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Medical Coder vs. Medical Biller: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in medical coding or billing can be both challenging and rewarding. If you’re interested in working in the medical field but don’t want to be a doctor or nurse, these may be two positions you’re interested in. But what exactly do medical coders and billers do? What’s the difference between the two? In this article, we discuss the job duties, education requirements and average salaries for medical coders and billers. We also provide a list of pros and cons for each position to help you decide if a career in medical coding or billing is right for you.

What is a Medical Coder?

Medical Coders are responsible for translating doctors’ diagnoses and procedures into numerical codes used for billing and insurance purposes. They use specialized codebooks and software to assign the correct code to each diagnosis and procedure. Medical Coders typically work in hospitals, clinics or physicians’ offices. They may also work remotely from home. In addition to coding medical records, Medical Coders may also be responsible for reviewing records for accuracy, responding to patient inquiries about their billing statements, and working with insurance companies to resolve claims.

What is a Medical Biller?

Medical Billers are responsible for submitting insurance claims on behalf of patients and health care providers. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices and insurance companies. Medical Billers review patient records to ensure that all the necessary information is included for insurance reimbursement. They also contact insurance companies to verify coverage and benefits. When claims are denied, Medical Billers work with patients and providers to appeal the decision. They also keep track of payments and outstanding claims.

Medical Coder vs. Medical Biller

Here are the main differences between a medical coder and a medical biller.

Job Duties

Medical coders and medical billers share some of their job duties. These shared responsibilities include searching for and identifying medical codes that accurately describe a patient’s condition and the care they received. This information is used to categorize a patient’s medical record so it can be easily retrieved when a doctor or other health care professional needs it.

There are also important differences between these two roles. Medical coders typically have responsibility for more technical aspects of coding, including ensuring that the correct diagnostic classification system is used and that the right medical terminology is used in the coded message. Conversely, medical billers typically have responsibility for more clerical tasks, such as filing medical records and keeping track of billing deadlines.

Job Requirements

Medical coders and medical billers typically need to earn a certificate or associate degree from an accredited program. These programs often take one to two years to complete and cover topics like medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and coding systems. Many employers also prefer candidates to have some experience working in a medical office before applying for a position as a coder or biller.

Work Environment

Medical coders and billers work in different environments. Medical coders typically work in hospitals, physician offices or other healthcare facilities. They may spend most of their time in an office setting where they can focus on coding medical records. Billers usually work for private insurance companies or as independent contractors. This means that they often travel to various locations throughout the day to meet with clients.


Both medical coders and medical billers use a variety of skills to perform their jobs. They both need to have strong attention to detail so that they can accurately code or bill for medical procedures. They also both need to be able to read and understand medical records.

Medical coders use their coding skills to translate medical diagnoses and procedures into codes that are used for billing purposes. They also use their knowledge of medical terminology to help them understand the records they are coding. Medical billers use their billing skills to submit claims to insurance companies and track payments. They also use their customer service skills when they interact with patients about their bills.


Medical coders and medical billers are two different types of healthcare professionals. Medical coders earn an average salary of $54,972 per year, while medical billers earn an average salary of $41,777 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the type of healthcare facility you work for, your level of experience and your location.


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