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Online Medical Billing and Coding Certifications in Arizona (AZ)

Use this guide to find the right medical billing and coding certification in Arizona to help you reach your goals quickly, affordably, and flexibly.

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Author: Emily Kelley
Editor: Kari Scare

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Chances are, you’re ready to make your dreams of becoming a medical biller and coder come true as soon as possible. You understand that this career path includes good pay, ample career opportunities for professional advancement and specialization, flexibility, and involvement in an ever-changing industry that challenges you to keep learning.

Maybe you haven’t moved forward yet because you’re a bit uncertain about selecting a quality program. After all, there’s a dizzying number of programs providing medical billing and coding certification in Arizona, and attempting to research them without guidance is overwhelming. Luckily, this guide provides exactly that. It introduces you to some high-quality medical billing and coding programs in Arizona to give you an idea of what to look for in a sound program. It also covers general considerations as you do your own research, salary and employment outlooks, and answers to common questions that prospective billing and coding students ask. Keep reading to explore your options.

Researching online medical billing and coding programs in Arizona is a bit confusing until you know what to look for. To help you get started, three high-quality programs providing medical billing and coding certification in Arizona are spotlighted below. If you don’t find your perfect fit here, refer to these examples for quality criteria as you conduct your own search.

Arizona College

Logo of Arizona College featuring a shield with blue, yellow, and white sections. Inside the shield is a flame symbol. The words "ARIZONA COLLEGE" are written to the right in bold, blue letters.

Prospective billers and coders can earn a diploma in about seven months through the Medical Billing & Coding School at Arizona College. Following a hybrid format, students attend classes both online and in person for the first ten weeks with in-person sessions offered mornings and evenings. Students can complete 15 weeks fully online and finish with five weeks of on-site clinicals where they gain real-world experience. There are no prerequisites for entry; in fact, Arizona College even has solutions for applicants who do not have high school diplomas or GEDs. The school also offers many resources, including a peer mentorship program, an open lab, and tutoring sessions by appointment.

Tuition is about $18,000 and includes a preloaded iPad to use throughout the program and keep upon graduation. There are also many financial aid options available, including loans, work-study on-campus employment, and military veteran educational benefits.

Coconino Community College

Logo of Coconino Community College featuring a stylized blue and yellow "CC" design on the left and the text "Coconino Community College" in blue on the right.

Coconino Community College offers its open-enrollment, 370-hour Medical Billing and Coding program 100% online. Students work at their own pace and have access to instructional materials for 12 months. The program covers all phases of the revenue cycle, from patient registration through collections. Other instructional topics include how to use the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), the CPT Category II and ICD-10 codes, and medical billing and coding software. At the program’s conclusion, students are prepared to sit for the certification exam of their choice — Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Coding Associate (CCA), or Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS).

Coconino’s program is around $3,000 and includes a voucher for the student’s exam of choice. To make this cost more manageable, students can apply for a payment plan that spreads the total out over 12 months, 18 months, or 24 months.

University of Arizona

Logo of The University of Arizona featuring a bold red 'A' with a navy outline on a white background, flanked by the words 'THE UNIVERSITY OF' and 'ARIZONA' in navy blue.

The University of Arizona’s Medical Billing and Coding Career Prep program features over 600 hours of self-paced, 100% online training designed to prepare students to sit for the Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) exam through the National Healthcareer Association. Students learn the main coding manuals — ICD-10-CM and the CPT — through hands-on, practical experience. They also gain an understanding of the legal, ethical, and regulatory concepts relevant to the profession. Before enrolling, students must complete a prerequisite course in medical terminology.

The program costs $3,267 and includes all textbooks, manuals, materials, the certification exam, exam preparation materials, and a digital certificate of completion from the University of Arizona Continuing & Professional Education. Although the program is not eligible for federal financial aid or veteran’s education benefits, there are payment plans and discounts available for certain individuals, including University of Arizona faculty and staff and active military and veterans.

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How to Find the Best Medical Billing/Coding Programs in Arizona

As you research medical billing and coding programs in Arizona, there are certain items you should include on your checklist to ensure a program you’re considering will fit your life and provide you with the best value for your money. In addition to seeking out support resources specifically for medical billing and coding students, continue reading below to learn about the format, curriculum, accreditation, and much more.

Accreditation

A school or program receives accreditation from an accrediting agency if it meets certain educational standards. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is the designated regional accrediting body for institutions in Arizona, but a few schools might be accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Administration (WSCUC). Additionally, billing and coding programs are sometimes endorsed by relevant organizations like the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). For example, Arizona Western College is accredited by HLC, and its billing and coding program is approved by AAPC.

Certification Exam Preparation

There are many medical billing and coding certification exams out there for billers and coders, but the three most common are CBCS, CCA, and CPC. The one you select depends on your specific career goals, so it’s important to verify that a potential program prepares you for your preferred exam. Most programs, such as the one at Cochise College, specify this information up front, and students are prepared for the CBCS exam through the National Healthcareer Association.

Cost and Financial Aid

The total cost of medical billing and coding programs in Arizona often includes required books and materials, certification exam vouchers, and other expenses, but this is not true for all programs. Be sure to look for financial aid opportunities, payment plans, and discounts that can lower costs or make them easier to manage. One example is the Medical Billing & Coding program at Pima Community College, which is eligible for Title IV financial aid through the U.S. Department of Education.

Curriculum and Specializations

A program’s curriculum includes all the basic topics and concepts of medical billing and coding as well as the materials they use to understand them. Many billing and coding programs simply offer a broad base of knowledge applicable in a variety of contexts, but some allow students to narrow their focus and choose an area of specialization. Phoenix College’s Medical Billing and Coding program, for instance, allows students to customize their education by choosing from two certificate options — Medical Billing and Coding: Physician-Based and Medical Coding: Hospital-Based.

Duration and Flexibility

Two important considerations are how long the program will take and whether it is flexible enough to fit into your life. Depending on the specific program, the duration can vary quite a bit, but the usual range for program length of medical billing and coding certification in Arizona is 14 weeks to 12 months. Look for 100% online and self-paced programs like the one at Yavapai College to achieve the most flexibility.

Format

The format of a program is how instruction is delivered. All programs can be divided into three format categories — fully online, hybrid, or on-campus. While the hybrid format combines in-person and virtual learning, a fully online program does not require students to report in person at all. There are many fully online programs offering medical billing and coding certification in Arizona. Bryan University’s Medical Billing and Coding Certification, for example, offers a flexible, 100% online learning experience.

Medical Billing and Coding Salary in Arizona

Researching average salaries can give you a realistic idea of what you can expect to earn after finishing a medical billing and coding certification in Arizona. The table below contains wage amounts for medical records specialists, the category that most closely matches medical billers and coders in the data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Notice that the mean annual wage across the state is $50,130 and is slightly less than the national figure of $53,690. Flagstaff has the highest mean wage with $54,230 and is the only area to exceed the national mean. The least promising positions seem to be in Sierra Vista-Douglas where the mean annual wage is $47,830.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the average cost of living in Arizona was $50,123 in 2022, which is uncomfortably close to the mean wage across the state. However, the highest-paid workers statewide (those in the 90th percentile) do earn well above this at $65,430, so it’s possible to live comfortably if you gain experience and find the right position.

Area10th PercentileMean Annual Wage90th Percentile
United States$35,080$53,690$77,810
Arizona$36,150$50,130$65,430
Flagstaff, AZ$40,310$54,230$77,440
Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ$32,520$48,500$65,430
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ$36,990$50,280$64,530
Prescott, AZ$36,590$51,960$75,560
Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ$34,970$47,830$63,070
Tucson, AZ$35,550$49,150$67,700
Yuma, AZ$33,070$51,600$68,600

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2023

Job Outlook for Arizona Medical Billers and Coders

As with the salary figures described above, the projections listed below are for medical records specialists, the closest match to billers and coders available through Projections Central. Over the next ten years, the profession is expected to grow 8.5% nationally, which is a healthy rate. However, Arizona’s expected growth rate comes in at a whopping 36.8%, which is absolutely booming. Based on this data, billers and coders should have no problems finding steady employment.

AreaNew JobsJob Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
United States28,6008.5%27,400
Arizona2,72036.8%890

Source: Projections Central, 2020 – 2030

FAQs About Medical Billing & Coding Schools in Arizona

Although finding a billing and coding certification in Arizona is the key consideration you face now, your questions and concerns likely extend well beyond this. To help clear up any lingering uncertainty that you may have, below are answers to some of the most common questions that prospective students ask about programs with medical billing and coding certification in Arizona.

How do I become a medical coder in Arizona?

First, find and complete a program offered through an accredited institution. Although many programs require a high school diploma or GED for admission, other prerequisites are rare. After you finish your program, the only other step is to pass your preferred certification exam.

How much does medical billing and coding pay in Arizona?

Based on the latest information from ZipRecruiter, medical billers and coders in Arizona make an average hourly wage of $19.78. However, the pay in cities like Queen Creek and Scottsdale is slightly above this. Medical billers and coders in these locations earn an average of $22.91 and $22.86 per hour, respectively.

Is medical billing and coding worth it?

Most people find that it is a solid career choice that provides a good return on their relatively small investment of time and money. Furthermore, many billers and coders report finding ample opportunities for advancement as their experience grows.

Is medical billing and coding hard?

As with any job, medical billing and coding has its challenges, but you can overcome them easily if you have the right aptitudes and tendencies. Some of the qualities billers and coders need on a day-to-day basis include a sharp eye for detail, good technical skills, and the ability to cope with stressful moments (e.g., dealing with insurance companies).

Is medical coding a good remote job?

Most of the work that medical coders do is completely independent, so it easily lends itself to remote positions. According to Bryant and Stratton College, many medical facilities and health systems allow remote work, and some coding jobs are remotely outsourced to reduce the need for in-house staff.