The CPC certification from AAPC is one of the most influential credentials that medical coders can have for jobs in Arkansas. That's because it's a nationally accredited qualification that AR employers see as demonstrative of coding skills. It is also a more practical, affordable qualification because you can get it by passing the CPC exam.
To prepare for and pass this exam in AR, I recommend that you use textbooks by Carol Buck along with a study guide like Laureen Jandroep's blitz videos. It covers all the CPC exam requirements in one place:
Coming back to coding jobs in Arkansas, I've seen the trends among schools, doctors' offices, even hospitals in and around the State. This includes several major places like Little Rock, Fort Smith, Fayetteville, North Little Rock, Jonesboro, Springdale, Pine Bluff, Conway, Rogers, Hot Springs, Texarkana, Bentonville, Jacksonville, West Memphis and Russellville.
Employment statistics show that certified medical coding specialists earn around $7000 more that those who are not certified. In AR the average annual salary of a billing and coding specialist is between $27,000 and $32,000. This works out to an average hourly pay of $10-15/hour.
Like I said, getting certified is half the job done. I say that because I'm a medical coder myself.