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I have an upcoming interview for a rural pediatric practice. They salary was stated at 60,000-75,000 dependent on experience. Since I'm a new grad I'm thinking that they may offer closer to 60,000. Other benefits include 2 weeks paid vacation, 1 week and 2000 for CMEs and full medical, dental and eye insurance.

 

I have over $250,000 in school loans and I'm nervous that 60,000 is not enough money for me. Is this too low?

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Yes, I would say it is too low.  12 years ago as a new grad I started at 60,000 a year.  I would say the low end would be 75k for a new grad, most places I am seeing are offering closer to 80k.  I did not go into pediatrics and I know it is a lower salaried area of medicine but they still should at least offer  a reasonable starting salary.

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Still just a student here, but besides the dismal pay, what is up with these "2 weeks of vacation" offers?

 

That is a JOKE. High stress fields, where making mistakes can result in serious injury or death need more than 2 weeks off per year to decompress. I got that much paid vacation time working at the mall, in high school.

 

Makes me think a place is greedy and just wants to run you into the ground for $$$ with offers like that.

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Can you get any loan forgiveness in this job? That could make it worthwhile. Otherwise, it's a non-starter. Consider that a new college graduate with a business degree (no national certification exam, no license) can easily earn $60k. I know of starting salaries of $85k with $15k signing bonuses. These students don't even have MBAs. While this is not an apples-to-apples comparison, it's puts things in perspective. You have a master's degree, a license to practice medicine and will be generating great income for an employer. You may not be able to get more than $60k from this employer. If that turns out to be the case, look elsewhere. I hate seeing PAs get under paid.

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I have over $250,000 in school loans and I'm nervous that 60,000 is not enough money for me. Is this too low?

Are you willing to share how you ended up with $250K+ in school loans? It might be instructive for others. Did you go to high price private undergrad and grad schools? In retrospect, are there ways you could have gotten essentially the same education for less?

This is something else that fascinates me. At private universities, there are three kinds of students. 1.The minorities or low income students that get needs based financial assistance. 2. The top students from high school that get academic or sports scholarships because it suits the universities' needs to attract these students, and 3. everyone in the middle (which may include very good students who don't qualify for assistance but have to borrow the full ticket and students with rich parents who don't have limits on what they can pay.) Schools have no mercy in this regard. They don't care how much debt they saddle you with. Rarely is the quality of the education worth the full ticket some students end up paying. This is why I always advise those who go to school on their own dime to try to get into a state university that subsidizes in-state students.

 

I have a lifetime of experience in this regard with my education, my wife's education and my kid's educations.

 

My other advice is as follows: Once you go to college, no one (meaning employers) cares where you went to high school. Once you go to graduate school, no one cares where you went for undergrad. And, while going to Harvard, MIT or Stanford, etc, may be important for those getting law degrees, MBAs, or engineering degrees, it makes NO difference for PAs. And by the time a PA is applying for their second or third job the PA school they attended means less than zero. $250K + in education debt is OK for a physician, but way too much for most PAs. You will need to do careful debt repayment planning and that means telling an employer with a $60k job to take a hike. Oh, and my last piece of advice, if you aren't already married, find someone with good income prospects.

 

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simply put

 

go to the interview - as a practice run

 

that is WAY to low, but as a new grad it does not hurt to polish up your interview skills and there is nothing like a real interview to try it out

 

Then the added side benefit is when they offer you $60k you can say a simple polite no thank you and provide them with the most recent AAPA salary data and walk out.   It will maybe set up the next time the need to hire a PA with a better salary rate.

 

 

I have seen a few local Peds practices (I have never worked in outpatient peds) hire new grads and just burn through them.  They only wanted the provider to see an unrealistic number of patients, with little support, and really it was just about throughput and $$$ (profit for the doc owners)

 

 

 

I would figure out the 20 year payment on a 1/4 million dollars - my figuring puts it at about $1500 - this is after tax $$ so figure on $2500 pretax - that in itself is close to $30k per year - so the $60k per year is really only $30k,   heck you would make more working at a fast food restaurant....  

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my first job in 1996 paid 70k.

paramedics and medical assistants I work with make 60 k. they have 1 yr of post high school training. you have at least 6.

60 k for a pa is insulting when the natl average is > 90k!

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Are you willing to share how you ended up with $250K+ in school loans? 

 

As you stated I am the student that ends up in the middle. My parents make enough money for themselves but it's too much for me to be qualified as a low income family. So I fell in the middle. The surprising part is that I didn't go to a private undergraduate school I went to a state school. However, I wasn't able to get into a state school for PA school and ended up going to a private school in NY where cost of living is high and I always had to take out a lot in private loans to cover the living expenses, so that's where the majority of my debt comes from. 

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Sorry to hear about the debt issue. With the difficulty getting into PA school, I can understand going to the private school just to get in.

 

I agree with Ventana's comment about going to the interview. It's good practice. I would make the following modification: If you get an offer, let them know you can't work for less than $x and supply the salary survey.

 

Make sure you fully understand your monthly debt service as suggested by Ventana. I don't think you can actually afford to take a $60k per year job.

 

Good luck!

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