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Billing Clerk Career

Career Description

Billing clerks calculate charges, develop bills, and prepare them to be mailed to customers. By reviewing purchasing records and making or verifying calculations, they ensure that even the most complicated bills are accurate.

Common Work Tasks

  • Review hospital records, purchase orders, sales tickets, or charge slips to calculate the total amount due from a customer
  • Contact an insurance company to determine what items will be reimbursed
  • Calculate client fees based on the time required to perform the service being purchased
  • Keep track of the accumulated hours spent on a job, the fees to charge, the type of job performed for a customer, and the percentage of work completed
  • Compute charges using calculators or computers
  • Prepare itemized statements, bills, or invoices used for billing and recordkeeping purposes
  • Prepare a bill containing the amount due and the date and type of service; produce a detailed invoice with codes for all goods and services provided
  • List the items sold, the terms of credit, the date of shipment or of service, and a salesperson’s or doctor’s identification
  • Enter data from handwritten forms into a computer to manipulate the necessary information on quantities, labor, and rates to be charged
  • Review bills for accuracy

Other Job Titles

Billing Clerks are also known by other titles, including:

  • Posting Clerk
  • Billing Machine Operator
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting Clerk
  • Medical Biller
  • Order Clerk

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
  Most billing clerks need at least a high school diploma. However, many employers prefer to hire workers who have completed some college courses or a degree. Workers with an associate or bachelor’s degree are likely to start at higher salaries and advance more easily than those without degrees. Employers also seek workers who are comfortable using computers, especially billing software programs.

Billing clerks usually receive on-the-job training from their supervisor or some other senior worker. Some formal classroom training also may be necessary, such as training in the specific computer software used by the company. A number of community and career colleges offer certificate programs in medical billing. Courses typically cover basic biology, anatomy, and physiology in addition to training on coding and computer billing software.

Experience
  Workers must be careful, orderly, and detail oriented. They must be good at working with numbers to avoid making errors and to recognize errors made by others. Workers also should be discreet and trustworthy because they frequently come in contact with confidential material. Medical billers in particular need to understand and follow the regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which were enacted to maintain the confidentiality of patient medical records.

Salary

The median annual salary of a Billing Clerk is $29,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $43,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $21,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of billing clerks are:

  • Offices of Physicians - $31,110
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals - $30,620
  • Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services - $30,970
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises - $32,240
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners - $29,540

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  4%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 24,000
  • Employment 2006 : 542,000
  • Employment 2016:  566,000
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