Healthcare salaries on the rise, but workload concerns linger

Hiring in the healthcare sector is continuing to boom, salaries keep climbing and healthcare workers have great confidence that the market is so good that they can switch their jobs.

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That’s the conclusion of a soon-to-be-released survey of more than 19,700 healthcare professionals by Colorado-based Health eCareers. Respondents include those who work in nursing/clinical support (26%), administration/operations (23%), pharmacy (4%), healthcare IT (4%) and academics/research (1%). Other respondents included physicians/surgeons (8%), nurse practitioners (8%), technologist/technician (8%), physician assistants, (7%), counselors and social service workers (5%), physical and occupational therapists (2%), executives (2%) and dietitians/nutritionists.

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Health eCareers sent FierceHealthcare an advanced copy of the Health eCareers 2017–2018 Salary Guide. Here are some highlights from the report: 

  • 87% of those queried say they are being paid the same or more than they were last year
  • 46% said they were very confident they would be able to find a new position in healthcare due to growing demand as baby boomers retire
  • The average salary for a healthcare executive rose 18% to $158,637, although the survey did not indicate what specific executive positions were being surveyed
  • Salaries for registered nurses rose 5% to an average of $70,734
  • Compensation for counselors/social workers rose 18%, to more than $63,000 
  • Pay for nurse practitioners and physician assistants rose 2% to $102,523 and $108,311, respectively, while the pay for physicians rose 1% to $258,039
  • Satisfaction with salaries varied: 63% of executives and 61% of physician assistants were satisfied were their salaries, but only 50% of pharmacists, those in healthcare IT and physical/occupational therapists were happy with their pay
  • The most commonly cited reasons that healthcare professionals gave for wanting to make a job change: higher salary (68%), more rewarding or challenging work (35%), boss or supervisor issues (23%) and better working hours (21%)
  • Major career concerns for the upcoming year included worries that there would be no pay increases (38%), an increased patient or workload (32%) and staff and organizational morale (30%)