Wednesday, August 28, 2013

SLP 101: Salaries

Welcome back to SLP 101. Today's SLP 101 is the reason you just went to school for 6 years to earn that Master's Degree.

Salaries. These are really going to vary by state, city and settings. I can't tell you exactly how much to expect to be compensated, but I can tell you where to look for that information.

You're best tool leading into a negotiation is knowledge. If you're looking for a school job, keep in mind that you can find out the salary of your position before you even interview if the position is hired through the district teacher contract. Most schools publish their contract agreement which includes the salary. Try searching for 'XX district teacher contract'. You should find a salary schedule. In my state, I even found a comparison document that listed all the district in my state. 

Try out these different sources to find salary information for your location and setting: 

ASHA (includes salary surveys for different settings)Advance (includes the 2011 salary surveys) 
US Bureau of Labor Statistics  
Other SLPs - Be sensitive, but if you have the appropriate relationships don't be afraid to ask your colleagues. They know the local market the best. 

Thoughts to consider:
  • Benefits - these can vary a lot between jobs
  • Vacation Time
  • The cost of working holidays and weekends
  • Your preferences: Job happiness means a lot. 

Keep in mind that school based positions only give you credit (usually) for your years of school experience. So if you work for 3 years in a clinic and then go to a school, you may lose your years of experience and therefore need to accept a lower pay.  In a clinic, you're bringing your years of experience with you. 

PRN (hourly as needed) jobs at clinics and hospitals are great ways to increase your salary. When you're hired as PR, the employer isn't responsible for your benefits and therefore your hourly wage is higher. Supplement with these jobs, especially while you're trying to find your favorite niche!