6 Tips on How Medical Professionals Can Ask for a Raise

Young doctor talking with professor
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Asking for a raise can be a daunting task. How do you get the boss to see it your way? As a healthcare professional, you are likely very valuable to your employer. However, even healthcare workers may find themselves in a situation where they may be underpaid.

Preparation is key—don't talk to your supervisor until you've planned your approach. Asking for a raise is much like a sales presentation, and sales is not a skill that many healthcare professionals may have perfected. Whether you are a nurse, a doctor, a tech, or a non-clinical worker, these tips can help you to be more successful when you ask your employer for a raise.

Timing Is Everything

Studies have shown that on Fridays, workers are in the best mood, and therefore more agreeable. Sure, it sounds obvious, but it’s best to approach your boss at the end of the week, rather than the beginning of the week, and especially not on a Monday!

Performance Pays

Definitely ask for the raise when your performance is at a peak. For example, if your patient encounters are higher than ever, or you were recently recognized for an accomplishment, award, or completing a major project – now is the time to strike, while the iron is hot.

Do Your Homework

Know your value in the market. There are several websites that will provide compensation information. You may also use healthcare associations and publications to gather information regarding the average income for your position. For example, the American Medical Association posts compensation ranges for both physicians and allied healthcare professionals. Be sure to factor in geographic region and level of experience, which cause variations in salary.

Never Use Your Bills or Living Expenses as a Reason

Your cost of living is not your employer's issue or responsibility. Your raise should be solely based on merit, not the new car you just purchased.

Have Other Bargaining Chips Ready

Worst-case scenario, if your supervisor is not able or willing to provide you with the raise you are requesting, have a Plan B. Try asking for other perks besides cash, such as additional vacation days, increased job flexibility, or a window office. You could request new gadgets such as a cell phone, laptop, or something your company can write off as a business expense.

Clearly Convey Your Financial Value to the Company

Highlight your contribution to the bottom line. For example, if you are a physical therapist, multiply the number of patients you treat, by the average charge billed for each patient visit, to calculate the approximate revenue you generate in a given year. This clearly quantifies your value to your supervisor, and the raise you are requesting is only a very small percentage of that annual revenue you bring to the company. This same approach may be used by nurses, techs, and administrators. Calculate your direct impact to the bottom line as a revenue producer, or overhead saver, and be able to illustrate that clearly to your healthcare employer.

Now that you are prepared, it's time to contact your supervisor and set up a time to talk about why you deserve a raise. Good luck!