Jump to content

Hard cap on $$ as a PA


Recommended Posts

So, this is not really a post where I am complaining, but just wanting to hear about others experiences.

I work in surgical sub specialty. I did a fellowship and now 3 years our of school. I get paid hourly and employed through hospital. I typically only work 40-45 hours per week. I get paid time and half for any hours past 40. I negotiated an hourly rate that was very competitive when I started but did realize that the hospital had a cap for APP hourly rate that I would reach in just a few years with typical 3% raises. When I hit hourly rate cap, instead of raises every year I just get a bonus equal to about one extra paycheck. Yearly my gross will not be anything less than $170k once I hit cap, but is likely much more due to overtime pay, on call pay, and bonuses. I love my job. Love the hospital. The cost of living is great in my area (TX). BUT in the back of my mind I am wondering if I am losing out on some $$. I have looked at the numbers and I am paid very well for how much I am actually collecting— I am 80% OR first assist and 20% inpatient rounding— mostly post ops but a few consults here and there. 
 

after talking to several APPs at the hospital I understand the hard cap— with new grads taking way less money, admin figured out that we were disposable— and several were told they would not receive any more raises and would likely be let go if they put up a fight, all in favor of an APP who would take less money. Luckily, several physicians stood up for us (surprisingly, but they were definitely on our side) and so the compromise was the yearly bonus with no more raises. 
 

I know the grass is not always greener. I am paid in >75th percentile for PAs. I am also respected in the organization.  For now, I am definitely staying put, but I am interested in what others would do in these circumstances.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

When I was in that situation a while ago I got my SP to go to bat for me with admin. He told them " If emedpa or any of the other senior PAs leave I will replace them with board certified physicians".  Boom. $10/hr raise for every PA in the dept. 

There are a few ways to make the big bucks as a PA. Most of them involve working more, having extra jobs, etc. I currently have 3 clinical jobs and teach. I am interviewing for another clinical job next week.I only work 10 days/month so I need something to do...:)

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some 20 years ago I was "red lined" on salary. the organization never told me such a thing existed when they hired me. They started out paying less than other similar jobs but I took the position because I liked the people I would be working with and I liked the organizational feeling. I ended up moonlighting in some rural ERs for extra money.

I left shortly after for more money elsewhere. The org went on to freeze all pay raises for everyone for almost 10 years before they were finall taken over by a "partner" management organization.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is always a cap on income...one of the oddities of being a provider is that unless you start at a job with low pay and/or change specialties, generally your base pay starting out will be in the ballpark of what it will always be (the main exception is productivity bonuses).  It's the same for docs...

My first job (ortho) I started at $95k, but offered a productivity bonus that was at best nebulous.  Second job (FM) my base was $85k, but I also received $10k loan repayment + productivity bonus (usually $10-$15k).  Third job (FM) base pay $110k, with bonus that probably would have been minimum $10-$15k, but before I even had the chance to accrue the bonus I transitioned to fourth job (ortho) with base of $120k and unless my surgeon screws my productivity I will likely earn minimum $15k bonus...

Jobs #1 and #2 were BAD base salary, especially job #2.  I worked so hard for that bonus...averaging 20+ complex patients per day with another 6+ per day of simple walk-ins...I was the highest producing provider (out of 34 total providers - MD/DO, PA, and NP) in the practice by far...end of rant...sorry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

It’s true, I have found a lot of places don’t offer any scheduled salary increase. My last job had 6%, which is amazing. They started me lower on the scale at 120k, but the work was easy and the eldest PA there was at 180k and no one had capped him yet. We had some disagreements on what qualified standard EM practice, so I had to go. New job is paying more but wouldn’t agree to any guaranteed salary increase. I’ll have to negotiate it. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

I have noticed over the years that lots of places won't raise salaries until they know the competition is paying more. I once interviewed for a job, got a great offer, showed it to my current job, and what do you know, I got a raise to match what the other place was offering. If you want to keep the talent , you need to pay the going wage or all you will get is new grads...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator
3 hours ago, EMEDPA said:

I have noticed over the years that lots of places won't raise salaries until they know the competition is paying more.

Old news.  It's called "cost of labor" instead of "cost of living"--the latter is nonsensical: why should an organization pay you more just because your expenses go up? Of course, that presumes that people are replaceable, interchangeable parts.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More