Editor’s Notebook: Closing the Gap

Have you ever wondered how your salary compares to someone of a different ethnicity who has the same level of education and experience as you? How do salaries of nurses living in the West compare to those in the Northeast? Is the increase in salary really worth the time and money involved in earning a PhD? Discussing salaries in the workplace is often considered taboo, and a Google search can only provide you with a general idea of how your salary stacks up in your field. That’s why Minority Nurse reached out to over 3,000 nurses across the country to get the inside scoop for you in our first annual salary survey. In honor of April being National Minority Health Month, our spring issue is also chock-full of the latest health news to equip you with the resources you need to help close existing disparity gaps.

Do you work with children? Would you know how to administer epinephrine to a child suffering from a severe allergic reaction? Because children from underserved groups are particularly vulnerable to food allergies, it’s crucial that nurses working with these young kids learn how to recognize and respond to severe allergic reactions. Pam Chwedyk gives you the know-how to take control in an emergency situation.

Since the completion of the Human Genome Project, we have made a lot of progress in the fields of genetics and genomics. But genetics may not have been part of your curriculum unless you are a recent graduate. All nurses owe it to themselves—and to their patients—to have a basic understanding of genetics so that they can easily identify high-risk patients. Consider becoming a genetic nurse specialist and you can learn firsthand how to help prevent a disease rather than just care for an existing one. Kimberly Bonvissuto highlights the important role genetics will play in patient care going forward.

As this issue went to press, news had just broken out that a baby had been cured of HIV. Learn more about the latest developments in treating HIV/AIDS and help your afflicted patients live longer, fuller lives. Because an AIDS diagnosis is no longer an automatic death sentence, it should come to no surprise that the disease is increasingly common among the elderly. Jeanette Centeno and Archana Pyati investigate the challenges that come along with caring for an aging population.

Administering medications may seem second nature to you, but it often goes hand in hand with a patient’s good (or bad) prognosis. Reverend Steven Wheeler cautions you to switch off the autopilot and worry about more than just the proper dosage. Consider the bigger picture—including the patient’s diet, their other prescribed medications, and how they might interact—to avoid the types of errors Wheeler describes.

Are you burdened with piles of paperwork, but skeptical of technology? Check out Sonya Stinson’s article on the latest developments in health information technology and find out how these tools can help streamline your hospital’s workflow. Not only will they improve the quality of patient care, but they’ll also allow you to spend less time deciphering doctors’ scribblings and more time at the bedside. Now that’s what we call a win-win.

1st Annual Salary Survey

1st Annual Salary Survey

While there is a range in how much nurses earn, nurses reported making more money this year than they earned five years ago. Respondents to the first annual Minority Nurse salary survey reported an overall current median salary of $67,000 and said they had a median salary of $60,000 five years ago. Further, many, though not all, employers also offer benefits, most commonly health insurance and a retirement plan.

However, those values encompass all regions of the United States as well as a variety of specialties and other factors, including ethnicity and education.

For example, respondents living in the West reported the highest median salary, $74,250, while respondents living in the Midwest reported the lowest median salary at $63,000.

To gather all this data, Minority Nurse and Springer Publishing emailed a link to an online survey that asked respondents some 18 questions to characterize their educational backgrounds, main roles as nurses, and employer type, as well as to ascertain their current and past salaries. More than 3,000 nurses responded to this survey, representing every US state and the District of Columbia. The respondents also correspond to a broad swath of the profession, with nurses working in administrative roles or performing research as well as nurses tending to patients at their bedside in the NICU or in a psychiatric clinic.

Breaking the data down reveals some key differences in salary levels.

Median salary also varied by ethnic background. People of white/non-Hispanic backgrounds earned a median $71,119, followed by people of Asian descent making a median $64,000 and African Americans reporting a median $60,500. Hispanic or Latino/Latina nurses reported a median salary of $58,000 and Native American nurses earned a median salary of $60,000. Additionally, people who identified as multiracial reported earning $50,000, as the median.

Education also affected salaries as respondents with higher levels of education reported earning more in income. For instance, nurses with a bachelor’s level degree commanded a median salary of $65,000, while nurses with a master’s level degree said they earned a median salary of $70,000.

In addition, nurses with an advanced practice nursing specialization reported a median salary of $84,000. However, nurses with a medical-surgical specialization said they made a median salary of $55,000.

The good news, nearly all respondents reported earning more than they did just five years ago.


  • 23.2% of respondents have a PhD or other doctoral-level degree
  • 43.7% work at a college or university
  • 50.0% have been at their current job for five years or longer
  • 63.2% received a raise within the last year
  • 54.3% left prior job to pursue a better opportunity
  • 45.2% do not expect a raise this year
  • 49.1% are looking to leave their current job in coming years

Five Most Common Specialties

  • Medical-surgical
  • Advanced practice nursing
  • Psychiatric/mental  health

Highest Paid by Employer Type

  • Private hospital
  • Private practice
  • University or college
  • Public hospital
  • Walk-in clinic

Most Common Benefits Provided

  • Health insurance
  • Retirement plan (401(k), 403(b), pension, etc.)
  • Dental insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Sick leave



Negotiating a Job Offer

Many job seekers miss out on an opportunity to increase their salary and benefits, due to their lack of understanding of, and preparation for, the negotiation process. Unlike some career fields where salary negotiation has been impacted negatively by the poor job market, the salary negotiation prospects for those entering high-demand positions within the allied health field are still good. But as with all aspects of the job search, preparation is key. Successful salary negotiation requires self-assessment, research, planning and strong communication skills. Careful preparation will increase your ability to create a mutually satisfying agreement between you and your potential employer.

The following steps will help you prepare for the salary negotiation process. Just remember that the topic of salary should never be addressed until the employer brings it up. And the actual process of negotiation shouldn’t begin until you have received an offer of employment.

Self-Assessment: Prioritize Your Needs

The first step in preparing to negotiate your salary and benefits is to clarify and prioritize what is important to you. This is necessary because your needs will influence all aspects of the negotiation process. When considering a job offer you’ll need to know what your priorities are in order to decide the value of the offer and what aspects you may want to negotiate.

There are many potential benefits to consider in addition to base salary when accepting a job offer. These benefits increase the monetary value of your base salary, in addition to adding quality to your work life. Depending on your priorities, you’ll want to consider various benefit areas when preparing to negotiate.

For example, if you value learning about new developments and opportunities for advancement in your field, continuing education should be an essential part of your compensation package. You may be able to negotiate reimbursement for renewal of certifications, subscriptions to professional journals, and/or tuition reimbursement for an advanced degree or continuing education courses.

Perhaps you are concerned about having ample opportunity for professional development. In this case, you could negotiate for payment of membership fees for professional associations, conference registration fees, or subscriptions to professional publications.

If you have children or are considering starting a family in the near future, the ability to balance your work and personal life will be important. You’ll want the opportunity to increase your vacation time, arrange for flexible work assignments, obtain reimbursement for child-care costs, and extend benefits coverage to family members.

Another subject you might be able to negotiate is your performance review. Some employers will grant a shorter time period before your first review, thereby giving you the opportunity to discuss a salary increase and advancement opportunities earlier than usual. Finally, if you’re really fortunate, you might even be able to get the employer’s assistance in repaying your student loans.

Take time to review and consider your priorities. Knowing your main concerns ahead of time will help you present yourself to your employer with composure and conviction. In addition, you will be prepared to compromise benefits of a lesser value in exchange for benefits that are more beneficial to you.

Self-Assessment: Know What You Have to Offer

Another step in preparing to negotiate is understanding your intrinsic value. What do you have to offer an employer in terms of your knowledge, education, skills and experience? You need to assess these areas to identify your strengths.

During the negotiation process you will present these strengths to explain your value to a potential employer. The strengths you choose to emphasize during the negotiation will depend on the needs of the employer. Understanding the employer’s needs can be difficult when you are thinking about your own priorities, nonetheless, it’s important to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. When you understand the priorities of the employer and the organization, you’ll be able to relate to the employer’s priorities and tailor your needs to the employer’s frame of reference. Your goal is to utilize this knowledge to create a mutually satisfying outcome to the negotiation.

Research: Understanding Your Market Value

When it comes to attaining the best possible base salary, you will need to do your homework ahead of time in order to discover your market value. This means identifying the current salary range offered for the position you are seeking.

There are various resources to access this information, many of which are available on the Internet. See the sidebar “Bookmark These Sites!” for further information on useful Web sites.

Utilizing the services of allied health professional associations or societies is a vital component of your career development process and many of these organizations provide salary data. Trade journals can also be good sources of salary information.

Planning: Negotiation Strategies

The best time to enter salary negotiations is when you have been offered the position and before you have fully accepted it. This is the time when you will have the most negotiating power. By that point you will have assessed your priorities, market value and needs of your potential employer. But before you enter into any negotiation, you will need to create a plan for a dialogue that addresses your concerns and creates an amiable negotiation. A useful strategy to focus the discussion on areas that you’re interested in is to use exploratory questions.

For example, an interviewee with a few years of laboratory tech experience may be interested in a promotion to a supervisory position. During the course of the discussion the interviewee could ask, “What is the opportunity for advancement into a management or supervisory position?” This question opens up the discussion on the requirements for this position and opportunities for receiving additional training. It also sends a clear message to the employer that this candidate is serious about a career and not just looking for just another job.

An interviewee just out of college may be interested in continuing his or her education. In this case the interviewee could ask, “Can we explore the possibility of reimbursement for an advanced degree?”

Always maintain proper etiquette during the negotiation process. One of the best ways to do this is by putting your requests in the form of questions, rather than stating your demands. This is especially important for entry-level interviewees; aggressive, inexperienced candidates turn off most interviewers. On the other hand, a candidate who is perceived as polite but inquisitive will often be viewed in a positive light. For examples of how to properly start off such questions, see the sidebar, “Exploratory Questions”.
As you discuss and explore the possibilities during negotiation, it is important to remain flexible in your questions and responses. When you are asked a question, never respond with a flat “no,” instead pause, consider the question and then respond. Remember you can’t get what you do not ask for.

When answering questions regarding salary, it is best to give a range because it allows flexibility during the negotiation. You want to find a salary that will satisfy both you and your potential employer. If you have done your homework, you’ll be able to provide a range based on your research to identify the market value for the position and an estimate of your intrinsic value based on your unique skills and experience. You need to decide what is the highest you are worth within that range and what is the lowest you will accept. To support your request, you can bring salary information from your research to the negotiation.

According to David Soprych, regional recruiter for HCR Manorcare, in Aurora, Ill., “Salaries are typically set for staffing levels at large organizations. Smaller organizations have more flexibility in salary. Also, for management positions there is greater flexibility for base salary.” In any case, you will have to sell your skills and accomplishments when negotiating your salary.

Another area that has received media attention is sign-on bonuses. Soprych cautions job seekers to be wary of large sign-on bonuses. “This could be a red flag that the organization is having difficulty keeping and finding employees,” he says. “Also, a company may provide a top salary but poor benefits or a moderate salary with excellent benefits. It is in your best interest to investigate these organizations carefully.”

Communication Skills: The Art of Diplomacy

Successful negotiations are built on developing rapport and trust. By applying active listening, strong communication and keen observation skills, you will be able to present yourself well and respond to various situations in an appropriate manner. Listen carefully and pay attention to the employer’s attitude, words and body language. You are looking for positive reactions to your statements; your goal is to create a positive and friendly atmosphere. This is very important when you are trying to reach a mutually satisfying outcome.

Because your emotions will be running high during the negotiation, it is helpful to rehearse your presentation with another person prior to your interview. This will prepare you for answering questions and allow you to receive feedback on your style of communication and the logic of your presentation. Through preparation and practice, you’ll increase your confidence and ability to handle the negotiation process.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to negotiate a great offer. Take time to prepare and you’ll be able to negotiate an offer that is mutually satisfying for you and your potential employer.

Exploratory Questions

During the negotiation, you will want to steer the conversation towards points of negotiation that interest you most. Here is a list of appropriate introductions to such questions.

1. What is the opportunity for…?

2. Are you willing to…?

3. What would you consider…?

4. Can we talk about…?

5. What are the alternatives to…?

6. Have you considered…?

7. Can we explore the possibility of…?

8. Is there anything you might be able to do about…?

9. What if…?

10. Would you think about…?

Bookmark These Sites!

The following Internet sites are helpful for researching your appropriate base salary ranges.

Provides information on salaries searchable by profession and geographic location. Keep in mind that salaries for identical positions vary depending on geographic location and years of experience.

Lists salary surveys with links to other occupational salary sites.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook offers consolidated salary figures for specific occupations.

Provides salary information for various health professions based on degree level and years of experience but does not list by geographic area.

North, South, East, West

If you’re looking for a new nursing job (or your first), you might think heading to the nearest city is your best bet–lots of people needing lots of nursing care, right? Or maybe you’re considering rural areas–with everyone concentrated in cities, they must need nurses desperately in the country! The truth is, no matter where you live, nurses are vital for healthy communities. From the quiet countryside to bustling urban centers and everywhere in between, nurses are at work in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, and many other health care settings. Though nurses have felt the effects of the economic downturn (a tight job market coupled with fewer nurses retiring), experts predict the future holds nothing but opportunity for those who weather the storm.

Which nursing specialties offer the most opportunities? And in which areas of the country can minority nurses make the largest impact? Though the job market continues its slow creep toward recovery, it’s still an excellent time to explore burgeoning nursing specialties and areas of the country that need skilled nurses. As the country emerges from the recession, nurses will be in demand everywhere, so it’s simply a matter of geographical preference.

“We are on the brink of a very significant nursing shortage, so any tight job market we’re seeing right now is probably going to change on a dime in the next several years,” says Donna Cardillo, M.A., R.N., nursing career specialist, author of A Daybook for Beginning Nurses, and “Dear Donna” columnist for Nurse.com (www.nurse.com).

Nancy Pokorny, M.S., R.N., a nursing career specialist at Albert Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, says she hopes the current job market won’t discourage people from going into nursing or staying in the profession, because an impending nurse shortage is real, even though it’s not evident at this time. “Certainly everyone is hoping for an economic resurgence, but people still need to pursue nursing as a career,” Pokorny says.

Despite the current bleak job market, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2010–2011 Occupational Outlook expects job opportunities for registered nurses to be excellent, with job growth much faster than the average for all other industries. The BLS reports that hundreds of thousands of new nursing job openings will emerge from the need to replace retiring nurses in the years to come. Employment is expected to grow by 22% between 2008–2018.

“Right now the demand for nurses is lower, and I think that is a result of the bad economy and folks that would normally be retiring waiting to retire,” says Darlene Curley, R.N., M.S., Executive Director of the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, a foundation that works to increase ethnic and racial diversity among the nursing workforce. “I think for the next two to five years there will be fewer opportunities for initial employment in the specific areas that a nurse may want to go into when they graduate. However, I think that a nurse that comes from a diverse background will have more opportunities because employers will need to have those nurses to be able to provide the best care for the patients.”

A nationwide nursing outlook

“Nursing is very portable–more portable than most careers,” Cardillo notes. This means that a nurse can choose to live and work anywhere, though some areas offer more opportunities than others.

The Northeast region of the United States has the highest overall concentration of registered nurses; specifically, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Delaware rank in the top five states for nurses. South Dakota in the Midwest and Mississippi in the South are also in the top five for a high concentration of RNs (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. See sidebar for more info).

The Northeast also scores big for annual mean wages, with Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey ranging from the mid-$70,000s to low $80,000s. In the West, Hawaii and California rank in the top five for nursing salaries, both in the low to mid-$80,000s, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Cardillo says she doesn’t consider any area of the country a “hot spot” for nurses right now, but, “for the most part, there are opportunities everywhere, and typically you’ve got a proportionate number of nurses to job opportunities, so I don’t know that anybody needs to necessarily relocate in order to find what they’re looking for,” she says. The great thing about nursing is there are opportunities all across the country, so sometimes nurses can do some travel nursing–work for a travel nurse agency to try out different areas, experience different geographic locations, and work in different specialties for different employers. That’s maybe a way to try different things out.”

“The demand in nursing is strong enough that it transcends race, gender, and nationality. Minority nurses are needed in all areas, regardless of rural or urban settings,” says Jill Jarufe, M.B.A., a nursing practice search consultant at Kaye/Bassman International Corporation, a recruiting firm based in Dallas, Texas.

Jarufe agrees that the general future job outlook for nurses in all regions is outstanding and is only expected to continue to grow over the next 10 years, but she points out that warmer climates in the Southeast and Southwest are generally showing the most opportunities for growth, as the baby boomer generation tends to relocate to these areas.

Rural versus urban areas

Minority nurses come from a variety of geographic areas and often feel a strong desire to give back to their communities by working within them. Nurses in rural areas can help people who often have limited access to high-quality health care–then again, they can head to more urban areas and find the same problem. The need for nurses is widespread and growing, so no matter where you chose to practice, you’ll make a difference. Of course, nurses must consider many factors when deciding where to work, including the number of potential job opportunities, cost of living, personal preferences (e.g. city versus suburban or rural areas), and where their passion lies within the health care arena.

“We have a responsibility toward our own community, first and foremost,” says Adrian Juarez, B.S.N., M.S.N. “Go out there and get yourself the training and skills that you need and then give back to the community that’s given so much to you. Never forget where you’re from.” For some minority nurses, that means going to work for an organization like the Indian Health Service, focusing on American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. For other nurses it means working in inner cities or rural areas that suffer from health disparities and lack access to quality care.

Missy Gilford, B.S.N., R.T. (R), Assistant Manager of Emergency Nursing at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding in Georgia, has been a nurse in the area for 15 years. “The area that I work in is in downtown Atlanta. Most of our patients are minorities. In our emergency room we see 4,000 or more patients per month, and the majority of them are minorities. I would say about 85% are minorities.”

Juarez has firsthand experience working as a nurse in various regions of the country, including his home state of Texas. He’s also worked as a nurse in Los Angeles and California, and he is currently pursuing his doctorate in nursing at New York University on a Jonas Center scholarship, focusing his research on addressing the lack of access to health care for marginalized populations. He describes the quality of life on the East Coast as one of the best in his experience.

“Here, at least in the New York City metro area, there’s a strong economy and there’s always opportunity and potential for a job,” Juarez says. “You have public transportation to get to your job and high-quality schools. I would have to say that Southern California has a higher quality of life as well, though not as high as the East Coast [in my opinion]. But in the West and Southwest where I’m from, one of our biggest issues is a basic need like water, so there is definitely a difference there.”

Upon completing his degree at New York University, Juarez says he plans to return to his roots and work in Texas. With his doctorate in hand and high level of commitment to give back to his community, he will be a welcomed asset. “There’s definitely a need for advanced practice nurses in rural areas where there is often a shortage of physicians,” Cardillo says. “Advanced practice nurses are taking on a bigger role in many rural areas.”

The staggering shortage of physicians in rural areas often drives the need for advanced practice nurses. Only 10% of physicians work in rural areas, compared to 90% in urban areas.1 Nurses, particularly minority nurses, are needed to fill these gaps in the availability of primary care practitioners.

While the coasts always draw large numbers of people, nurses shouldn’t overlook the Midwest. “The Midwest has some great opportunities also; there isn’t any particular decline out there,” Cardillo says. “In fact many hospitals in the Midwest are hiring and there’s good quality of living. I was in Illinois recently and there seems to be a lot happening there [in health care]–in the Chicago area certainly.”

Advanced practice nurses fill the gap

With such a bright future forecasted for nurses nationwide, there are several areas of nursing that experts agree are destined for strong growth–and the need for minority nurses in these specialties is crucial for delivering culturally competent patient care.

Cardillo highlights one nursing opportunity in particular: advanced practice nursing (APN), which includes certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse practitioners. APNs hold master’s degrees in their field of concentration and are licensed to perform assessments and prescribe medications to patients.

“Nurse practitioners work under the advisement of a physician, but they are really independent practitioners. This is really a huge growth area and is related to health care reform since one of the components of health care reform legislation is the increased need for primary care [providers],” Cardillo says. That need is ever-present for minority patients who sometimes have limited or no access to physicians. Nurse practitioners are not only more accessible and affordable in facilities such as pharmacy clinics, but Cardillo says patients often feel more comfortable seeing a nurse than a physician.

“Advanced practice nurses are filling the gap in primary health care and becoming major providers of primary care” Cardillo says. “In some cases it’s because of a shortage of primary care physicians, but also, there’s a growing body of research that shows that advanced practice nurses are providing high-quality care at a more reasonable price. Also, we’ve long known that the health care consumer has a high degree of trust in nurses and is very comfortable being treated by nurses and talking to nurses–sometimes more so than they are with physicians. That’s not an anti-physician statement; it’s just the nature of what’s happening out there.”

Pokorny agrees that the greatest growth lies in advanced practice nursing. “That doesn’t help the new graduates coming out the door with their bachelor’s degrees, but advanced practice nursing is definitely growing. It looks like the government is putting the educational dollars into it with the changes in health care coming upon us quickly. Primary care, nurse-run centers–that’s really going to be the key,” she says.

Critical needs

In addition to advanced practice nurses, critical care nurses (ICU, ER, operating room, recovery room, etc.) remain and will always be in high demand across the country. “In fact, some people speculate that hospitals will eventually be one giant intensive care unit, as we continue to find alternate ways to treat people outside of the hospitals,” Cardillo says.

Another growth area is outpatient nursing or ambulatory care nursing, which Cardillo says is “growing by leaps and bounds because we are delivering much more care outside of the hospital. Ambulatory care nursing is a term that encompasses many different practice settings to include any outpatient services, and it also includes tele-health or tele-nursing where nurses are giving advice via telephone or doing telephone triage. I consider it a sub-specialty of ambulatory care nursing. Some consider it tele-nursing.”

Many nurses only think of more traditional clinical roles, but Cardillo urges them to consider some of the non-traditional nursing careers showing strong growth. “I have a very broad view of who a nurse is and what a nurse does,” she says. “So I would say one nursing non-traditional growth area is nursing informatics–nurses combining their clinical knowledge with computer science. Computers are being used in increasing ways in health care, and that’s a very exciting, hot growing field right now for nurses.”

Another field worth investigating is forensic nursing, a combination of the legal arena and nursing science. Forensic nursing is also an umbrella term encompassing specialties such as sexual assault nurse examiner, nurse investigator, and nurses who work with patients of suspected elder or child abuse.

If you see yourself in a more advanced nursing role, now might be the perfect opportunity to get the education required for these growth specialties. While nurses can take a number of educational roads, from associate degrees to graduate-level studies, the fastest growing specialties (such as nurse practitioner) require a master’s degree. It’s a really good opportunity for individuals who are currently practicing nurses to jump back into the educational waters and get back to school for advanced practice positions or nurse educator positions, because certainly faculty is needed,” Pokorny says.

Finally, for nurses with a flare for business, another area to consider is entrepreneurship. “First of all, nurses make great entrepreneurs. There’s great opportunities for them to do things independently, to do education, CPR training, open adult day centers, child daycare centers–there’s a whole host of things. For example, I heard about some new grad nurses who couldn’t find a traditional job because of the current tight job market, so they opened a sick child daycare center. And what a great idea that is. How innovative. And who better than nurses to operate such a center?” Cardillo says.

Whatever road you decide to take and no matter where it leads you, one thing is certain: minority nurses are needed everywhere in order to deliver the best culturally competent patient care possible. “Nurses are multi-talented and versatile,” Cardillo says. “There are many ways and places to make a difference. There’s no one right path for every nurse to follow. Each individual nurse has different interests, different backgrounds. Nurses really need to follow their heart in nursing and carve out their own path. Many people will tell you that this is the way you have to start in nursing; this is the way you have to build your career in nursing. But there is no right way. We’re all different. The opportunities are endless. There are many different things we can do, so you really have to follow your heart and make it work for you.”


1. Rural Healthy People 2010. “Healthy People 2010: A Companion Document for Rural Areas,” www.srph.tamhsc.edu/centers/rhp2010.

What’s Your Worth?

It’s that magical day: payday. You eagerly rip open your paycheck and scan it to find your net earnings. And when you see the amount, are you disappointed that the number hasn’t magically increased since two weeks ago?

Are you wondering how you’re going to afford this month’s rent and bills? Or are you elated at how much you will be able to put into savings and maybe even dreaming of a new house or car?

Whether you’re still in school and just dreaming of payday or you’re currently employed, knowing your financial worth is vital. Your skills, experience and educational background not only make-up who you are, they also determine how much money you’re able to earn.

In order to find out if you’re being fairly compensated for all your hard work, it’s important to have a clear sense of how your salary compares to your peers’ salaries in your field of allied health. If you’re currently underpaid in your position, maybe it’s time to ask for a raise or look for a higher-paying job. Or maybe this is an opportunity to realize just how generous your current employer really is.

Diversity: Allied Health Careers’ Second Annual Salary Report will be a beneficial tool for you to discover what the average salary ranges are for many allied health care careers. In general, you can expect some great financial news. Because of the high demand and low supply within many allied health occupationsÑa trend that is expected to continue for years to comeÑsalaries continue to increasing at rates well above the national average. You can expect signing bonuses, enhanced benefits and other ÒperksÓ to be offered by many health care employers as well.

Due to space limitations, this report is not intended to provide comprehensive salary data on all allied health disciplines. For more information on other allied health care fields and salary ranges, check out salary.com, the American Medical Association’s Web site (www.ama.org), Health Care Job Store (www.healthcarejobstore.com) or (Payscale.com).


Anesthesiologist Assistant

$90,000 – $110,000 (American Medical Association)

Anesthesia Technician

$26,206 (Salary.com)

Art Therapy

Art Therapist

$35,561 (Health Care Job Store)


Biotechnology Research Scientist

$63,700 (Payscale.com)

Biotechnology Research Associate

$40,100 (Payscale.com)

Biological Technician

$33,000 (Payscale.com)

Cardiac Medicine

Cardio-Pulmonary Perfusionist

$89,620 (Salary.com)

Echocardiograph Technician

$46,754 (Salary.com)

Cardiac Catheterization Technologist

$45,110 (Salary.com)

Cardiac Technician

$30,231 (Salary.com)

EKG Technician

$26,149 (Salary.com)



$50,735 (Salary.com)


Dental Hygienist

$47,422 (Payscale.com)

Dental Laboratory Technician

$29,080 (Payscale.com)

Dental Assistant

$23,534 (Payscale.com)



$40,975 (Salary.com)

Dietetic Technician

$19,189 (Payscale.com)

Emergency Medicine


$30,184 (Salary.com)

Emergency Medical Technician

$29,293 (Salary..com)

Genetic Counseling

Genetic Counselor

$53,800 (American Medical Association)


Histotechnology Supervisor

$50,086 (American Medical Association)


$41,122 (American Medical Association)

Histologic Technician

$34,549 (American Medical Association)




$35,000 (American Medical Association)


Massage Therapy

Massage Therapist

$31,474 (Payscale.com)

Medical Appliances, Orthotics and Prostheses


$56,398 (Health Care Job Store)


$50,714 (Health Care Job Store)

Medical Appliances Technician

$27,459 (Payscale.com)

Medical Assistantship

Medical Assistant

$21,865 (Payscale.com)

Medical Illustration

Medical Illustrator

$34,295 (Salary.com)

$50,000-$75,000 average according to AMA

Medical Management and Information

Medical Records Director

$78,437 (Salary.com)

Medical and Health Services Manager

$57,208 (Payscale.com)

Medical Records Administrator

$51,086 (Salary.com)

Medical Transcription Supervisor

$41,518 (Salary.com)

Medical Records Transcriptionist

$30,261 (Salary.com)

Medical Records and Health Information Technician

$22,462 (Payscale.com)

Medical Technology

Chief Medical Technologist in the United States

$51,079 (Salary.com)

Medical Technologist – Microbiology

$44,198 (Salary.com)

Medical Technologist – Hematology

$43,507 (Salary.com)

Medical Laboratory Technician, Sr.

$39,434 (Salary.com)

Medical Laboratory Technician

$32,544 (Salary.com)

Mental Health/ Counseling

Marriage / Family Therapist

$38,819 (Payscale.com)

Mental Health Counselor

$28,380 (Payscale.com)

Mental Health or Substance Abuse Social Worker

$29,952 (Payscale.com)

Psychiatric Technician

$23,736 (Payscale.com)

Psychiatric Aide

$20,831 (Payscale.com)

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine Director

$69,835 (Salary.com)

Nuclear Medicine Technician – Registered

$50,081 (Salary.com)

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

$46,065 (Salary.com)

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapist

$51,698 (Payscale.com)

Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

$33,494 (Payscale.com)

Occupational Therapist Aide

$20,507 (Payscale.com)


Opthalmic Dispensing Optician

$24,074 (Payscale.com)

Opthalmic Laboratory Technician

$20,923 (Payscale.com)


Pharmacy Director

$106,685 (Salary.com)

Assistant Director of Pharmacy

$93,689 (Salary.com)


$88,626 (Salary.com)

Clinical Pharmacist

$75,296 (Salary.com)

Pharmacy Technician II

$25,384 (Salary.com)

Pharmacy Technician I

$22,690 (Salary.com)

Physical Therapy

Director of Physical Therapy

$66,000 (Payscale.com)

Physical Therapist

$57,907 (Payscale.com)

Certified Physical Therapist Assistant

$33,158 (Payscale.com)

Physical Therapy Aide

$20,290 (Payscale.com)

Physician Assistantship
Physician Assistant

$69,567 (American Academy of Physician Assistants, 2002)

Radiation Therapy Technologist

Radiologic Technologist

$41,455 (Salary.com)

Chief Radiologic Technologist

$56,519 (Salary.com)

Radiation Therapy Technologist (ARRT)

$52,646 (Salary.com)

Radiologic Technician

$35,000 (Payscale.com)


Rehabilitation Counselor

$25,894 (Payscale.com)

Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory Therapist

$43,854. (Salary.com)

Certified Respiratory Therapy Technician

$35,266 (Salary.com)


Chief Ultrasound Technologist

$60,758 (Salary.com)

Ultrasound Technologist

$50,398 (Salary.com)

Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
Speech and Hearing Therapy Supervisor

$62,000 (salary.com)

Speech-Language Pathologist

$52,502 (Salary.com)


$51,101 (Salary.com)

Sports Medicine

Head Athletic Trainer – Higher Education

$43,652 (Salary.com)

Assistant Athletic Trainer – Higher Education

$34,627 (Salary.com)

Surgical Technology

Surgical Technologist

$34,316 (Salary.com)