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There is a tremendous demand in health care including positions as medical billers and coders. Jobs in this field are expected to grow 20 percent by 2018, with about 3,000 new jobs opening in Massachusetts.

Demand for experienced medical billers and coders is so high that those with expertise in complex surgical coding can earn $60,000 or more per year

According to the U.S.Department of Labor, jobs in Health Care information management, including positions as medical billers and coders, are expected to grow 20 percent by 2018, with about 3,000 new jobs opening in Massachusetts alone in the next three years.

There is a tremendous demand for workers in this field. Demand for expertise in more complex surgical coding can earn $60,000 or more per year. Medical billers, who don't require the extensive training in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology demanded of coders, make less; their starting salaries are around $30,000. Health Care Careers

Although pay scales vary widely within both professions, the higher paying coding jobs reflect the complex training those employees undergo to learn how to interpret a patient's medical record and translate it into a specific,internationally recognized code. Once interpreted, that coded information is sent to a medical biller, who uses it to invoice patients and insurance companies.

Since billers do not need specific training, many often transition into the job from administrative positions in hospitals or medical offices, although specialized schooling can help open the door to other opportunities.

For medical coders, the job is more detective work than treasure hunt as they translate the complex medical jargon on patients' charts into codes that insurance companies understand. They really have to be able to communicate with physicians about what happened in the operating room. That takes a special person.

A good medical coder needs more than communication skill, however coders need at least two years of training to learn how to interpret diagnoses and medical procedures before undergoing a rigorous certification process. After certification, it can take another six months to a year of supervised training before a new coder can work independently. Health Care Careers

Between an aging population and rapidly increasing technological advances, there is no stop to the growing need for most Health Care practitioners. Nurses,medical technologists of all types, pharmacists, physicians,and physical therapists are all in short supply, and most salaries continue on a steady upward trajectory. Health Care Careers

With its many excellent, large medical facilities and schools, the Boston area is a great place to study and find fulfilling work upon graduation. But the schools can't graduate specialists fast enough, and teachers are sorely needed to educate aspiring nurses and other practitioners. "There is an incredible shortage of preceptors and educators to help", said Thom Bosanquet, director of employment and employer relations for Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington. "Experienced educators are in shorter and shorter supply." Health Care Careers

Experience counts in nursing,too, he added, nothing that those with several years' experience and training in specialty areas such as telemetry are in the greatest demand.There are only so many new, inexperienced nurses hospitals can absorb,he said. Needs are also very high for nurse assistants, pharmacists, and professionals with training in the latest diagnostic technologies. Health Care Careers

For those in nursing, Bosanquet said, "The best advice is, in the last year or two of school, get a part-time job, even as a unit clerk, to get experience, get familiar with the culture. The people who've had experience are the most attractive, people who already are at your place, already know the ropes."

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