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 22 recent graduates of this Madison College program.
Student Satisfaction
100% 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 $46,056.
Medical Coding Specialist
Program Number: 315302
Your Degree:
Technical Diploma
Area of Study:
Health Sciences
Delivery Method:
100% Online
Estimated Time to Complete:
35 Credits | Finish diploma in 1.5 years
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  • 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. 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 continue at a steady growth (7% or more) through 2031.

    The 2023 Madison College Graduate Employment Report (six months after graduation) indicates an average annual salary of $46,405 ($22.31/hour) for new graduates of the MCSP.

    A 2023 national survey done by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) indicates the average annual wage for certified professional coders (CPC) is $58,895 ($28.31/hour) and for certified outpatient coders (COC) is $64,267 ($30.90/hour). Survey results for Wisconsin show the average annual wage for coding and billing professionals to be $60,204 ($28.94/hour).

    A 2019 national survey done by the American Health Information Management Association indicates the average annual salary for a coding professional is $66,370 ($31.90/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 June 2023, the website indicates the annual salary range for a medical coder in the Madison area is $41,119 - $68,612 ($19.77 - $32.99 per hour) with the median salary at $53,421 ($25.68/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 2024-2025 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 no current estimated wait time 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 are required to meet the current admission and petition requirements. Requirements are subject to change based on updates to accreditation requirements or Madison College program 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:

    • Petition Workshop: This is done online and can be found in Blackboard after you have been admitted in a pre-program status
    • 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

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

    Fall 2023 and Spring 2024   

    Fall 2024 and Spring 2025

    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 Graduates302622
      Number of Surveys Sent302622
      Number of Surveys Returned222016
      Percent of Surveys Returned
      Available for Employment211916
      Percent Available for Employment95.50%95.00%100.00%
      Not in Labor Market
      Percent Not in Labor Market4.50%5.00%0.00%
      Available for Employment

      Graduates Employed171414
      Percent of Graduates Employed81.00%73.70%87.50%
      Employed in Related Occupation1297
      Percent Employed in Related Occupation70.60%64.30%50.00%
      Employed in Unrelated Occupation557
      Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation29.40%35.70%50.00%
      Employed - No Response000
      Percent Employed - No Response0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Seeking Employment452
      Percent Seeking Employment19.00%26.30%12.50%
      Reaction To Training at Madison College

      Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4)
      Number of Satisfaction Responses222016
      Very Satisfied (4)131412
      Percent Very Satisfied59.10%70.00%75.00%
      Satisfied (3)854
      Percent Satisfied36.40%25.00%25.00%
      Unsatisfied (2)100
      Percent Unsatisfied4.50%0.00%0.00%
      Very Unsatisfed (1)010
      Percent Very Unsatisfied0.00%5.00%0.00%
      Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

      Number of Primary Reason Responses222016
      Preparation for Getting a Job655
      Percent Preparation for Getting a Job27.30%25.00%31.30%
      Career Change151310
      Percent Career Change68.20%65.00%62.50%
      Improvement of Existing Skills010
      Percent Improvement of Existing Skills0.00%5.00%0.00%
      Preparation for Further Education000
      Percent Preparation for Further Education0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Personal Interest111
      Percent Personal Interest4.50%5.00%6.30%
      Percent Other0.00%0.00%0.00%
      When Employment was Obtained

      Number of When Employment Obtained Responses171414
      Before Enrollment438
      Percent Before Enrollment23.50%21.40%57.10%
      While Attending the College450
      Percent While Attending the College23.50%35.70%0.00%
      After Training at the College966
      Percent After Training at the College52.90%42.90%42.90%
      Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

      Number of Employment Location Responses1299
      In College District1289
      Percent In College District100.00%88.90%100.00%
      In Wisconsin, Not in District000
      Percent of In Wisconsin0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Outside of Wisconsin010
      Percent Outside Wisconsin0.00%11.10%0.00%
      Employer Location Unknown000
      Percent Location Unknown0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Salary Trend
      Salary Trend202020212022
      Full Time Employment (Related Job)Full Time Salary Count1087
      Average Monthly Wage$3,336$3,502$3,838
      Average Hourly Wage$19.40$20.36$22.31
      Average Work Hours per Week40.240.540
      Part Time Employment (Related Job)Part Time Salary Count21
      Average Hourly Wage$20.30$16.75
      Average Work Hours per Week268
    • Graduate Employers

      Graduate Employers for academic year: 2022
      Employer(s)Job TitleCity*State**Positions
      UW HealthMedical Coding Specialist
      UW HealthCoding Specialist I
      UW HealthMedical Coder2
      UW HealthSenior Sterile Processor
      UW Medical FoundationMedical Coding Specialist IMiddleton
      Wildwood Family ClinicMedical Coder

      * - 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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