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RA Salary

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by spyspy, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. spyspy

    spyspy 2+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    For those of you who were/are full-time RAs before going into a doctoral program, would you be willing to share your salary or at least a general acceptable salary range? I'm also interested in benefits and whatever other perks you got...besides the obvious boost in getting into grad school. Public posts and PMs are welcome.

    Thanks!! :)
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  3. princessrosered

    princessrosered 2+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2007
    I am working as an RA at a private research university and the salary range (the pay bracket into which all RA positions fall) is $25,000-$29,000. The pay isn't great, especially depending on your geographic location, but if you want to get some serious reseach experience, and hopefully get published, this is the way to do it. Good luck!
  4. emc17

    emc17 emc 2+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    I only work part-time, and I make somewhere between 16 and 17 bucks and hour. If I worked full time, the total salary would be in the low 30s. I also have the option to get benefits so thats a plus.
  5. emc17

    emc17 emc 2+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    On a side note - this is not entering a doctoral program, this is just the job I hope will eventually help me get into a doctoral program :) Hope that helps!
  6. Ollie123

    Ollie123 10+ Year Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    Mine pays 25k. Cost of living is dirt cheap around here, so with a roommate, I am able to live pretty comfortably off that.

    It largely depends where you are. I know people earning 10k more than me who are struggling because they are in NYC or similar cities. Don't expect a life of luxury no matter where you go though....these aren't even really "entry level" jobs, think of them as transitional, temporary jobs before grad school.
  7. psychplease

    psychplease 5+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2007
  8. yikes

    yikes 7+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    i graduated in 2005 and worked for a year at 34k. the funding for the ra position ran out and my current salary, for a different ra job, is 42k. i think that is a bit higher than average, but cost of living where i am is wayyyy above average.
  9. PsychED00

    PsychED00 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Just a quick note about RA Positions:

    #1 It does not guarantee Ph.D. acceptance, even with good GRE scores, excellent transcripts and great recommendations. Clinical Ph.D.'s are SUPER competitive. You are better off going with "other" Ph.D.'s or an M.D. Even at a prestigious, Ivy-league affiliated placement!

    #2. Don't be too shocked when you realize that you aren't going to be published in time for applying to schools!!! I came into this position in 2005 and still have not been part of a study that has been published!!!! And I work at one of, if not the best imaging labs. It all depends on when you come in on the projects you're working on. If it's the end, you might get left off the paper b/c there have already been too many authors working on it. If it's the beginning, it might not be ready for publishing, let alone done with recruitment/data analysis, for quite some time. Probably well after you planned on applying to schools!!! I would definitely ask about the status of your PI's project and take this into consideration.

    #3 Even with a M.A. and clinical experience with Schizophrenic patients, I had to "negotiate" $30k. After a year it bumped up by $2500, but that still only works out to about $15-16/hour (which is pretty hard to live on comfortably in a big city, with loan payments, car payments & rent!!!)

    #4 The only GREAT thing about this job, the benefits. If the position is in a reputable hospital setting, like mine, the health & dental plan will be pretty sweet. Not to mention the free life insurance and all that other good stuff.

    So all in all, I'm glad I took the job after all I have learned, but pretty disappointed about the misconception I had about how much this position would make me "STAND OUT" as a clinical Ph.D. applicant. I think it had little to no positive effect actually! If it did, there is no viable reason that I did not even receive 1 interview invite... Anywho, I'm nixing the Clinical Ph.D thing and moving on to a Neuro Ph.d. I have a feeling this job will hold alot more weight with these programs!
  10. psychRA

    psychRA Psychologist 10+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    Everyone's experience with this is different. Working at my RA job is without a doubt the thing that got me into grad school. There is no way I would have been accepted without the publications, posters, and connections I got from my job. It depends on where you go and what you're able to make of it.

    The salary range can also be pretty huge. A big shot hospital like MGH, which is huge and prestigious, pays practically nothing ($22k is starting) because they can get away with it. A government agency like the VA pays a lot more ($35k) because salary is determined at the federal level.
  11. psychanon

    psychanon 7+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    I worked as an RA in a large city (not NYC) and made 25k. That was 3-4 years ago, so salaries may have gone up since then. I didn't get any pubs (but I only worked there for a year), but I got a presentation and, most importantly, got into grad school.
    25-30k may not sound like much to you, but to a graduate student, it sounds like a fortune! I wish I were making that much again-- then I'd be living the easy life. ;)
  12. Anon15

    Anon15 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    VA has a MUCH higher starting salary than most RA jobs.

    First year RA in large city = 38K
  13. psychplease

    psychplease 5+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2007

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