How Much Do RN Coders Make?

Maura Deering, J.D.
Updated February 28, 2024
Edited by
Registered nurses interested in becoming coders can boost their earnings with certifications, workplace and location changes, and specializations.
mini logo

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

RN Coder looking at paperwork at computer deskCredit: AndreyPopoc / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Nurse coding jobs offer another career option to registered nurses (RNs) seeking non-clinical work. An RN coder can work from home and has a more predictable work schedule compared to nurses, who often work overnight, holiday, and weekend shifts. This guide highlights RN coder salaries and how to improve your salary potential.

Average Salary for RN Coders

RN coders earn an average annual salary of $84,699, or $41 an hour, according to ZipRecruiter. RN coder salaries are comparable to clinical nurse salaries and are typically higher than other coding and billing salaries.

To become an RN coder, you need an active registered nursing license, which requires an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. Holding an RN license can help coders pursue higher average salaries than other health technology professionals.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health information technologists and medical registrars earned a median annual salary of $58,250 as of May 2022. RN jobs can pay $61,250-$129,400, reports the BLS, depending on the nursing specialty.

Factors that may influence your earnings include your healthcare degree, experience, credentials, setting, and location.

Average Annual Salary
Source: ZipRecruiter

Average Hourly Wage
Source: ZipRecruiter

Popular Online MSN Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site

Highest-Paying States for RN Coders

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) provides state-level salary data for medical billing and coding professionals.

While these salaries do not reflect earnings for RN coder jobs specifically, they may provide insights as to where RN coders can anticipate higher or lower wages.

On the low end, billing and coding specialists in West Virginia make an average annual salary of $52,556. But California billers and coders earn the highest average salary of $76,695.

Top 5 Highest-Paying States for RN Coders
RankState2023 Average Salary
2Rhode Island$73,611
4New Jersey$70,228
5New York$70,187
Source: AAPC

How Do RN Coder Salaries Compare to Other Healthcare Roles?

The BLS projects medical records specialist jobs to increase by 8% from 2022-2032, which is faster than the average growth for all U.S. jobs. The continued use of electronic health records and a growing aging population will contribute to the increased demand for nurse coders.

While registered nurses earn a higher average salary than coders, RN coders make more on average than technologists and technicians without an RN license.

Four Ways to Increase Pay as an RN Coder

RN coders can increase their salaries by taking proactive steps, including earning certifications, obtaining a higher degree, pursuing a specialty, and changing work settings.

  1. 1

    Earn Additional Certifications and Credentials

    RN coders earn above-average salaries, and obtaining certification can further boost their salary potential. The AAPC indicates that RN coders can increase their paychecks with certifications, including certified professional billers, certified professional coders, and certified outpatient coders.

  2. 2

    Choose a Specialty

    RN coders can gain recognition for their expertise and boost their salaries by pursuing specialties through the AAPC. Specialties include cardiology, dermatology, anesthesia and pain management, and pediatrics. Nurse coders understand specific medical terminology to handle insurance and patient claims.

  3. 3

    Earn a Bachelor’s in Nursing

    It only takes an associate degree in nursing to become an RN coder, but earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) provides advancement opportunities. With a BSN, RN coders can become medical and health services managers who earn a median annual salary of $104,830, according to the BLS.

  4. 4

    Change Practice Settings

    Salaries for RN coders vary by setting. RN coders can find the highest salaries working for major healthcare organizations. Health systems pay medical billing and coding professionals an average salary of $59,129, according to the AAPC. Those at solo practices and small group practices might earn $50,709 a year.

Frequently Asked Questions About RN Coder Salaries

Yes. The growing aging population will require employers to hire more RN coders. Individuals with knowledge of specialized systems will be in high demand. RN coders enjoy relative job security.

Surf City, New Jersey, pays nurse coders the highest average salary of $92,098, according to Ziprecruiter. The second and third highest-paying cities for RN coders are Bolinas, California, and Harris, Minnesota, which pay nurse coders average salaries of $91,012 and $89,431, respectively.

The AAPC recommends that RN coders earn certifications in specialty areas to compete in the changing job market. RN coders can continue to grow professionally by pursuing higher degrees and keeping up to date on changes in the field.

RN coders pay for courses and exams, along with other expenses. AAPC offers courses that cost about $2,295-$3,095. Exams cost $399-$475 and include two attempts. Members receive significant discounts. RN coders can also take supplementary courses in medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology.

Related Resources

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.