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Medical Biller and Coder vs. Medical Transcriptionist

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Home » Blog » Biller & Coder vs. Transcriptionist

Written and reported by:
All Allied Health Schools Staff
Contributing writer

The health care industry generates mounds of paperwork, and it takes armies of trained professionals keep hospitals, doctor’s offices, and insurance companies on the same page.

Medical transcriptionists work with doctors and other health care providers, turning audio recordings about patient care into written notes that go into a patient’s file.

Medical coders work with those files, making sure they’re up-to-date and they comply with federal regulations and insurance requirements. Medical billers (a subset of medical coders) submit claims to insurance companies, Medicare, and others.

The Key Differences

Here’s some more detail about how these careers, which play a vital role in keeping the health care system running smoothly:

Job Duties

Medical Biller & Coder

  • Assign alphanumeric codes to illnesses
  • Injuries and medical procedures
  • Submit claims for reimbursement
  • Advise providers on best documentation practices

Medical Transcriptionist

  • Listen to audio recordings made by doctors and other health care professionals and convert them into written reports
  • Edit drafts prepared by speech recognition software for accuracy and style consistency
  • Pinpoint inconsistencies or errors and follow up with the medical professional


Medical Biller & Coder

  • Most medical coders and billers start out with an associate’s degree, though certificates and diplomas that take less time to complete are also an option.

Medical Transcriptionist

  • Employers usually prefer formally trained transcriptionists with a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree.

Licensing and Certification

Medical Biller & Coder

  • Certification is optional but highly recommended, since many employers prefer it.

Medical Transcriptionist

  • Same as for medical biller and coder.

Median Annual Salaries and Job Growth

You can compare national salaries for both professions below.

Median Annual Salaries Cited by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2020

Medical Biller & Coder


Medical Transcriptionist


Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics, the national average for all jobs is 8% through 2030.

Medical Biller & Coder


Medical Transcriptionist

The BLS anticipates a negative (-7%) job growth for medical transcriptionists through 2030.

Next Steps

Medical Biller & Coder

  • Getting certified as an advanced or specialty coder is one way to advance your career.

Medical Transcriptionist

  • Getting certified as a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) or Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) can help you stand out when applying for jobs.