70.6%
        Employed in Unrelated Occupation 6 4 5
        Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 50.0% 26.7% 29.4%
        Employed - No Response 0 0 0
        Percent Employed - No Response 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
        Seeking Employment 1 4 4
        Percent Seeking Employment 7.7% 21.1% 19.0%
        Reaction To Training at Madison College

        2018 2019 2020
        Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.7 3.4 3.5
        Number of Satisfaction Responses 14 19 22
        Very Satisfied (4) 10 8 13
        Percent Very Satisfied 71.4% 42.1% 59.1%
        Satisfied (3) 4 10 8
        Percent Satisfied 28.6% 52.6% 36.4%
        Unsatisfied (2) 0 1 1
        Percent Unsatisfied 0.0% 5.3% 4.5%
        Very Unsatisfed (1) 0 0 0
        Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
        Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

        2018 2019 2020
        Number of Primary Reason Responses 14 19 22
        Preparation for Getting a Job 3 6 6
        Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 21.4% 31.6% 27.3%
        Career Change 7 11 15
        Percent Career Change 50.0% 57.9% 68.2%
        Improvement of Existing Skills 3 1 0
        Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 21.4% 5.3% 0.0%
        Preparation for Further Education 1 0 0
        Percent Preparation for Further Education 7.1% 0.0% 0.0%
        Personal Interest 0 1 1
        Percent Personal Interest 0.0% 5.3% 4.5%
        Other 0 0 0
        Percent Other 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
        When Employment was Obtained

        2018 2019 2020
        Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 12 15 17
        Before Enrollment 6 2 4
        Percent Before Enrollment 50.0% 13.3% 23.5%
        While Attending the College 2 2 4
        Percent While Attending the College 16.7% 13.3% 23.5%
        After Training at the College 4 11 9
        Percent After Training at the College 33.3% 73.3% 52.9%
        Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

        2018 2019 2020
        Number of Employment Location Responses 12 15 17
        In College District 10 13 12
        Percent In College District 83.3% 86.7% 70.6%
        In Wisconsin, Not in District 2 1 5
        Percent of In Wisconsin 16.7% 6.7% 29.4%
        Outside of Wisconsin 0 1 0
        Percent Outside Wisconsin 0.0% 6.7% 0.0%
        Employer Location Unknown 0 0 0
        Percent Location Unknown 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
        Salary Trend
        Salary Trend 2018 2019 2020
        Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 5 9 10
        Average Monthly Wage $3,946 $3,086 $3,336
        Average Hourly Wage $22.94 $17.94 $19.40
        Average Work Hours per Week 41.0 40.5 40.2
        Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 1 1 2
        Average Hourly Wage $12.50 $22.00 $20.30
        Average Work Hours per Week 30.0 32.0 26.0
      • Graduate Employers

        Graduate Employers for academic year: 2020
        Employer(s) Job Title City* State** Positions
        Associated Physicians Coding Specialist
        Divine Savior Healthcare Medical Outpatient Coder Portage
        Exact Sciences Revenue Cycle
        Inglewood Medical Records Coordinator Mount Horeb
        SSM Health Coding Assistant
        SSM Health Billing Specialist
        University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation Medical Coding Specialist Middleton
        Upland Hills Health Center Medical Coding Specialist Dodgeville
        UW Health Hospital & Clinics Medical Coding Specialist 2
        UW Medical Foundation Medical Coding Specialist
        UW Medical Foundation Medical Coding Specialist Middleton

        * - 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

    Ready to get started?
    Your first step is to apply to Madison College. It's easy and free to apply, so get started today!
    Contact the School of Health Sciences

    Madison Truax Campus
    Health Building, 103

    1705 Hoffman Street
    Madison, Wisconsin 53704


    • Monday – Thursday: 9 am - 3 pm
    • Friday: 9 am - 12 pm (Virtual)