With their often strict budgets and stringent hierarchies, requesting a job raise when you work in a hospital may seem daunting. Many hospitals operate on well-established pay scales that don’t leave room for much negotiation when it comes to your salary. However, as healthcare professionals, asking for a pay raise is well within your rights, and at times, it can even be expected.
Many hospital employees make the mistake of assuming that asking for a raise is frowned upon by their superiors.
In fact, almost 50 percent of job seekers and employees in the healthcare industry never negotiate a job raise.
However, this is in stark contrast to many healthcare employers’ expectations. Over 80 percent of employers expect job seekers and employees to ask for a raise.
If you feel you are not being fairly compensated for your contribution to the hospital, don’t wait around for HR to give you a raise. Instead, take charge by learning how to ask for a raise yourself.
Hospitals are hectic places to work. Because they never close, there are numerous employees with various responsibilities, and the administration does their best to keep operations simple.
Therefore, employees with similar positions are kept on an organized pay scale, and many hospitals overlook the standard practice of annual employee evaluations.
Annual evaluations typically result in a pay raise, but if your hospital doesn’t conduction these periodic employee reviews, then your time to earn more money could be overlooked.
However, a job raise is important to your well-being as a valuable employee. When you’ve been working at the hospital for a while, you gain more experience and inevitably take on more responsibilities.
Your pay should be a reflection of this commitment, experience, and responsibilities. If you are not being paid your worth, you may see the need to search for work elsewhere.
However, finding a new job and starting over once you have a new job can be stressful and may not be ideal when you have other aspects of your life to manage.
Pay raises don’t just benefit you as an employee, though. The hospital benefits from fair pay as well. If a hospital has a high turnover rate, then administration is constantly spending time and money on interviewing, hiring, and training new employees.
This doesn’t work in the hospital’s best interest, so giving out job raises when they are due encourages retention of valuable employees.
Before discussing the average pay raise across all industries, it is important to understand how raises typically work.
Although most employees envision a raise based on dollars, for example going from a $50,000 salary to $55,000 per year, most companies and organizations give raises based on percentages, which are determined by your position and your performance. For example, after an annual evaluation of working in the same position with fair performance, you might receive a raise equivalent to 2 percent of your current salary.
That means if you make $45,000, the company would multiply that by .02, which is $900. Therefore, your pay raise would increase your salary to $45,900.
Not only do job raises vary by employee, but they also vary by industry. For example, annual raises are lower in education than in tech fields. Usually, though, the average pay raise in most companies is around 3 percent.
With the exception of public organizations, where raises are often standardized, many private organizations reward their highest-performing employees with an average raise of 4.5 percent.
Low-performing employees usually see an average raise of 1 percent.
Although corporations and public institutions have certain pay raise processes in place, hospitals differ greatly in their budgets and procedures.
Every hospital has their own standards for issuing pay raises, and most inform new employees of their protocol upon hiring. If you were not informed of your hospital’s pay scale or system for wage increases, then you should consult with the Human Resources department directly.
Some hospitals issue job raises solely on the basis of length of time employed, while offering additional compensation for picking up added responsibilities or working night shifts.
Others offer raises based on annual performance evaluations and any added responsibilities. However, with hospitals, certain jobs will offer better raises than others, depending on the nature of the job and whether or not it is an hourly position or salary position.
For example, nurses who make an hourly wage might receive a few dollars wage increase after an evaluation, but technicians and assistants may receive a few cents.
Overall, pay raises in hospitals tend to be smaller than other corporations for the reasons mentioned above. It is not uncommon for nurses, technicians and physician assistants to see raises of less than 2 percent per year.
Physicians, on the other hand, see a much higher annual raise. Most physicians see a job raise of over 10 percent, and their rate of increase is even more if they have a specialty.
As mentioned in the section above, there are professions within the healthcare system that offer better job raises than others. This also includes positions within administration as well as medical professionals.
When working in a hospital, doctors receive the highest pay raises among caregivers because of the education, practice and knowledge required.
Hospital administrators, who are responsible for overseeing operations within the hospital, make a decent salary and can increase their pay through both raises and bonuses.
This position is great for individuals who want to work in the healthcare industry but would prefer not to work directly with patients or as a caregiver in general.
When you are seeking positions that increase your chances of getting a pay raise in a hospital, remember that qualifications and experience make the most difference.
Doctors, for example, will get higher raises if they specialize in a certain field of medicine. Administrators will earn more money per year if they have higher degrees and relevant certifications.
For more information on potential earnings and pay raises per healthcare career/position over time, take the time to view our in-depth .
In the Salary Trends section, you can break down the potential job earnings outlook of over 100 different healthcare and hospital careers that you could potentially be interested in, or currently work in.
Take the time to review the Salary Trends for your hospital job to understand what you should be paid based upon your experience and education background.
Although most hospitals offer a job raise every year after annual employee reviews, you may still not receive what you believe you deserve.
The raise rates for hospitals are often low due to budget restraints, but if you have excelled in your job performance and taken on additional responsibilities, then it is your right to ask for more money.
However, you want to do so tactfully so you can maintain a positive professional relationship with your superiors and administrators.
1. Before you set out to meet with your supervisors, you must establish a reasonable job raise request. Research the average pay for your position and experience level in your area, so you have an idea of how much you should ask for. Additionally, be aware of any limitations in the industry. If the economy is currently suffering, then it may not be feasible to ask for a raise right now.
2. After you’ve done your research and know how much of a pay raise you’re aiming for, prepare a presentation. You should begin this presentation by making it clear that you are happy to work for the hospital, but do feel that your pay is not a reflection of the work you’re doing. Make sure this presentation also includes:
• Why you feel you are being underpaid.
• What salaries other professionals in your field are being paid.
• How much of a pay raise you want, in dollars.
3. Make sure you’re meeting with your prospective or current employer face-to-face when asking for a raise. Any time you need to discuss something important with your supervisors, it is best to do it in person. This established urgency, importance, and trust.
4. Always remain objective when asking for a job raise. Becoming emotional or approaching the situation with a poor attitude will lessen your credibility and discourage your supervisors from taking your request seriously. You can remain objective by focusing on your valid reasons for wanting a raise.
When working in the healthcare industry, where budgets are tight and pay scales are strict, asking for a job raise may seem risky.
Numerous hospital employees work hard to ensure patients are getting the care they need, and many do not receive the pay raise they need to work confidently.
If you know you are working hard but are being under-compensated for your efforts, then you deserve to be paid a fair salary.
If you approach your supervisors strategically, remember to remain objective and keep your attitude positive, then you know you have done your part and handled the situation as best you could.
If you feel you are being underpaid, then asking for a pay raise helps both you and your employer in the long run. You walk away feeling valued and fair compensated, while your employer has retained another good employee.
In the end, you may not be able to get what you want unless you take a chance and ask for it.