6 Essential Medical Coding Skills

Now, that you’re thinking about pursuing an education in medical coding, you may want to make sure that you have these essential medical coding skills to be a medical coder. Here are some of the top ones to keep in mind:

Reading and listening skills. There are many codes and procedures to understand, along with basic medical terminology. It’s vital that you have solid reading and listening skills.

Attention to detail. Coders need to have the ability to read charts, proofread codes to ensure that all data entered is correct and follow appropriate coding rules. Coding errors disruptive to payment are not usually well tolerated.

Drive and determination. Well rounded coders (highly-employable coders) will go above and beyond. For instance, ask your supervisor about cross-training. Mastering more than one specialty will only work to your advantage. Successful coders advance their knowledge throughout their career.

Open to change.  Twice a year, changes are made to the coding system. The system also undergoes change when new regulations and rules are issued by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies.

Top-notch communication. Consulting with co-workers, coding educators, and other coders will be the key to your coding success. Working with other coders on specific cases is a great way to share information and to learn from each other.

Ability to work alone without supervision. Coding can often be solitary. Many times, it’s just you and your charts and notes. You need to have the ability to work alone, and then consult as needed. Employers also seek self starters.

Solid computer and keyboard skills. You will need to know how to type and to posses the ability to learn about and understand different software programs.

Analytical and evaluation skills. Medical coders review patient records and identify separate illnesses, symptoms, diagnoses, procedures and treatments. You then need to assign a code to each element. So, you will be expected to have good analytical and evaluation skill.

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5 thoughts on “6 Essential Medical Coding Skills”

    • Hi Ratan,

      It can be challenging but you can learn it in as little as 4-6 months then through practice really get your skills up.


    • There are a few math skills needed but nothing overwhelming. For example you need to understand how square centimeters work in order to select the right code based on size of a repair etc. Also the metric system is used in the coding manuals so if your provider used inches you’ll need to convert.


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