One of the greatest things about the PA and NP professions is that they are currently in very high demand. This means that newly-graduated NPs and PAs will often have more than one job offer to consider. It can be very confusing to figure out which job has the most to offer in terms of salary, benefits, and retirement funds. It is human nature to gravitate towards the job that offers the highest salary. However, before you sign your contract, it is important to know that the job with the highest salary may not actually pay the most. Here are a few things to keep in mind while deciding which job is for you.
Getting a job with health insurance can be one of the most exciting parts about graduating. However, not all positions will offer it. For instance, my friend took a position at an urgent care center that pays a very high hourly rate but does not pay for health insurance. Instead, it is expected that you will pay out of pocket. If you are considering one of these positions, it is important to think about your health. How much is it going to cost to pay for health insurance? Do you have any preexisting conditions that could increase your rates? If you are young and healthy, can stay on your parents’ coverage, or can get coverage through your spouse’s insurance, it may be beneficial for you to accept the higher hourly rate. However, if these situations don’t apply to you, it is important to calculate how much you will be paying for insurance and determine if the higher salary is actually worth it.
Thinking about retirement when you are in your 20s can be nearly impossible. But with the establishment of your career comes the time to develop a retirement plan. In regards to retirement, there are several things to think about when selecting a job. How long will you have to work before you can contribute to your retirement plan? Will your company contribute to a retirement fund? Will they match 25% or will they match 100%? Matching 100% over the span of your career can add up and may be justification for taking a lower salary. In addition, consider how long you have to work for the company before you become vested in your plan. Like with health insurance, some companies will offer a higher salary but expect you to start your own retirement fund. It is important to calculate if this will be beneficial for you in the long run.