Animal medical coding specialists keep veterinary records properly coded, organized and current. Training to become a coding specialist can be completed in as little as 2 years at an accredited college or university. Online or in-person classroom training is also available for students seeking certification to work in the field. Schools such as Sanford Brown College, Penn Foster, the University of Akron or Allied Health Institute offer certification programs in the field.
Types of Schools
Accredited 2- and 4-year colleges and universities offer courses in medical coding and veterinary assistant work. In addition, certification schools such as LS Coding & Education, Apollo College and the Pima Medical Institute offer focused areas of study in the field. Instructors at LS Coding & Education are licensed by the American Academy of Professional Coders. Apollo College is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Pima Institute has campuses in the Western part of the United States--California, Colorado and Arizona. The school has been in operation for longer than 3 decades. Many of the specialized schools and colleges and universities offer online and in-person classroom training.
Animal medical coding training focuses on medical terminology, medical law and processing insurance claims. Other topics focused on during the training include ethics, customer service, animal anatomy and physiology, laboratory procedures, filing, administrative and office management.
Certified animal medical coders can work independently at home transcribing records. Coders can also work at animal clinics and hospitals in areas of massage, surgical and rehabilitative health. According to "Guide to Online Schools," medical coders earn between $33,000 and $42,000 per year.
According to the "United States Bureau of Labor Statistics 2008-2009 Occupational Outlook Handbook," veterinary technology is one of the fastest-growing occupational fields in America. The handbook notes that the veterinary technology degree occupation is expected to increase by 41% from 2006 to 2016. According to the handbook, growth for the field is tracking to be significantly faster than the growth for all other national occupations over the same time period.
Search schools online to narrow down your top schools. Contact the admissions office at those schools to get the eligibility requirements and admissions procedures. Remember to call or visit the school's financial aid office and ask about your eligibility to receive financial aid. If you already know of a veterinary clinic or hospital where you want to work, ask about its specific degree or certification requirements to be hired. Make sure you elect courses that meet those specific requirements.