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2009 Healthcare Salary Projections

Georgia Price / AllHealthcare

As 2008 comes to a close, and we embark upon the year 2009, you can rest assured that the healthcare industry will remain a stable and secure place to be. With the nursing shortage still wreaking havoc across the US, and medical students drawn away from primary care and into the arms of specializations, the number of healthcare jobs available will continue to grow. Of course, not every profession will be hiring as aggressively as nursing or medical assisting, but the general aging of the Baby Boomers, combined with increased technology and accessibility, makes virtually any healthcare occupation desirable.

Like most other industries, the salaries of healthcare professionals will not see a steep increase in the coming year. Most salaries are predicted to remain relatively unchanged, with a 3.5% – 4% increase for most people. Many healthcare workers will continue to pull middle class salaries, although there is a projected increase in the salaries of physician-extender occupations. The growing emergence of retail clinics, found in places like drug stores, airports, and shopping malls, has increased the need for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and medical assistants. As people hurry to cram healthcare into their busy lives, retail clinics will become increasingly popular because of their affordability and convenience.

The rising cost of healthcare for the consumer translates into only small increases in salaries for healthcare providers. There is increased pressure to control healthcare costs, especially in a recession. President-Elect Obama’s healthcare plan, if enacted, is projected to cost roughly $75 billion. This may affect future increases in the salaries of healthcare professionals, as well as the way in which physicians are reimbursed by Medicare. However, Obama’s plan is estimated to cover 95% of Americans; and more Americans with health coverage means more Americans being treated for health-related issues they may have ignored without insurance. Thus, healthcare providers of all kinds can assume that their patient lists will grow as a result.

Even though salaries are not expected to increase by more than 4%, a growing number of employers are offering benefits such as tuition reimbursement, signing bonuses, and loan forgiveness. Monster estimates that 40% of healthcare companies offered full loan forgiveness in 2008; 55% paid off part of their employees’ student debt; and 92% offered full CME and tuition reimbursement.

So, how much will your salary change over the next year? Oh, did we say “change”? We meant “increase.” Although much less drastic than the massive raises seen a decade ago, healthcare workers can still expect to see a boost in their salaries brought upon by the continued, and increased, need for healthcare providers.

We have calculated the relative salary increase for ten of the most popular, and most in-demand, healthcare careers. Learn what you can expect to make in the upcoming 2009 year if you are a…

Registered Nurse

Medical Assistant

Health Services Manager

Physical Therapist

Medical Secretary

Medical Records & Health Information Technician

Radiologic Technologist

Physician Assistant

Pharmacy Technician

Dental Assistant

Keep in mind, salaries fluctuate depending on where you live, what kind of facility you work in, and how many years experience you have. Our calculations are based on the median salary as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Select an occupation above, or use the navigation buttons below to browse the salary projections for 2009.


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