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Psych PA offer Newish Grad

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Hi everyone,


I’ve been working part time at a behavioral health clinic for the last 4 months and have been applying to other jobs. I received this offer from a hospital based outpatient psych clinic and would like some input.


Initially the offer was a salary of 89k with a good benefits package of 

-1500 CME , 1 week CME PTO

-28 days of PTO

-Paid holidays and weekends off with momthly 1/2 day Saturday clinic

- health, vision and dental insurance


-no contract, just a formal offer letter


They gave me two days to decide and I was honest that I was underwhelmed with the salary and no potential for bonuses.


Now, they have come back with same salary and benefits as well as a 10,000 signing bonus and 2 year contract.


I’m pretty underwhelmed with the salary and now 2 year contract. This is a saturated area and I have not heard back from other positions so I am inclined to take it. 


Would you guys try to negotiate a higher base salary or accept offer as is?


Thank you!

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I definitely would not accept the offer as is. It's best to stick with a 1 year contract; you never know what the future might hold. Plus 89k is ridiculously low. I made more than that as a new grad 3 years ago. Back then, I was in urgent care, but still....From what I've read, psych is supposed to pay really well. And don't feel obligated to take the offer just because you work there part-time.  They knew what the deal was since you first signed up. 

You could try negotiating, though they seem pretty inflexible. You could also try looking just outside of your target area. Where are you located? 

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If you count the bonus as Abe notes above into a $94k/yr then math shows you'll end up making ~$48/hr. 

52wks - 6wks(PTO+CME) * 40hrs/wk + 48hrs of Saturdays = ~1928hrs

Not sure where you're located but in general I have found psych to pay significantly better, although this is all word of mouth, I don't have much documentation to go off of.  Gotta take into consideration the learning environment etc I guess (are you experienced? or new grad?)

Also agree that a 2yr contract is less than ideal unless you can break it without repercussions.  Sounds like stagnant wages for those two years and if you don't get a bump you lose around $2/hr at that point.

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Thank you for responding. I'm in the upper midwest, and I'm unfortunately tied down to this area. I agree, two years seems like a long time and that is making me second guess the offer. I originally asked for a higher salary due to the fact that I would essentially be an independent provider with some support from the physician, but they were adamant that with my limited experience of about 4-5 months, they are unable to go any higher. I was thinking about sending them the AAPA salary report, but I don't think that would help.


There is a 403b match. As far as the bonus goes, 5,000 would be given at 90 days of working and then the 5,000 at the start of the second year. If I were to leave before the 2 years was up, you would essentially have to pay back whatever has been paid out to you so far and/or forfeit the remainder of your bonus payout.


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As a new grade you'll be climbing the steep part of your learning curve.  In other words, while there is some validity to their point that you have limited experience, the corollary is that after 1 year of FT you will have about 18 months of experience and be more productive.  Consequently, you should be worth more.  So, either a 2 year contract with a raise after year 1, or a 1 year contract so you can re-negotiate would be appropriate.

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