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AAPC CPC exam requirements

Certified Professional Coder (CPC®)


Become a certified medical coder by earning your Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) credential, the most recognized medical coding certification in the healthcare industry. The CPC is the gold standard for medical coding in physician office settings. Over 105,000 certified professionals help maintain compliance and profitability within medical practices through accurate medical coding and documentation.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for certified medical coders <<<(what does a medical coder do?) will increase 22 percent through the year 2022. Prepare yourself to meet the industry demand by becoming a CPC. This is your first step to a successful career in the business side of healthcare. The help to increase your chances of being hired in a competitive job market.


According to AAPC’s 2017 Salary Survey, the average salary for a CPC was $54,106. Keep in mind that a CPC’s annual salary varies based on location, years of experience, how many credentials held, the employer, and other factors. Click here to calculate the average CPC salary in your area, based on your job responsibility.


Through rigorous examination and experience, CPCs  have proven mastery of all code sets (CPTICD-10-CMHCPCS Level II), evaluation and management (E/M) principles, surgical coding, and adherence to documentation and coding guidelines. CPCs represent excellence in medical coding.

Becoming a CPC demonstrates you have:

  • Expertise in reviewing and assigning accurate medical codes for diagnoses, procedures, and services performed by physicians and other qualified healthcare providers in the office or facility setting (e.g., inpatient hospital)
  • Proficiency across a wide range of services, including E/M, anesthesia, surgery, radiology, pathology, and medicine
  • A sound knowledge of medical coding guidelines and regulations including compliance and reimbursement – allowing a CPC to better handle issues such as medical necessity, claims denials, bundling issues, and charge capture
  • Understanding of how to integrate medical coding and payment policy changes into a practice's reimbursement processes
  • Knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology necessary to correctly code provider diagnosis and services

Double your chance of passing - Learn from the experts

Our goal is to train medical coders to be industry ready. We provide a complete education, preparing you for the CPC exam. Our in-depth CPC exam prep course is for individuals preparing for a career in medical coding. Students preparing for the exam with our preparation courses are twice as likely to pass.






View sample CPC test questions.View Now

Medical Coding Certification Requirements

  • We recommend having an associate’s degree (not required).
  • Pay examination fee at the time of application submission.
  • Maintain current membership with the AAPC.
    • New members must submit membership payment with examination application.
    • Renewing members must have a current membership at the time of submission and when exam results are released.
  • A CPC designation must have at least two years medical coding experience.
  • If you have not submitted proof of 2 years on the job experience, a CPC-A designation will be awarded. https://www.aapc.com/certification/apprentice_status.aspx
  • Membership is required to be renewed annually and 36 Continuing Education Units (CEU's) must be submitted every two years for verification and authentication of expertise. For CEU requirements please see out CEU Information page.


Each examination is separate and distinct from one another. To obtain all certifications, each examination must be taken separately and passed.

An overall score of 70% or higher is required to pass an exam. For examinees who do not pass, only the areas of study/categories with a score of 65% or less are provided for examinees’ preparation.

The areas of study reported reflect scores based on the number of questions in each category/section of the exam; each of the category/section may vary in the number of questions asked.