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2014 Salary Survey Results, Part 3

Average salaries by experience in the profession and on the job, as well as benefits, retirement & more

This final installment of our 2014 Salary Survey garnered some fascinating results. While Parts 1 and 2 revealed a lot about job title, education, location and more, there was still a lot left to uncover. Did you know that the most seasoned professionals are making almost 50% more than new grads? Check out Part 3 to find out more about how your experience is affecting your pay and your future earning potential. We also break down benefits and retirement prospects.

Experience in the Profession
Our respondents represented every skill level, from new grad all the way to pros with more than 30 years' experience. In fact, those working in the profession for more than 30 years were the largest pool of survey takers at 20%. And the experience pays off, considering veterans of 30 years or more topped the charts with the highest pay, 49% more than those new to the field.

The biggest pay jump, according to our respondents, seems to come after the 10 year mark. Therapists in the field 11 to 15 years reported a 17% higher salary than those in the field 6 to 10 years. The 20-year mark came in second with an average of a 9% pay bump. 

Current Job Experience
How long you stay at one job tells a much different story than years in the profession. While 42% of respondents have been in the field for 21 years or more, only 14% have stayed at the same facility throughout their career. Those who have stayed have been compensated accordingly, making an average of 30% more than those new to a facility.

But moving around doesn't necessarily correlate with a lower salary. Those at their current job for 5 or fewer years still reported an average salary higher than the average for clinicians in the field for 6 to 10 years. Of course, salaries still climbed with experience at the job, increasing 10% at the 3 year mark, and another 10% for those with 21 or more years' experience at their current job.

Salary Changes
Just about half of all survey takers said they received a pay increase in the past year, regardless of experience. Interestingly, those in the profession for 26 to 30 years reported the most changes. Only 34% had no change in salary, while 10% took a cut and 56% had an increase.

More than half of those awarded a pay increase, 55%, said it was due to a merit raise. The 8% of respondents with a pay decrease claimed a generic salary reduction or a loss of a paid differential. A surprising 18% decided to take a new position, despite a lower salary.

The number on your paycheck doesn't always tell the full story when it comes to compensation. Eighty-five percent of respondents receive medical benefits, and 70% earn dental as well. Only 3% of sleep and respiratory professionals working full-time do not receive benefits from their employer.

Unfortunately, benefits are an easy way for facilities to trip costs, and 46% of survey takers said their benefits have been reduced or even eliminated altogether. While this number seems grim, it's a little better than was reported in our 2013 survey, where 53% said their benefits were cut or eliminated.

Finally, what everyone is working toward: retirement. But even though 30% of survey takers have been in the profession for 26 years or more, only 12% are hoping to retire in the next 5 years. Of those practitioners who are over 60, 9% still have no plans to retire in the near future. 

Luckily, the economy doesn't seem to be affecting clinicians as much these days, as 63% said the economy has made no impact on their retirement plans. Sixty-one percent of respondents who have changed their work plans due to the economy did so by either adding hours or delaying cutting back on hours. Last year, 71% made this same choice.

Check out Part 3 of the 2014 Salary Survey Results to find all the information you and your colleagues shared about salary, experience, benefits and retirement. You can also check out Parts 1 and 2 for even more information!

View Part 3 of the 2014 Results Here!

A huge thanks to everyone for participating in this year's survey! We certainly learned a lot about the profession, and hope you did too. If you missed your chance to share your salary information in this year's survey, check back in early 2015 for the next salary survey collection!

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