Top 7 Cities For Medical Coders To Live and Thrive
Starting a medical coding career today is a popular choice. The medical coding industry is thriving with the Baby Boomer generation approaching retirement, technology advancing rapidly and medical breakthroughs happening more frequently than ever. As a result, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics is predicting a 28.8% increase in healthcare support occupations. Whether you’re looking to start your new coding career or get a fresh start as an established coder the question remains, where can I find the best coding opportunities?
The criteria we used for choosing the best cities for medical coders included, demand for Certified Professional Coders, total jobs in health care, average hourly wages for Certified Professional Coders, economic powerhouses-where positive growth and unemployment outpace the national average, and cities with a solid history of improving their medical infrastructure. On a smaller scale, we factored in climate, crime and annual household income too.
At the top of our list sits Dallas, a city that has more open coding jobs than anywhere in the US. Despite this abundance of coding jobs, only 1 in 7 of those positions are filled. This surplus of coding jobs and lack of Certified Professional Coders, makes a strong demand for the occupation, driving up hourly wages higher than national averages.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has a population of over 7 million people offering an interesting mix of Texas Pride and trendy retail shopping. It is still one of the fastest-growing cities in America and a $6 billion dollar healthcare building boom over the last 3 years has helped boost their economic growth. Texas has one of the lowest unemployment rates and some of the most affordable real estate in the country. Dallas can be a great place for medical coders to settle down.
With so many baby boomers ending their careers, it won’t come as a surprise that a state with as many retirees as Florida has plenty of medical coding opportunities. There is also the fact that in 2017 the city had a major population boom, growing to 1.6 million residents in the metro area. With a growing population comes a growing need for medical codes.
One of the largest employers of medical coders is the nationally-renowned Mayo Clinic which calls Jacksonville home. The average pay for coders in Florida is higher than surrounding states (GA, SC, NC, AL). Florida boasts nationally regarded research centers and over 720 hospitals.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
It’s home to the “Research Triangle,” a region that includes Duke, North Carolina State, and the University of North Carolina. These colleges make for a huge population of doctors that call Chapel Hill home and create enormous demand for medical coders. Chapel Hill has a high concentration of medical coding jobs, at 5 positions per every 1,000, well above any other city.
The average hourly wage for a medical coder in Denver is $22 and coders in this city report some of the highest statistics when it comes to overall job satisfaction. The city also has several employment programs including The Health Care and Social Assistance program, which can be attractive to entry level medical coders because it helps find sustainable and secure employment.
Denver, Colorado has over 30 hospitals with several making the “best hospitals to work for” list. The metro area is home to 2.8 million people because of the mild weather and close proximity to the Rocky Mountains. The quality of life in Denver is also good with plenty to do, whether it’s outdoor activities, nightlife or dining. At 5,279 feet, the Mile High City lives up to its name in more ways than one: In 2012, Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, paving the way for a flourishing and lucrative cannabis industry.
San Francisco, California
The Bay Area has become famous for its tech industry, but healthcare employs an equal amount of labor to San Fran’s economy. High housing costs may make a move to San Francisco seem overwhelming, but plenty of medical coding job opportunities are available. They have a high demand for only “certified” coders and salaries higher than the most cities averaging $55,025 or $26/hr. A vibrant urban environment makes the Bay City a great market for younger medical coding jobseekers.
The healthcare industry is Nashville’s largest and fastest growing employer, bringing in over 250,000 jobs to the area annually. It’s estimated that by 2022, 1 in 11 new jobs in Tennessee will be in health care. The largest employers for medical coders are Nashville General Hospital and Vanderbilt Medical Center.
Everyone knows that Nashville is the country music capitol of America. The tourism and recent housing boom, provide a growing economy. It’s also a national leader in healthcare and biotechnology.
Houston has a slightly lower average salary ($43,039 & $21/hr) for medical coders than other cities on our list but it’s still 3% higher than the national average. Houston also has the lowest cost of living on the list making the lower pay more valuable.
Houston is home to the world’s largest group of research and healthcare institutions, the Texas Medical Center. As a leader in the healthcare industry, Houston is home to one of the world’s premier cancer care clinics, top medical schools, a leading specialty psychiatric treatment center, and one of the largest long-term acute care providers in the country.