Coding License : The Path To Becoming A Certified Professional Coder - ITU Online
Get Lifetime Training At 60% Off

Future proof your IT career with our LIFETIME IT training option.  Start today with over 2,500 hours of focused IT training.  Plus, you’ll receive all new and updated content for life at no additional cost.

Lock In At Our Lowest Price Ever: $14.99/month for 2,500+ hours of IT training.
Limited time only. Enroll now, cancel anytime!

Coding License : The Path to Becoming a Certified Professional Coder

Coding License : The Path to Becoming a Certified Professional Coder

Coding License


In today’s fast-paced healthcare industry, the role of a certified professional coder is indispensable. The term “Coding License” is often mentioned in conversations about medical coding careers, but its significance is sometimes misunderstood. This article aims to clarify what a coding license entails and how it serves as a stepping stone to various coding certifications, including CPC certification, CCS certification, and more. Within the first few paragraphs, you’ll grasp the essence of a coding license, its relationship to becoming a medical coding specialist, and the actionable steps you can take to acquire one. Whether you’re wondering what is a CPC, how to get medical coding certification, or what the CPC certification cost might be, this article will serve as your comprehensive guide.

The Importance of a Coding License

Why You Need a Coding License

A coding license is far more than a mere credential; it’s a validation of your expertise and proficiency in the complex world of medical coding. This license acts as a foundational element in your career, opening doors to a variety of certifications such as CPC (Certified Professional Coder), CCS (Certified Coding Specialist), and even specialized credentials like CPC-A certification for apprentices.

Career Advancement

Having a coding license can significantly elevate your career trajectory. It’s not just about passing a CPC test or a medical coding exam; it’s about proving your capability to employers and peers. In a field where precision is paramount, a coding license assures healthcare providers that you’re competent in coding specialist certification tasks, such as translating medical procedures and diagnoses into standardized codes.

Financial Benefits

Let’s talk numbers. The earning potential for someone with a coding license and subsequent certifications like CPC or CCS is considerably higher than for those without. According to various salary surveys, certified coders earn, on average, 20% more than their non-certified counterparts. So, while there might be a CPC certification cost involved, the return on investment is substantial.

Credibility and Recognition

In addition to career and financial growth, a coding license also brings you credibility. Whether you’re aiming to become a certified professional coder or a certified coding specialist, having that license adds weight to your professional standing. It’s a way to stand out in a crowded job market and gain recognition for your skills and dedication to the field.

By now, you should have a more in-depth understanding of why a coding license is not just beneficial but essential for anyone looking to make a mark in the medical coding field. Whether you’re exploring what is CPC certification, how to become a certified coder, or even the intricacies of certification in medical coding, remember that it all starts with obtaining your coding license.

Medical Coding and Billing Course

Medical Coding and Billing ICD-10 and ICD-11

Master medical terminology, body systems, and coding with our comprehensive course! Learn how to select the right diagnosis and procedure codes, complete billing guidelines, and ace the ICD 10/11 certification exam. Your pathway to success in medical coding starts here!

History of Coding Licenses

The concept of a coding license has undergone significant transformation over the years. In the early days of healthcare administration, medical coding was a task that virtually anyone could undertake. There were no stringent requirements for certification in medical coding, and the role was often filled by administrative staff with minimal training. However, as healthcare systems grew increasingly complex and the demand for accurate medical billing and coding exam procedures escalated, the need for specialized, certified coders became evident.

This shift in the healthcare landscape led to the establishment of various coding certifications to standardize the industry. Among these are the CPC exam and CCS certification, which have become benchmarks for expertise in the field. These certifications are not just about passing a test; they’re about meeting industry standards for what is a CPC certification or a CCS credential. They serve as a testament to a coder’s ability to navigate the intricate world of medical coding, from understanding what is CPC certification to knowing the ins and outs of coding specialist certification.

Types of Certifications

Certification TypeFocus AreaIdeal ForExam Complexity
CPCGeneral Medical CodingOutpatient ClinicsModerate
CCSHospital-based CodingHospitalsHigh
CPC-AEntry-Level Medical CodingApprenticesLow

CPC Certification

CPC, or Certified Professional Coder, certification is often considered the gold standard in the medical coding field. This credential is a clear indicator of your proficiency in reading medical charts, understanding medical terminology, and assigning the correct diagnosis and procedure codes. It’s a certification that is recognized across various healthcare settings, from private practices to large hospitals.

For those wondering how to get medical coding certification, the CPC is often the first step. It’s a comprehensive certification that covers a broad spectrum of coding tasks, making you a versatile medical coding specialist. The certification is particularly beneficial for those looking to work in outpatient settings, where the focus is on CPT coding [1].

CPC Exam

The CPC exam is a rigorous and comprehensive test that serves as the gateway to becoming a certified professional coder. The exam covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to medical terminology, anatomy, and coding guidelines. It’s not just about memorizing codes; it’s about understanding the medical procedures behind those codes and applying them accurately.

Passing the CPC exam is a significant milestone in your journey towards becoming a certified coder. It’s a challenging test that requires a deep understanding of various aspects of medical coding, from knowing the cpc certification cost to mastering the art of coding itself. The exam is designed to assess your skills in a real-world context, making it a practical and valuable assessment for anyone aspiring to work in this field.

CCS Certification

CCS, or Certified Coding Specialist, certification is another highly respected credential in the medical coding industry. While the CPC certification is more generalized and applicable across various healthcare settings, the CCS certification is specifically tailored for those who are or aim to be experts in hospital-based coding. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals who are looking to specialize in inpatient coding and complex coding systems used in hospitals.

The CCS certification is particularly valuable for those who want to delve deeper into the nuances of medical coding, beyond the generalist approach. It’s a certification that is often sought after by employers in hospital settings, making it a valuable addition to your professional portfolio if you’re aiming to become a medical coding specialist in such environments.

Medical Coding and Billing Course

Medical Coding and Billing ICD-10 and ICD-11

Master medical terminology, body systems, and coding with our comprehensive course! Learn how to select the right diagnosis and procedure codes, complete billing guidelines, and ace the ICD 10/11 certification exam. Your pathway to success in medical coding starts here!

CCS Credential

Earning the CCS credential involves passing a challenging exam that tests your expertise in a variety of coding systems, including ICD-10-CM, CPT, and HCPCS Level II. These coding systems are more intricate and require a higher level of understanding compared to the coding systems generally covered in the CPC exam.

The CCS exam is not just about knowing the codes; it’s about understanding the medical procedures, diagnoses, and treatments that those codes represent. It’s a comprehensive test that evaluates your ability to accurately code a wide range of medical services, from surgical procedures to complex diagnoses, making it an essential step for those interested in certification in medical coding within a hospital setting.

Other Certifications

In addition to the CPC and CCS certifications, there are other types of coding certifications tailored for specific needs and career paths. One such example is the CPC-A certification, designed for apprentices or those new to the medical coding field. This certification serves as a stepping stone for those who are still gaining practical experience and are not yet eligible for the full CPC certification.

There are also specialized certifications for different medical fields, such as oncology, pediatrics, and cardiology, among others. These specialized certifications allow you to become a certified coder in a specific medical specialty, enhancing your employability and allowing you to focus on areas that interest you the most.

How to Get Certified

StepsDescriptionEstimated Time
Choose a CourseDecide between CPC, CCS, or other specialized courses1 Week
Complete TrainingFinish the medical coding course3-6 Months
Prepare for ExamUse study guides, practice exams, etc.1-2 Months
Take ExamSit for the CPC test, CCS exam, or other relevant exams1 Day
Receive CertificationGet the certification after passing the exam2-4 Weeks

Medical Coding Courses

Before you can embark on the journey to becoming a certified coder, specialized training is a must. There are a plethora of medical coding courses available that offer comprehensive training and certification in medical coding. These courses cover a wide range of topics, from the basics of what is a CPC to the complexities of coding specialist certification. They are designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge you’ll need to excel in the medical coding field, whether you’re aiming to become a certified professional coder or a certified coding specialist.

Some courses are tailored for specific certifications, like CPC or CCS, while others offer a more general overview of medical coding. These courses often include modules on medical terminology, anatomy, and coding systems like ICD-10-CM and CPT, all essential knowledge areas for any aspiring medical coding specialist.

Medical Coding Exam

Once you’ve completed your training, the next crucial step is to take a medical coding exam. The type of exam you’ll take depends on the certification you’re aiming for. If you’re targeting CPC certification, you’ll need to prepare for the CPC test, which is a comprehensive exam covering a wide array of topics. Similarly, if your goal is to earn a CCS credential, you’ll need to take the CCS exam, which focuses more on hospital-based coding.

Preparation for these exams should be thorough and tailored to the specific certification you’re seeking. Many courses offer exam preparation modules, and there are also standalone exam prep courses available. These resources can be invaluable in helping you understand how to get medical coding certification and what to expect in the exams.

Costs Involved

Financial planning is a crucial aspect of the certification process. Whether you’re considering CPC or CCS certification, it’s essential to be aware of the costs involved. This includes not just the exam fees but also the cost of preparatory courses and materials. While there is a CPC certification cost, as well as costs associated with other certifications like CCS, it’s important to view these expenses as an investment in your future.

The returns on this investment can be substantial, especially when you consider the career growth opportunities that come with being a certified coder. Certified coders often command higher salaries and have more job opportunities compared to those without certification. So, while the initial costs may seem high, the long-term benefits, both professionally and financially, make it a worthwhile investment.

Medical Coding and Billing Course

Medical Coding and Billing ICD-10 and ICD-11

Master medical terminology, body systems, and coding with our comprehensive course! Learn how to select the right diagnosis and procedure codes, complete billing guidelines, and ace the ICD 10/11 certification exam. Your pathway to success in medical coding starts here!

Career Prospects

Job TitleWork SettingAverage Salary (USD)Required Certification
Medical Coding SpecialistOutpatient Clinics$50,000CPC, CCS
Certified Coding SpecialistHospitals$60,000CCS
Certified Professional CoderVarious$55,000CPC

Medical Coding Specialist

As a medical coding specialist, your primary role will be to translate complex medical records into standardized codes that are used for various purposes, including billing and data analysis. This role is pivotal in the healthcare industry, as accurate coding is essential for correct billing and effective healthcare management. Your expertise will make you an invaluable asset in outpatient clinics, insurance companies, and even specialized medical research institutions. With certifications like CPC or CCS, your career as a medical coding specialist can take various paths, each with its own set of challenges and rewards.

Certified Coding Specialist

A certified coding specialist is often found working in hospital settings, where the coding tasks can be more intricate due to the complexity of inpatient procedures. With a CCS credential, you’ll have a more in-depth knowledge of hospital-based coding systems and will be responsible for coding more complex medical cases. This role often involves working closely with medical professionals to ensure that the coding of surgical procedures, long-term treatments, and complicated diagnoses are accurate and up to date. The certified coding specialist is a role that commands respect and offers higher earning potential, especially within hospital systems.

Certified Professional Coder

As a certified professional coder, your career opportunities are vast and varied. With a CPC certification, you’ll find doors opening in multiple healthcare settings, from private practices to large hospitals and even healthcare consultancy firms. Your role will often involve a mix of coding tasks, from outpatient procedures to some inpatient cases, depending on the setting. The CPC certification is versatile and is often considered the industry standard for medical coding, making it a valuable credential for anyone looking to make a long-term career in this field.


Becoming a certified coder is not merely about passing an exam or adding a few acronyms like CPC or CCS next to your name. It’s about dedicating yourself to a career that demands continuous learning, adaptation, and meticulous attention to detail. Whether you’re interested in CPC coding, earning a CCS credential, or pursuing other specialized coding certifications, the journey starts with obtaining a coding license.

So, what is a CPC certification, or what is the CPC? They are not just strings of letters but titles that come with a set of skills, knowledge, and responsibilities that can significantly impact the healthcare industry. These certifications are your ticket to a rewarding career that not only offers financial benefits but also provides the satisfaction of playing a crucial role in healthcare administration.

By now, you should have a comprehensive understanding of what a coding license is, how it serves as a foundational step for various certifications like CPC and CCS, and the career paths that these certifications can unlock. So, take that first step today; invest in the right training and certification, and set yourself on the path to becoming a certified professional coder.

Medical Coding and Billing Course

Medical Coding and Billing ICD-10 and ICD-11

Master medical terminology, body systems, and coding with our comprehensive course! Learn how to select the right diagnosis and procedure codes, complete billing guidelines, and ace the ICD 10/11 certification exam. Your pathway to success in medical coding starts here!

You may also like:
How Long to Get Certified in Medical Coding : Steps and Timeline
Upgrading Your Skills with ICD 11 Training: What You Need to Know
Medical Billing and Coding : A 101 Guide and Roadmap to Success
Training for Medical Billing and Coding : Training for ICD 10 and ICD 11

Get Notified When
We Publish New Blogs

More Posts

Unlock the full potential of your IT career with ITU Online’s comprehensive online training subscriptions. Our expert-led courses will help you stay ahead of the curve in today’s fast-paced tech industry.

Sign Up For All Access

Jumpstart your IT career with some of these exceptional online IT training deals!


This advanced training series teaches you the skills needed to detect vulnerabilities and weaknesses in computer systems and networks. 


Wanting to become a Network Administrator? This training series offers the core training you need.