Oct 4, 2012
90
24
Status
Physical Therapy Student
Has anyone successfully negotiated salary or benefits as a new grad? How so? What did you use as leverage and advantages to achieve a better offer? Thanks for your input!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Doc-PT
Jul 13, 2017
62
38
I am in the northeast and was just offered a job at the SNF I did my last rotation at. I was offered $35/hour ($72,800) and negotiated to $36/hour ($74,880). They did the whole spiel saying they have a strict system whereby all new grads receive the same pay so there really isn't a way to be more competetive in terms of pay.

When I was done asking discussing a few things with her I said I would get back to her with my decision when I could but, in the meantime, I would get in touch if I had more questions. So after getting off the phone I started making a list of questions and when I had several a couple hours later I called her back. Immediately, I went to my negotiation. I asked "To whom should I direct my counter offer regarding pay?" (despite the "strict pay guidelines for new grads"). She said I would direct them to her so, without a moments hesitation, I told her "I would like to suggest $36/hour because I am familiar with the documentation system, facility and rehab team and, thus, will take significantly less time to train, I provide excellent documentation which can be verified by the Rehab director and my former CI and, lastly, I have a year of experience as a CNA which is incredibly useful in this practice setting.

She said she would discuss this with the woman in charge of "okaying" salaries and again tried to say they have a hard time paying one new grad higher when the others are getting paid the normal base rate. To which I said "I hope there is some individualization since we all bring something different to the table."

Then I went on to ask other questions...questions with answers that honestly didn't impress me very much and I think she could tell which probably helped me with salary negotiations because they realized they may need to sweeten the pot, so to speak. The following are the specific questions I asked if you're interested otherwise, skip to the next paragraph. I asked about 401k which ended up being, as far as I can tell, really low: 10% of the first 4% I put in?? Seems very low to me but I don't know a ton about 401ks. I asked how often employees are given raises and she said there is a merit-based review once/year...so I asked if those merit-based reviews typically resulted in pay increases for therapists to which I found out there had been a few years where wages were completely stagnant...again a little concerning. I asked if there were any sign on bonuses...there weren't. I asked about vacation days and found out there were only 16 days of paid time off plus the six big holidays that is used for everything including sick days...so NO separate SICK day allotment!! So that prompted me to ask if there was an allotment for unpaid vacation days and there wasn't! So I couldn't even plan for a two week vacation because what would happen if I ended up getting sick more than I expected? ...so again, not impressed. I asked if I was guaranteed a 40-hour work week and was told they can't guarantee it but said in "this area" it usually isn't a problem getting 40 hours a week...again not super happy. From the beginning I made it clear I didn't want weekend days so they changed the offer from Sunday-Thursday to M-F with the caveat that, should a coworker have to move away unexpectedly or need to take a leave of absence or get sick, the team would take turns covering their Sunday shifts...still not happy but better than a scheduled weekend day I guess. I asked if there was a system for upward mobility which there really isn't except becoming program director or getting a pay increase when taking on new responsibilities like being a CI. I asked if getting further certifications would increase my pay in the future and the long and short of it was: no, the attainment of certifications don't really come with a pay increase in practice but said if it improves the clinic's marketability it is possible...not thrilled with that either.

So I love the rehab team, the facility is nice and I managed to negotiate my salary to something I find acceptable for the physical and emotional stress that comes with working at an SNF. However, if I'm not gaurunteed 40hrs/wk and end up getting, let's say, 38hrs/wk it means I will only be making $71,100 salary which is less than the original offer.

I still haven't officially accepted the job offer yet because of the negatives mentioned above. I am leaning towards accepting it but I really don't want this job to be short term and some of the negatives make me think I can't necessarily make this my forever job.

Any opinions or thoughts regarding my offer and situation would be welcome and helpful!
Hopefully my negotiation will help others negotiate for more-we take offers that are too low for our credentials!
 
About the Ads

truthseeker

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2004
1,022
336
Status
it really depends upon how desperately they need you. If they have a drawerful of resumes then you have no leverage. Unless of course, you bring something that they need to the table that isn't in the drawer. With a PT/ATC as a new grad I was able to negotiate up $500 per year. I know that sounds laughable but it was in 1991 and I wouldn't work for less than $30k :laugh::laugh::greedy:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Doc-PT
Jul 13, 2017
62
38
it really depends upon how desperately they need you. If they have a drawerful of resumes then you have no leverage. Unless of course, you bring something that they need to the table that isn't in the drawer. With a PT/ATC as a new grad I was able to negotiate up $500 per year. I know that sounds laughable but it was in 1991 and I wouldn't work for less than $30k :laugh::laugh::greedy:
Good for you! $500 bucks is nothing to laugh at. The point is we should all negotiate. We have so much earning potential that we leave on the table because we are afraid to promote our strengths and ask for the appropriate reimbursement for our time. It's a little nerve-wracking as a new grad but it is SO worth it! The worst they can do is say no right?

Our friend, Jbil (sp?), here on SDN, has been an invaluable resource for me and I honestly wish we could pay him to keep the stats coming. He collects data via a 1 min survey about offers for new grads and whether or not they negotiated and, if they did, if it worked. He posted graphs on one of the threads which gave me a good idea of my monetary worth going into negotiations. I recommend any and every new grad take the extremely brief survey to help new grads going forward. The APTA has not been able to do much in the way of increasing our salaries with the increased cost of education so doing something like this was really incredible. He should be hired by the APTA to collect data on exactly this information-it is a much needed resource!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: InpatientDPT
About the Ads