Medical Coding Specialist

Technical Diploma

Program number: 315302

Credits: 34

Area of Study: Health Sciences

Financial Aid Available

Estimated Program Cost:

Tuition - $4,641.00
Materials/Supplemental Costs
Other Costs
Total Estimated Program Costs*:

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 one-year 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

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

Program Details

Wisconsin law requires background checks for persons who provide care for others or have access to people who receive care. This law applies to students in many School of Health Education programs. Please review the Caregiver Background Check information on the School of Health Education Forms and Policies.

The Medical Coding Specialist program is offered on a part-time basis only. Most 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 course work online.
Several classes are offered online only. 

This program can be completed entirely online although a few classes require proctored final exams. 

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

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 into a pre-program status, your next step is to complete the Medical Coding Specialist Petition Requirements.

                 Fall 2019 and Spring 2020                    Fall 2020 and Spring 2021                                                         


Contact Enrollment Services at or (608) 246-6210.


Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2020-2021 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.


There are currently no Transfer Partnerships for this program. Review our Transfer Opportunities page for information on all Madison College transfer options.


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 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 (13 percent or more) through 2026.  

The 2017 Madison College Graduate Employment Report (six months after graduation) indicates an average annual salary of $41,280 ($20.00/hour) for new graduates of this program.

A 2017 national survey done by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) indicates the average annual wage for certified professional coders (CPC) is $54,106 ($26.01/hour) and for certified outpatient coders (COC) is $60,449 ($29.06/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 2019, the website indicates the annual salary range for medical coding specialists in the Madison area is $44,470 - $60,128 ($21.37 - $28.91/hour) with the median salary at $51,268 ($24.65/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)


  • Graduate Summary
    Graduate Report Summary Overview

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Program Graduates 18 29 23
    Number of Surveys Sent 18 29 23
    Number of Surveys Returned 14 27 14
    Percent of Surveys Returned 77.80% 93.10% 60.90%
    Available for Employment 12 26 13
    Percent Available for Employment 85.70% 96.30% 92.90%
    Not in Labor Market 2 0 1
    Percent Not in Labor Market 14.30% 0.00% 7.10%
    Available for Employment

    2016 2017 2018
    Graduates Employed 12 21 12
    Percent of Graduates Employed 100.00% 80.80% 92.30%
    Employed in Related Occupation 10 15 6
    Percent Employed in Related Occupation 83.30% 71.40% 50.00%
    Employed in Unrelated Occupation 2 6 6
    Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 16.70% 28.60% 50.00%
    Employed - No Response 0 0 0
    Percent Employed - No Response 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Seeking Employment 0 5 1
    Percent Seeking Employment 0.00% 19.20% 7.70%
    Reaction To Training at Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.6 3.5 3.7
    Number of Satisfaction Responses 14 27 14
    Very Satisfied 9 16 10
    Percent Very Satisfied 64.30% 59.30% 71.40%
    Satisfied 4 10 4
    Percent Satisfied 28.60% 37.00% 28.60%
    Unsatisfied 1 0 0
    Percent Unsatisfied 7.10% 0.00% 0.00%
    Very Unsatisfied 0 1 0
    Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 3.70% 0.00%
    Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Primary Reason Responses 14 27 14
    Preparation for Getting a Job 2 8 3
    Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 14.30% 29.60% 21.40%
    Career Change 11 17 7
    Percent Career Change 78.60% 63.00% 50.00%
    Improvement of Existing Skills 0 1 3
    Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 0.00% 3.70% 21.40%
    Preparation for Further Education 0 0 1
    Percent Preparation for Further Education 0.00% 0.00% 7.10%
    Personal Interest 1 1 0
    Percent Personal Interest 7.10% 3.70% 0.00%
    Other 0 0 0
    Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    When Employment was Obtained

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 12 21 12
    Before Enrollment 1 6 6
    Percent Before Enrollment 8.30% 28.60% 50.00%
    While Attending the College 5 7 2
    Percent While Attending the College 41.70% 33.30% 16.70%
    After Training at the College 6 8 4
    Percent After Training at the College 50.00% 38.10% 33.30%
    Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Employment Location Responses 12 22 12
    In College District 7 15 10
    Percent In College District 58.30% 68.20% 83.30%
    In Wisconsin, Not in District 4 6 2
    Percent of In Wisconsin 33.30% 27.30% 16.70%
    Outside of Wisconsin 1 0 0
    Percent Outside Wisconsin 8.30% 0.00% 0.00%
    Employer Location Unknown 0 1 0
    Percent Location Unknown 0.00% 4.50% 0.00%
    Salary Trend
    Salary Trend 2016 2017 2018
    Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 7 10 5
    Average Monthly Wage $3,543 $3,440 $3,946
    Average Hourly Wage $20.60 $20.00 $22.94
    Average Work Hours per Week 40.3 39.8 41
    Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 4 1
    Average Hourly Wage $21.13 $12.50
    Average Work Hours per Week 25.3 30
  • Graduate Employers
    Total Positions Open for academic year: 2018
    Wisconsin TechConnectTM Jobs* Madison Non-Madison
    Number of Full Time Positions Open 27 114
    Number of Part Time Positions Open 0 59
    Total Jobs 27 173
    Graduate Employers for academic year: 2018
    Employer(s) Job Title City** State*** Positions
    Beaver Dam Community Hospital Medical Coder/Cancer Registrar Beaver Dam
    Dept of Veterans Affairs Medical Records Technician/Inpatient Coder
    Divine Savior Healthcare Medical Secretary Portage
    Quartz Health Solutions Risk Management Analyst Sauk City
    UW Health Clinic Record Retrieval Access Specialist
    Wisconsin Physicians Service (WPS) Risk Management Analyst Monona

    * - Wisconsin TechConnectTM jobs are posted through a statewide consortium operated and funded by all 16 of the technical colleges in Wisconsin.

    ** - 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