How to Become a Certified Professional Coder FAQs!

What Is A Certified Professional Coder (CPC)?

A Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is an individual of high professional integrity, who has passed a coding certification examination sponsored by the American Academy of Professional Coders. The examination consists of questions regarding the correct application of CPT, HCPCS procedure and supply codes and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes used for billing professional medical services to insurance companies. A CPC must have at least two years coding experience and maintain yearly CEU requirements (18 CEU’s) which must be submitted to the AAPC every two (2) years.

A student who successfully passes the AAPC’s certification examination will be awarded the CPC certification if he/she has at least two years full time coding experience.

Full Time is defined as follows:

• Thirty-two (32) or more hours per week.
• Job must be either coding or coding related (CPT books used daily).
• One year experience may be waived for completing the A+ Coding Institute’s 80 hour coding course.
• Six months experience will be waived for completing A+ Coding Institute’s Boot Camp 40 hour coding course.

CPC-Apprentice (CPC-A)
Students lacking any of the above combination of coding experience and education who successfully sit for and pass the exam will be awarded the apprentice certification (CPC-A). The same exam is administered.

Upon passing, the student will be sent a certificate stating the CPC-A credential has been earned.
The same number of CEU’s are required each year (18 CEU’s) for both CPC and CPC-A credentials and are required to be submitted to the AAPC every two (2) years (36 CEU’s).

Once the student has completed the coding experience requirements, two letters of recommendation must be submitted to the AAPC.

• One letter from the student’s employer.
• If part of the experience is waived for education one letter must come from the instructor.

Upon receipt and approval of the letters the “-A” will be dropped from the credential and a diploma will be issued. Source:

Certificate in Coding vs. Coding Certification  — VIDEO

YouTube video

What Your Certification as a Professional Medical Coder Means

With certification, medical coders may benefit from the following:

  • Higher professional standards
  • Increased professional demeanor
  • Ability to command respect and trust
  • Potential to earn a higher income

Medical coders are respected health care professionals. Their job is to make sure that accurate records are kept for insurance billing purposes.

Without accurate records, health care providers may not receive proper payments. Faulty coding could prevent patients from receiving the correct treatment or medications. Source:

Certified Professional Coder Training Online

Online CPC certificate programs teach students how to analyze medical information and assign codes according to the medical standards. Participants also learn skills in organizing records and insurance data, reporting information and communicating with health care professionals. There are typically no prerequisites to enroll in the certificate program; however, a background in the medical field is helpful. Source:

Certified Professional Coder Exam

The CPC exam is comprised of 150 multiple-choice questions. The test takes five hours and 40 minutes to complete, making it fairly rigorous. There are two breaks in the middle of the test. The CPC exam costs $399 to take, but only $325 if the test-taker is a member of the AAPC (annual dues are $170 for individuals and $90 for students).

Once you pass the CPC exam, you are not officially certified by the AAPC until you fulfill a few other criteria. In order to complete a CPC certification, you must become a member of the AAPC. Certification is also limited to coders with two years of professional experience or those willing to complete an apprentice program.

As such, the CPC exam is recommended for individuals who have already started their coding career. That won’t prevent us from going over the basics of this important exam. Source:

How to Become a Certified Professional Coder Related Posts:

How to Become a Certified Professional Coder FAQs

Leave a Comment