School of Health Education

Health Education Building 103
1705 Hoffman Street
Madison WI 53704

CALL: (608) 246-6065 or (800) 322-6282 ext. 6065

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Medical Coding Specialist

One Year Technical Diploma

Program number: 315302


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. I.e., 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.  I.e., 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 one-year Medical Coding Specialist technical diploma at Madison College will prepare you for a career in this in-demand field. 

An 18-hour, unpaid clinical laboratory experience or seminar is part of the Certification and Professional Development course. This takes place during regular business hours at a regional health care facility, insurance company, consulting firm, governmental agency or at Madison College. An online simulated coding experience may also be offered.

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

Please note that upon admission to the Medical Coding Specialist program, you will be required to complete a background check and provide documentation of current required immunizations.

Program Details

The Medical Coding Specialist program is offered on a part-time basis only. Classes are offered in the Flex Choice format, giving you the option of attending face-to-face classes Monday through Thursday, 3 - 8 p.m. or completing the classes online.

Medical Coding Specialist program classes may be offered at these Madison College campuses:

  • Madison - Truax

Explore financial aid eligibility for this program. 

Medical Coding Specialist


To Apply

View the admission requirements for application deadlines, materials, and requirements.

  • Review the admission checklist to learn how to apply to a program or certificate at Madison College.
  • Attend an Academic Information Session to get started in the admission process.
  • Visit MATC to learn more about the Madison College experience including campus tours and program open houses.

After Acceptance

Once you have been admitted into a pre-petition status, your next step is to complete the Medical Coding Specialist Petition Requirements.

                      Fall 2018 and Spring 2019               Fall 2019 and Spring 2020


Contact the Enrollment Center at or (608) 246-6210.


Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2018-2019 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

Current program students (including newly admitted), go directly to your Degree Progress Report (also referred to as an Advising Report or Academic Requirements) to view:

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

If you have questions after reviewing your report, please see Advising Services.

Pre-Program Courses

Core Program Courses
Cluster 1

Cluster 2

Cluster 3


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

The Medical Coding Specialist program will prepare you for entry-level coding specialist positions in health care facilities such 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 (13 percent or more) through 2026.  

The 2016 Madison College Graduate Employment Report (six months after graduation) indicates an average annual salary of $42,848 ($20.60/hour) for new graduates of the MCSP.

A 2016 national survey done by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) indicates the average annual wage for certified professional coders (CPC) is $52,588 ($25.28/hour) and for certified outpatient coders (COC) is $58,822 ($28.28/hour). 

A 2016 national survey done by the American Health Information Management Association indicates the average annual salary for a coding professional is $54,730 ($26.31/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 $70,030; CCS-P $62,390: CCA $47,780.

As of January 2018, the website indicates the annual salary range for medical coding specialists in the Madison area is $43,360 - $58,362 ($20.85 - $28.19/hour) with the median salary at $49,990 ($24.03/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 Professional Coder - Payer (CPC-P)
  • Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC)

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