Healthcare workers worry salaries may be cut in 2018

Businessman holding money
Salary was the main reason healthcare workers said they left a previous job, according to a new report.
(Getty/matthewennisphotography)

Though 41% of healthcare workers saw their salaries increase over the past year, many are still concerned about what the future holds for their paychecks.

Indeed, 38% of 20,000 healthcare workers polled for this year's annual Health eCareer's Salary Guide indicated one of their biggest concerns for 2018 was whether their salaries will stay the same or decrease. Other concerns are increased patient workload (32%) and staff morale (30%). 

RELATED: Health IT salaries fell 20% even as executive compensation surged 

Only 14% of those surveyed said they are "very satisfied" with their salaries. Thirty-six percent said they were "somewhat satisfied" with their pay.

RELATED: Top 10 in-demand physician specialties and their salaries 

Other notable findings from the report include:

  • Physicians and surgeons reported the highest salaries for 2017 with an average of $258,039, a 1% increase from 2016.
  • Executive pay averaged $158,637, the second-highest in the study, however only 2% of the professionals polled were identified as executives.
  • Other highly paid professionals included physician assistants, who on average made $108,311 in 2017, an increase of 2%, and nurse practitioners, who reported their pay went up about 2%, to $102,523.
  • Academic researchers and health IT employees saw their salaries decrease by 20% from 2016. Nurse managers' salaries dropped by 4% on average, while salaries for pharmacists, administrators and dietitians decreased an average of 3%.
  • Salary was the main reason healthcare workers said they left a previous job; 68% said they switched positions to make more money. In addition to salary, respondents said the most important factors for changing jobs are company culture (50%), flexible work hours (46%)  and vacation and time off benefits (33%).

Healthcare providers aren't ignoring their concerns. A second report on recruiting trends published by Health eCareers polled 350 providers and found many are increasing salaries for new hires to fill open positions faster. Indeed, 64% said that they were upping new hire salaries to recruit workers.