This is a question we get all the time. Why am I going to spend the money for a CRC® certification? Why am I going to get this extra credential? What good is it going to do me? Does the CRC® certification really make an impact in my salary?
The graph above is from the 2018 AAPC salary survey. When we start to look at this, you begin to see a bump in salary as you add credentials especially when you go from having one credential to having two. Part of the reason for that is there are more doors that open for you with the second credential. There are more areas that you can then demonstrate proficiency in and more employers that are open to you, if you will. And you’ll notice there’s another bump when you increase from 2 to 3 and more credentials. It may not be as significant as that first bump but there is a salary increase that can help out with yearly cost of living increases.
And one of the things that we always encourage people is, talk to your employers before you even start a program especially if it’s for something that they are already doing because they may work with you to help pay for part of the education, they may reimburse it at the end. Once you’ve completed it successfully, passed it, they may say, “Okay, then we’ll give you some money towards that.” And some people are simply adding additional credentials so that they can have a better opportunity with a different employer and they want that additional door open. So that’s also something to think about when you’re thinking about getting these additional credentials.
Multiple credentials give you credibility and that carry significant weight in the industry. Employers will know that you’ve taken the time to take the training to get that credential and pass the difficult exams. Most companies that are hiring coders understand the increased difficulty and may even assign you as a specialist.
The multiple credentials also guarantee a baseline knowledge the employer can look forward to. They don’t expect you to know everything just because you have that credential, but they expect you to have a certain level of baseline understanding that they can then build upon and help customize towards their specifics, just like a physician’s office.
So it’s always good to have multiple credentials. We never encourage anyone to stop learning. However, if you want just one, that’s fine and there is nothing wrong with that. However, once you’ve got one it’s not that hard to add some of these others since you’re already in “training mode” and you understand how to pass an exam from experience.
Just keep in mind, once you get a second credential, you’ll probably want a third. And it just keeps going and going.