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Kaiser Permanente in California - Salary Question

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by blueslily, 04.27.13.

  1. blueslily

    blueslily

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    Hi all,

    I have two quick questions.

    1) Does anyone know what the psych assistant salary is at Kaiser Permanente? (basically, how much does Kaiser pay psych assistants)

    2) What is starting salary for psychologists (licensed) at Kaiser? I've heard speculations and mixed info, and I can't find reliable info online. Anyone have personal experience?

    Thx.
  2. docma

    docma

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    As far as I know, Kaiser does not hire psych assistants, but selects a fairly large group of formal post-docs, then hires some of those (usually about a third, I've heard) from among those who have passed the EPPP by the end of post-doc. Post-docs are about $40,000/year with benefits. Licensed psychologists start at around $70.000, maybe more and will vary with region slightly and rise by steps. You should be able to search for this online.
  3. PHD12

    PHD12

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    They are the largest employer of psychologists in CA

    1) Work load is very demanding. Quantity over quality. I turned down positions there because they required 7-8 intakes per week and you are building to a 200+ case load. Basically, your job is to do intakes, case management, and run psychoeducational groups.

    2) It is tough to get into Kaiser if you did not train there as a post-doc. They have about 50 postdocs, but a significantly smaller # of licensed positions so you will be competing with their postdocs for a few slots.

    3) Salary will vary depending on location.
  4. edieb

    edieb Senior Member

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    70K is terrible in California
  5. SFPsyd

    SFPsyd

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    Having been there until about 18 months ago, I can add a few bits of info here. Also, keep in mind that Northern California and Southern California Kaisers operate as independent entities, so the payscales and many other things are vastly different. The information I have is for the Northern CA region.

    As for your questions:

    1) Yes, Kaiser does hire psych assistants, on the condition that you become licensed within 2 years otherwise you lose the position. The salary for psych assistants when I was there was around 80k/year.

    2) Starting salary for licensed psychologists (Northern CA) at Kaiser when I was there was around 105k/year, with step increases up to around 145k.

    Some of the other points made were correct, others were a bit misguided. You do work hard at Kaiser, but it is always contained within the 40 hr workweek. Most practitioners work 4 10-hr shifts, meaning that you have an extra day free each week to either relax or hold a private practice (many providers in fact do this). PHD12's descriptions of duties certainly mirrors the day to day experiences of some psychologists at Kaiser, but there is also a great range of variability among the clinics. There is absolutely a shift to group therapy in recent years, though many would say this is a good thing. Moreover, with more and more openings in areas such as chronic pain, behavioral medicine, and addiction, there are many opportunities to work as a psychologist within the system in some pretty cool ways.

    Bottom line, I am still glad I left to strike it out on my own. But man, there are also days I miss the comprehensive healthcare, no office rent, 6+ weeks off per year paid, not worrying about no shows...lots to like about the system as a psychologist. And between my 4 days at Kaiser and 1 day PP, I was pulling in about 130/yr as an early career psychologist, so I miss that too.
  6. Pragma

    Pragma

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    Really, 80K for someone unlicensed and starting 105K for licensed? That's better than the VA. Are you sure that was typical? I mean, you were there so you would know, but those starting salaries are higher than competitive AMC salaries I see in other major cities.

    I'd also wonder how one could manage such a caseload in so few hours.
  7. SFPsyd

    SFPsyd

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    Yes it's around 80 for unlicensed, but again this is under the assumption that you become licensed within (I believe?) 2 years, so it's similar to being hired at say the VA at a pre-licensed level. When I was there the starting rate was around 105k, though there was an expected 3-4% raise which likely went through, so probably a touch higher now. Keep in mind this is just for NorCal (including Sacramento, Fresno, and Bay Area), as southern California is a different scale.

    You definitely work hard and the pace can be intense (one of the reasons I left). That being said, it is manageable and the whole caseload aspect can be a bit misleading. Yes, you might have a caseload technically of 200 people, but most of them will not be participating regularly in treatment with you (either because they are doing groups in the clinic, are doing OK and no longer need services, mostly just want medications, etc.). The real struggle comes with people who want/need weekly therapy, since that is not usually possible. For people that love providing weekly therapy, it's not a great system/fit much of the time. For those who really enjoy groups, working in multidisciplinary settings, etc., it can be great.
  8. PHD12

    PHD12

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    SF PsyD answered my question.
  9. JeyRo

    JeyRo

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    I bet the VA has better bennies (workload aside).
  10. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator

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    Some VAs are actually implementing the 4-day schedules as well, although it's going to vary from site to site. I can definitely see the appeal, although as a lowly postdoc, it's not an option for me.
  11. PHD12

    PHD12

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    The shifts at kaiser were actually uneven at some of the locations i interviewed at. Some places required a 12 hour shift 1 day per week then some shorter shifts etc. I believe they are technically 4, 11 hour shifts because they include 1 hour for lunch (at least in some places). They allow the postdocs to do 4 day schedules at some locations.
    Last edited: 04.29.13
  12. blueslily

    blueslily

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    Thanks so much! Very helpful replies. :)
  13. ela

    ela

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