Are you feeling like you should be making more money in your role as a PA – but you aren’t sure why or how to ask for more? It might be time for a raise, but how do you know for sure?
Today on The PA Is In I’m sharing 7 signs you are due to renegotiate your contract, improve your hours and land a raise in your position as a PA.
Medicine, unlike corporate america and many other industries, seems to be one where you get in and are placed on a conveyor belt instead of an escalator in terms of pay.
Don’t get me wrong – your skills are improving and more than likely your clinical and administrative burdens are growing as well – but your paycheck may be lagging behind.
Today I’m sharing 7 signs that you are due for a raise and it’s time to re-negotiate for more money. I’ll talk a lot about increasing your pay today, but also know that any time you are ready to ask for more money, you can ask for a better schedule, decreased job responsibilities, more flexibility and admin time instead or also.
Don’t limit yourself to believing that negotiations are all about pay – there are tons of non-monetary benefits that you can ask for that will improve your life as well as your paycheck.
These things will improve your quality of life and sometimes that feels even better than more dollars in your next direct deposit. Trust me!
OK, let’s dive in to these 7 signs that you are due for a raise at work:
1 – Your last performance review didn’t result in a merit-based pay increase
There’s a little bit of nuance here. In medicine we have annual reviews or evaluations that do not often result in specifically merit based increases in pay. All too often we have a review, receive positive feedback, and are handed the same mediocre or terrible “cost of living” increase that our colleagues who received a mediocre performance review got.
It’s time to use that positive feedback from your performance review into the proof you’ve needed to validate the value you are adding to your practice – and turn those compliments into compensation.
You don’t have to wait another year until your next performance evaluation to use this as leverage. You can use that feedback and other feedback you’ve received from colleagues and patients, your data and productivity to request a compensation review and increase with your admin team.
If you’ve had glowing performance reviews followed by bland or nonexistent cost of living increases, here’s your sign that it’s time for a raise. Make plans to negotiate soon!
Watch the YouTube Video “It’s Time for A Raise” Here
2 – You’re a lynchpin.
A lynchpin – something that your organization, group or department cannot function without – a key piece of the machine that, without it, things fall apart.
If you are the only one who is technically able or logistically willing to perform a specific role inside the group, this puts you in an incredibly powerful position to negotiate.
Say you work for a group and they need weekend night coverage and you are the only one willing to do this. Or maybe they have a specific subset of patients that no other providers are capable or willing to take care of. Possibly you are the one who does the scheduling, recruiting and onboarding of new providers for your group because everyone else is simply unwilling or uninterested.
Here’s your sign: time for a raise! Those specific skills make you extra valuable to your team. Use those roles, that unique nature and your skillset – here’s your sign that it’s time to ask for a raise to compensate you for them!
3 – The market rate for your job is now more than you are making.
You may see or feel this one if you think that the new grads in your area are making more than you. Maybe you’ve noticed that new hires are getting sign on bonuses, retention bonuses, and possibly more money than you – simply because of the market and the timing of when you were hired as compared to when they were hired.
The economy is constantly changing. If you were hired 6 months or 6 years ago, the market for PAs at the time in your area was undoubtedly different.
When people are hired, the organization and the individual reach an agreement about pay based on the current economic climate. That economic climate is true for you, too, even as an established provider.
If your organization is spending significant dollars on recruiting and the expense of credentialing and onboarding new providers, it would be costly for them to replace you – and they’d possibly end up paying the new provider more than you are making.
Here’s your sign: time for a raise! If that is true in your area of the country, area of medicine, and in the current economic climate, here’s your sign that you are due for a raise.
4 – Your practice would lose money if you leave.
This is true for pretty much every PA who is practicing medicine and generating any kind of revenue. If you are in surgery and doing a lot of non-billable visits in the pre or post-op global period, hang in there, I’ll address that specific situation in a minute.
If you leave, your practice will immediately see a dip in their revenue. If you are inpatient, they will have to pull someone from somewhere else to cover you, decreasing outpatient access. If you are outpatient or in the clinic, those visits you would see that generate revenue, will have to wait until there is availability on another provider’s schedule.
You are absolutely generating revenue for your practice, and this has gone up over time as you have become more efficient and started seeing more patients.
Surgery PAs – even if you are office based without significant first assisting RVUs, you are generating incredible value for your organization. Anything you do in a surgical realm that is offloading your surgeons schedule is increasing their revenue-generating ability – they can see new patients, do more surgery, and be more productive themselves. You are responsible for that increase in revenue. You are exponentially amplifying their revenue-generating ability!
Here’s your sign: time for a raise! If you are bringing in money, honey, it’s time to ask for a raise.
5 – Your role and responsibilities have increased but your pay has not.
This can be a leadership role, supervising your clinical or clerical support team, seeing more patients in a day, orienting others – any other duties as assigned that you’ve accumulated during your time as the organization – these things reflect an increase in your responsibility.
Honestly, you are probably contributing in way more ways that you realize. Leadership meetings. Committees. Quality improvement projects. Improving access and patient care at your practice. You’ve been making significant contributions and improvements in your group.
We recently had a surgeon retire from our group. He had been operating for over 30 years so, needless to say, he had a massive following and lots of patients that had been seeing him for a long time. In anticipation of his departure, I approached our leadership team about putting a specific plan in place to retain his patients.
We sat down with the front desk and decided to offer his injectable patients a discount on their first treatment with one of our advanced practice injectors – and we did this at the time where patients were checking out from their last treatment with him.
This helped us to retain the majority of those patients, for them to feel seen and cared for, to enjoy a discount and to try a new provider in our practice with less risk. By doing it at checkout we didn’t give patients the opportunity to go home, google prices or other providers at other practices, and kept them patronizing our practice. We worked to make the transition from the retiring surgeon to others in our practice as seamless as possible.
That project earned our practice money. It improved patient care. It wasn’t required – it was an area I saw as a potential problem and that I went about facilitating a solution. These are the types of things that, when you do them, increase value and improve patient experience for your patients.
Here’s your sign: time for a raise! These increased roles and responsibilities, whether voluntary or assigned, increase your value as a PA to that practice and if you’re doing them, here’s your sign to ask for more money!
6 – You’ve been offered a job at another group.
If you have had discussions with another group, even so far as a job offer from another group, but you’ve decided you’d rather stay where you are… this can be a great opportunity to leverage that offer to generate a raise for you at your existing job.
Having another offer on the table is something you can use to remind your employer that you are, in fact, a valuable asset who could find employment elsewhere on the open market.
The cost to replace you is 1-2x your salary – by the time you factor in lost revenue, the cost to recruit, train and onboard someone else – so it is much more cost effective for your employer to retain you than to have to replace you.
Use this to your advantage. Ask them to meet or exceed that offer that you got.
If you have another offer from another group, here’s your sign to ask for a raise.
7 – Your practice is thriving, growing, taking great care of patients and you are a part of that.
I know this to be true about you – you are doing a kick ass job taking care of your patients – you are thorough. You are going above and beyond what the average PA is doing. You are exceptional are your job.
All of those things are contributing to the growth of your practice, department, or group. A thriving practice is a great opportunity for you to highlight the role you play inside of that practice, the value that you add, and the reasons that them paying you more makes sense.
If your practice has grown, added new providers, is thriving and you can show the part you play – here’s your sign to ask for more money.
The Bottom Line RE: Asking for a Raise
These 7 signs are not exhaustive. Here’s what I believe: asking for a raise is just as much about trusting your gut and that feeling deep inside your bones that you deserve to be earning more.
Ready to ask for a pay raise and wanting to avoid these 5 Common Mistakes that PAs Make When Asking For a Raise? Download THIS FREE GUIDE.
Even if you listened to every sign and thought – well that’s not specifically true of my situation or my situation is unique because – but you are still feeling like you should be earning more… go ahead and ask for a raise.
News flash: If you identify as female, you are already up against the PA Gender Wage Gap. Your male identifying colleagues are already making more money that you are. Here is a post I made all about that.
If you need a personalized pep talk, let me know. I have one-on-one coaching slots for PAs in positions of transition, who need the negotiation skills so that when you ask for a raise you get it. I also offer one time negotiation consults where you can share your situation with me and I’ll give you the advice on how to land that raise that you are overdue for. Links for those are in the show notes.
You are such a valuable asset to your organization. You know it. I know it. Honestly, they know it, too. Otherwise you wouldn’t be working there.