I passed the Certified Professional Coder Exam. Now, where do I get my first job?
You studied for months to prepare for the CPC exam, scheduled a day to take it and showed up early in your hometown or a nearby city to show off your knowledge of medical coding.
Your hard work and dedication eventually paid off when you received the passing test score in the mail weeks later acknowledging you got what it takes to be a Medical Coder.
The only problem is, you’re a CPC-A (certified professional coder apprentice) and when you start looking at job descriptions, they all want a CPC with at least 2-3 years experience.
If you’re like most people, nobody explained this dilemma ahead of time, much less gave you a solution.
Don’t stress, this doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your goal of finding a meaningful coding career.
Here are 2 proven ways of getting your medical coding career going.
1. Get your foot in the door of a medical billing company, doctors office or hospital by taking a position related to medical coding.
These positions include insurance verification, reimbursement specialist, medical biller and medical records specialist.
Most of these positions are considered entry-level and the fact that you are a CPC or CCS will give you a huge leg up over the other candidates.
Not only will you excel in these positions based on what you’ve learned studying to become a CPC/CCS, but it will also make you an even better medical coder when you understand the role these other departments play in successfully coding a claim and getting the doctor reimbursed for the services provided.
Finally, being on the inside you can develop relationships and be the first to show interest when coding positions open up within the office your working at.
2. Use a temp staffing agency to land your first coding job.
Temp staffing agencies often have entry-level coding jobs. The way it works is the temp agency gives you a job, based off an agreement they have with a doctors office or medical billing company.
These jobs are considered “temporarily” but they usually are what’s called “temp to hire”. That means they’ve set a period of time, maybe 90 days, and at the conclusion of that period, they either hire you on permanently or the job comes to an end. If it comes to an end the staffing agency will send you to another medical coding facility.
The good thing about this system, is you get to see if it’s a workplace you enjoy. If the environment is toxic, at any time you have the option of asking the staffing agency to reassign you to another office.
You will make slightly less money in the beginning when you go this route because the staffing agency takes a small percentage of your hourly wage, but the experience towards the 2 years you need is extremely valuable.
I’ve worked with hundreds on newly certified Coders and the two strategies have consistently yielded great opportunities.
Don’t give up new Coders! If it was impossible there wouldn’t be any Coders in the workforce. Try these proven strategies and I guarantee you will reach your goal!