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Multiple Part-time jobs vs One Full-time job


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I am a Physician Assistant in my 40's with 10+ years of experience, & being a PA is a second career for me.
I recognize how in demand we are becoming & I want to capitalize on that.  In my career I've worked several jobs

& over the last couple of years I have started to really understand how companies/employers see us as a commodity

and that this is the unfortunate reality of things. 

I have experience in Emergency Medicine, Family Practice, Urgent Care, & Occupational medicine so I think I have

enough marketability to work 2-3 Part-time employee jobs rather than one Full-time employee position. I am married, my

wife works full time hours & we have two young children.  My wife currently does not get benefits at her job.

Right now I am in the information gathering stage to make sure this transition is realistic as I do have other mouths to feed. 

If I was single this probably wouldn't even faze me.  

My questions are for EXPERIENCED PA's especially in the Tristate Area: ***(Please assume a Part-time employee status (W2) with these questions)

Have you found from your experience that there are enough part-time positions for this?
How viable is it to work 2-3 Part-time employee jobs vs one Full-time employee position?
What are your thoughts on Locum Tenens?  Is it feasible if I just want to stay in the tristate area (NY,NJ,CT)?  

 

Of course it goes without saying I would be asking for a higher salary as I wouldn't be getting all the bennies of the

Full-time employee position.

 

I appreciate any feedback from PA's with comparable levels of experience or more.

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or you could do 1 full time job and several part time jobs if you are a glutton for punishment like me: 1 FT ER urban job, 1 part time rural ER job, 2 per diem rural ER jobs. total hrs typically 180-200/mo.

if you work for a locums company full time they would cover benefits, but also give you a lower rate. the ideal situation is the PA with a spouse who works and gets bennies because they need to come from somewhere and if you work 3-4 jobs at a high rate of pay without bennies you have to foot the bill for those yourself.

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or you could do 1 full time job and several part time jobs if you are a glutton for punishment like me: 1 FT ER urban job, 1 part time rural ER job, 2 per diem rural ER jobs. total hrs typically 180-200/mo.

if you work for a locums company full time they would cover benefits, but also give you a lower rate. the ideal situation is the PA with a spouse who works and gets bennies because they need to come from somewhere and if you work 3-4 jobs at a high rate of pay without bennies you have to foot the bill for those yourself.

 

What pay difference could you expect, assuming you get bennies from a spouse, if you work multiple part time vs one full time? 100/hr part time? If you work 180-200 hrs a month at 100/hr thats not a bad living at all... 216-240k pre tax 

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What pay difference could you expect, assuming you get bennies from a spouse, if you work multiple part time vs one full time? 100/hr part time? If you work 180-200 hrs a month at 100/hr thats not a bad living at all... 216-240k pre tax 

Few problems with this.  $100/hr is a lot for PAs anywhere.  And 180-200 hrs a month is a lot of hours for the high-paying (ie: high stress) positions.  

 

I'm sure there are some who make $100/hour (I rarely do), and some who can consistently do 180-200 hrs a month (again, I rarely do), but I think that is a rare beast.  

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Few problems with this.  $100/hr is a lot for PAs anywhere.  And 180-200 hrs a month is a lot of hours for the high-paying (ie: high stress) positions.  

 

I'm sure there are some who make $100/hour (I rarely do), and some who can consistently do 180-200 hrs a month (again, I rarely do), but I think that is a rare beast.

 

Yeah it seemed like a lot of hours but that's what EMEDPA said he averages so my question was just how much more per hour can you expect to make working part time or per diem as opposed to full time plus overtime... Obviously it varies widely by job and specialty I'm just saying generally is it really a 30-60k more annual difference to work pt instead of ft? My fiance is a physical therapist and could carry bennies so just thinking about options

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Yeah it seemed like a lot of hours but that's what EMEDPA said he averages so my question was just how much more per hour can you expect to make working part time or per diem as opposed to full time plus overtime... Obviously it varies widely by job and specialty I'm just saying generally is it really a 30-60k more annual difference to work pt instead of ft? My fiance is a physical therapist and could carry bennies so just thinking about options

Huge variability in jobs.  EMPA and others (myself included) are able to work 200+ hours a month because we do 24, 48, or 72 hour shifts where we are paid to (hopefully) sleep.  For example, this month I am working 226 hours, with a 10 day stretch of time off.  

 

I get $75-$85/hr for most of these jobs and I'm paid 1099, which means zero benefits.  It also means I have to pay extra 7.5% self-employment taxes which means dollar for dollar these jobs equal a non-benefit job paying $70-79/hr.  

 

A "traditional job" paying $70-$79/hr would also give benefits, which can be 25-30% of hourly wages, so would be comparatively worth $91-$94/hr.  

 

However, because we are (again, HOPEFULLY) paid to sleep, they are not "traditional jobs".  And not many "traditional jobs" give you the schedule we have.  

 

The singular most important thing you can do when looking for a job is to see if THAT JOB, in THAT SETTING, and with THAT COMPENSATION PACKAGE fits your needs.

 

For me, doing locums ED work fits me well.  I'm retired military so I don't need benefits, I am capable of napping well, I am used to weird work schedules, and quality time off is incredibly important to me.  And I live/work in an area where PAs get $45-$60 an hour with benefits, so I'm making out like a bandit. 

 

Good luck!

 

BTW to Tristate:  The cost of living in your area is un-freaking-believably high, especially in comparison to what PAs generally make in that area.  You would financially be much, much better off moving somewhere else.  I spend less than 8% of my income on housing for a 4 bedroom/2ba 2000 sq foot house.  Few months ago we were looking to put an offer on a 3bed/2 ba house on 80 acres of mixed land (1/2 dense forest, 1/2 crop/pasture) with a stream running through it for $290K.  That wouldn't get you SQUAT where you're living.  

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What pay difference could you expect, assuming you get bennies from a spouse, if you work multiple part time vs one full time? 100/hr part time? If you work 180-200 hrs a month at 100/hr thats not a bad living at all... 216-240k pre tax 

My wife currently does not get benefits, so I would need to pay for my family's benefits.  With 10 years of experience & the current AAPA salary survey stats I'm looking at about $60/hr as a full timer with benefits.  I calculated out all my annual benefits that I currently recieve as a Full Timer & I'll list them below.   If I decided to go that Part-time employee route I wouldn't include Malpractice because I'm assuming the Part-time Employer would pay for that.

 

Benefits                     $2500 (Health Ins)                                

Vacation                     $4800/yr

CME Week                $3900/yr ($1500 + 1 wk PTO)                

State License fee      $150/yr

DEA Lic Renewal     $300/yr (approximately $900 every 3 yrs)

State CDS                  $80/yr

Testing q 6yrs           $50/yr 

AAPA membership  $295/yr

Malpractice Insur     Assume Part Time Employer Paying Malpractice                                                                     

                                    ---------------------------------------

                                    $12075

 

So, let's say I followed the part-time employee route it would be worth an extra $5.80/hour ($12075/2080 hr annually) so at minimum I'd expect 65.80/hr so just say $65/hour.  If I work

as a Part-timer I'd expect $65/hr because the employer is not paying for all the extra bennies.

 

If I worked as an independent contractor (IC) I'd have to tack on an extra $5000 or so for my own malpractice insurance, health insurance out of pocket, plus the extra taxes I'd be paying (15%) so then I'd be looking at the $75-85/hour range when all is said and done.  $100/hour seems very high unless the pay rate is that much higher because PA's are an in demand in rural areas? 

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Yeah it seemed like a lot of hours but that's what EMEDPA said he averages so my question was just how much more per hour can you expect to make working part time or per diem as opposed to full time plus overtime... Obviously it varies widely by job and specialty I'm just saying generally is it really a 30-60k more annual difference to work pt instead of ft? My fiance is a physical therapist and could carry bennies so just thinking about options

Last I checked as a PA you're viewed as a "professional" by tax law in most states (just like physicians are) so there is no overtime.  You can work 60/hrs a week and you will not get time an a half for those extra 20 hours.  Just your regular pay.  Believe me I really wish this was not the case.  However, it is what it is and here is a link for the NY guidelines.

 

https://labor.ny.gov/legal/counsel/pdf/professional-employee-overtime-exemption-frequently-asked-questions.pdf

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Huge variability in jobs.  EMPA and others (myself included) are able to work 200+ hours a month because we do 24, 48, or 72 hour shifts where we are paid to (hopefully) sleep.  For example, this month I am working 226 hours, with a 10 day stretch of time off.  

 

I get $75-$85/hr for most of these jobs and I'm paid 1099, which means zero benefits.  It also means I have to pay extra 7.5% self-employment taxes which means dollar for dollar these jobs equal a non-benefit job paying $70-79/hr.  

 

A "traditional job" paying $70-$79/hr would also give benefits, which can be 25-30% of hourly wages, so would be comparatively worth $91-$94/hr.  

 

However, because we are (again, HOPEFULLY) paid to sleep, they are not "traditional jobs".  And not many "traditional jobs" give you the schedule we have.  

 

The singular most important thing you can do when looking for a job is to see if THAT JOB, in THAT SETTING, and with THAT COMPENSATION PACKAGE fits your needs.

 

For me, doing locums ED work fits me well.  I'm retired military so I don't need benefits, I am capable of napping well, I am used to weird work schedules, and quality time off is incredibly important to me.  And I live/work in an area where PAs get $45-$60 an hour with benefits, so I'm making out like a bandit. 

 

Good luck!

 

BTW to Tristate:  The cost of living in your area is un-freaking-believably high, especially in comparison to what PAs generally make in that area.  You would financially be much, much better off moving somewhere else.  I spend less than 8% of my income on housing for a 4 bedroom/2ba 2000 sq foot house.  Few months ago we were looking to put an offer on a 3bed/2 ba house on 80 acres of mixed land (1/2 dense forest, 1/2 crop/pasture) with a stream running through it for $290K.  That wouldn't get you SQUAT where you're living.  

 

I agree the NY/NJ/CT area is very expensive to live in.  No argument there.  However, I am 20 min outside of Manhattan, 1 hour to the beach, 30 min to skiing, and the public school system in my town is consistently within the top 20 schools in my state for several years running. 

 

BTW, a good reminder.. "The singular most important thing you can do when looking for a job is to see if THAT JOB, in THAT SETTING, and with THAT COMPENSATION PACKAGE fits your needs"  Everyone's needs will vary. 

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IMO 2 PTs are *usually* better than 1 FT, because no one employer "owns" you. Plus it's usually easier to get time off and make your own schedule, you don't get burned out, etc. Very viable here in the west and I would think even more so back east based on my exp.

 

Speaking for myself having no one employer "own you" is a huge part of it.  The demand for PA's right now is incredible & I think I'd be foolish to not act on it.  I have two young children and it is important for me to balance my time with them so the thought of making my own schedule is very enticing.  For example, being able to take off the week they have Spring Break. 

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