Or Are You Under-paid for Your Job?

Are you being paid what you are worth? There are several ways you can research this, whether you are concerned that you are being under-paid, or if you are just curious.

One approach that is not recommended to research salary information: do not discuss your income with your co-workers! There is nothing good that can come out of a salary conversation with your colleagues. One of the parties in the salary discussion is going to feel bad because they’re getting paid less than someone else, and it could be you on either side of that equation.

One thing is for sure companies like CVS Health, UnitedHealth and McKesson Corp earn billions, and it is your job to ensure you being fairly compensated for your time. So how do you find out if you are being paid fairly? Here are a few quick ways to assess your compensation:

  1. Salary Calculators:Salary calculators are the obvious method of determining how your income stacks up. They are quick and easy to use, but I would not regard them as the absolute authority on how fair your salary is, only because there are so many factors involved with your job and your salary and fairness and satisfaction. Therefore, I recommend using salary calculators as a general GUIDE, or starting point in your quest for information about your salary. One of my personal favorites is: AbsoluteHealthcare.com: This salary calculator is geared toward the healthcare industry, but is also comprehensive enough that it will be able to provide the information you need as a good starting point for your research.After consulting a salary calculator, I would also recommend consulting the following sources to help you in assessing the overall fairness of your pay:
  1. Professional recruiters: You should always maintain relationships with recruiters, in case you ever need help with your job search, and this is a great time to call on one for assistance. A recruiter who is experienced in the healthcare field, especially in your line of work, may advise you regarding salaries in your role, based on your type of work and level of responsibility.
  2. Professional Associations: Professional associations should have compensation information on-hand, or they can refer you to accurate information or to a recruiter who is knowledgeable in your profession.
  3. Networking Contacts: You may also have some contacts who are hiring managers in other facilities or organizations. If you have a pretty good relationship with this contact, and if they have no relation to your colleagues, you could discuss with them the salaries they offer to comparable professionals when hiring. Remember the hiring manager must not be in your organization in order to discuss this information!

If these sources show that your salary is average or above, then congratulations! You can now continue to work happily and enjoy collecting those fat paychecks!

I am under-paid. . .now what do I do?

What if your salary appears to be well below the average according to your research? First, before getting discouraged, consider all of the factors that go into your current job, and all the perks and benefits that may offset any disparities in salary:

  • Schedule / hours / flexibility
  • Location / cost of living
  • Cost of working there: Commute/dress code (new suits and dry-cleaning bills add up!)
  • Work environment
  • Benefits & Perks (401k, retirement, vacation, bonuses, etc.)
  • Career Growth & Opportunity
  • If, after considering all of the above, you still feel that you are under-paid, you have several options:
  1. Get a new job with an employer who will pay you what you’re worth.
  2. Ask for a raise.
  3. Ask for a promotion, AND a raise.
  4. Go back to school for advanced degrees to increase your value.

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