Explore the about of Medical Billing and Coding

What is better medical assistant or medical billing and coding?

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What is better medical assistant or medical billing and coding?

Updated March 3, 2024

Healthcare is the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. financial system. In 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 14.7 million people aged 16 and older were employed in healthcare occupations, and about 8 in 10 workers were women.

When it comes to pursuing a career in the healthcare industry, aspiring professionals often find themselves at a crossroads, torn between different paths that offer unique opportunities and challenges. Two of the most prominent options are becoming a Medical Assistant or entering the world of Medical Billing and Coding

Each of these fields holds a vital role in healthcare, but they differ significantly. In this blog, we will explore both career options considering various aspects allowing you to make an informed decision about which path suits you best.

Key Differences Between Medical Assisting and Medical Billing and Coding

Daily Responsibilities

Medical Assistant:

Medical assistants are on the front lines of patient care. They work closely with physicians and nurses, performing a wide range of clinical and administrative tasks. On a typical day, a medical assistant may take patients' vital signs, prepare them for examinations, administer injections or medications (depending on state regulations), and assist with minor surgical procedures. They are also responsible for maintaining patient records, scheduling appointments, and handling administrative tasks such as billing and coding.

Medical Billing and Coding:

On the other hand, professionals in medical billing and coding jobs have a more behind-the-scenes role in healthcare. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that healthcare providers receive accurate and timely payments for their services. They translate medical procedures, diagnoses, and treatments into universally recognized codes for insurance purposes. This role requires a keen eye for detail and a strong understanding of medical terminology and coding guidelines.

Work Environment

Medical Assistant:

Medical assistants typically work in a clinical setting, such as a hospital, physician's office, or outpatient care center. They spend their days interacting directly with patients and healthcare providers, which can be both rewarding and demanding. The environment can be fast-paced, and medical assistants must be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances and patient needs.

Medical Billing and Coding

The healthcare industry has increasingly embraced remote work, and medical billing and coding is no exception. Many employers now offer remote positions, allowing professionals to work from the comfort of their homes. Their work is largely independent and involves reviewing medical records, invoices, and insurance claims. This flexibility can be particularly appealing to those seeking a work-life balance.

Patient Interactions

Medical Assistant:

Medical assistants have extensive patient interactions as they are often the first point of contact for individuals seeking medical care. This aspect of the job can be personally rewarding as it allows for direct patient care and the opportunity to build relationships with patients over time. However, it also means dealing with various emotions and challenges that patients may face.

Medical Billing and Coding:

Professionals in medical billing and coding have minimal patient interactions, as their work primarily involves paperwork and coding tasks. While this can be less emotionally demanding, it may lack the personal fulfillment that comes from direct patient care. The focus is on ensuring the financial aspects of healthcare run smoothly.

Growth Opportunities 

Medical Assistant:

At a personal level, medical assistants have opportunities for growth by specializing in specific areas of medicine, such as pediatrics or cardiology. They can also pursue further education to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs), opening up even more career options. On a national level, the demand for medical assistants is expected to grow as the population ages and healthcare facilities and services expand, making it a relatively stable career choice.

Medical Billing and Coding:

In the field of medical billing and coding, personal growth opportunities may involve obtaining certifications in specialized coding systems or pursuing supervisory roles within healthcare organizations. On a national level, the demand for medical billing and coding professionals is also projected to increase, driven by changes in healthcare regulations and the need for accurate billing and insurance claims processing.

In both fields, getting a certification is a vital step in succeeding in your career path which brings us to the next section of our blog. 

Medical Assistant vs. Medical Billing and Coding Salary 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2021, the median annual wage for medical assistants was $35,850. The salary can vary based on factors such as location, experience, and the type of healthcare facility.

According to the BLS, as of 2021, the median annual wage for medical records and health information technicians (which includes medical billing and coding specialists) was $44,090. The point is when we’re choosing between a medical assistant or medical billing and coding technician, a lot of factors come into account, and thus, there’s no one right answer. 

How can you get Medical Assisting or Medical Billing and Coding Certification?

Certification is a pivotal step in solidifying your career path in both medical assisting and medical billing and coding. It serves as a testament to your expertise and commitment, opening doors to better job prospects and increasing credibility within the healthcare industry. Let’s see how could you get certifications in medical assisting and medical billing and coding:  

1. Choose the Right Program:

Medical Assisting: Look for accredited medical assisting programs offered by community colleges, vocational schools, or online institutions. Ensure that the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Medical Billing and Coding: Similarly, seek accredited programs for becoming a medical billing and coding specialist. These programs can also be found at community colleges, vocational schools, or online institutions. 

2. Complete the Required Coursework:

Enroll in the chosen program and complete all the required coursework, which typically includes classes in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, healthcare laws and ethics, and specific skills related to both fields.

3. Gain Hands-on Experience:

Many programs include a clinical or practical component for Medical Assisting to provide you with hands-on experience. For Medical Billing and Coding, internships or practical experience may also be part of the curriculum.

4. Prepare for Certification Exams:

Medical Assisting: After completing your program, you can prepare for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam by American Medical Technologists (AMT).

Medical Billing and Coding: You can prepare for the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

5. Pass the Certification Exam:

Schedule and take the certification exam for your chosen field. These exams typically consist of multiple-choice questions and may require a certain passing score to obtain certification.

TN Professional Training Institute ( TNPTI ) offers training programs in Medical Assisting and Medical Billing and Coding. You could enroll in your preferred course and start your certification journey right away. Check out our entire schedule, learning objectives, and goals for both courses on our website, and get started today! 

Contact TNPTI For Certified Medical Assistant and Medical Billing & Coding Programs 

Are you ready to embark on a journey towards a rewarding career in healthcare? Finding the right medical assisting or medical billing & coding courses could be a daunting task since there are so many options to choose from. 

Whether you're interested in medical billing and coding or becoming a Clinical Medical Office Assistant, TNPTI is here to guide you every step of the way. Tennessee Professional Training Institute offers courses in Certified Medical Office Assistant and Medical Billing and Coding Specialists. Our programs equip you with the skills and certification needed for success in these high-demand fields.

All of our courses come with flexible schedules, including evening and weekend classes, to keep you advancing your career while keeping your current obligations. We also provide affordable payment plans and help you get tuition assistance, so that the financial burden does not hold you back in pursuing your dreams.

The time to take action is now. Call us at (615) 631-8440 to enroll in our comprehensive programs. Don't miss this opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge you need for your success. Your future in the healthcare industry awaits! 


Contact hours earned at TN Professional Training Institute may not transfer to another educational institution. Contact hours earned at another educational institution may not be accepted by TN Professional Training Institute. You should obtain confirmation that TN Professional Training Institute will accept any contact hours you have earned at another educational institution before you execute an enrollment contract or agreement. You should also contact any educational institutions that you may want to transfer contact hours earned at TN Professional Training Institute to determine if such institutions will accept credits earned at TN Professional Training Institute prior to executing an enrollment contract or agreement. The ability to transfer credits from TN Professional Training Institute to another educational institution may be very limited. Your credits may not transfer and you may have to repeat courses previously taken at TN Professional Training Institute if you enroll in another educational institution. You should never assume that credits will transfer to or from any educational institution. It is highly recommended and you are advised to make certain that you know the transfer of contact hours policy of TN Professional Training Institute and of any other educational institution you may in the future want to transfer the contact hours earned at TN Professional Training Institute before you execute an enrollment contract or agreement.