It’s All About the Benjamins – What’s the Going Rate for Locum Tenens?

Being a licensed physician or medical professional takes hard work, and a lot of time. With that in mind, you deserve to get paid for your valuable work. The medical field is one of the most important groups of workers in society, and it is important that they know what kind of work, and what kind of rates they can get.

When you think of medical professionals, you usually think of doctors and nurses. These jobs are often salary positions and are pretty secured employment, but there are other options people go for. Among these are “locum tenens” which is a Latin term that means to “hold the place of.” These are substitute or stand in workers that help out in hospitals or clinics.

If you are operating as a locum tenen health professional, here is what you should know about rates for your work.

What Are Your Shift Times?

The amount of work, or shifts, that you can stand in for will help determine the rate at which you may be paid. Many locum tenen hospitalists have the option to choose from day, night, or mixed shifts. Usually, the less desirable a shift is like nights, will come with a higher increase in pay. If you want an idea of how much you could possibly make as a locum tenen, there is an online calculator you could use to calculate the salary for your position based on shift, setting and location of the hospital/clinic. Although an already reasonable rate would be $150/hr and that’s already higher than what most people would make in other fields. The thing about shift availability is that it offers a great deal of flexibility in your daily life. Hospitalists are a high stress field, so it makes sense that sometimes less pay can be a good thing, as their rates are still phenomenal (and climbing), and having free time can help keep the mind fresh.

What is Your Specialization as a Locum Tenens?

In the same vein, shift availability can be determined by how many times a month or year you would like to work. This can range as you see fit, but will alter how much your rate can be. It is best to figure out how many days you would like to work, and what time of day. Too many night shifts during a monthly or annual period can drastically change your sleeping schedule, and interfere with things like your personal life. Even if that is not an issue, it is best to do the math as to what your hourly rate is, and calculate the amount you would like to be paid based on days of availability.

Where Are You Located?

The location you are in is going to play a big role in how much you get paid. The general belief is that the going rate should be a minimum of $150/hr, which is reasonable. If you are located rurally, this can go up as you are tasked with relocating to a much more remote area, and may be among a small team of hospitalists that are highly skilled. Bigger cities may offer less hourly rate because the competition is so high, and the odds of finding someone increase because the location is much more ideal, so it is easier to attract hospitalists.

Where in the Hospital Do You Work?

As a locum tenens hospitalist, you will be working in a specific hospital setting. This setting is often determined through the ICU setting. Closed, open, and semi-open ICU settings require different amounts of preparation and collaboration with other hospital staff, so it means more or less work for you. So, naturally you see the trend. The ICU setting will help you calculate how much your hourly rate is. It is best to know what kind of ICU setting you will be working in, because it might be out of your control, or it might be up to you to decide. With that in mind, there are positions that you might find available that do not offer certain ICU settings that you prefer, so it is best to keep your options open.

Being a locum tenens is incredibly lucrative, if you know what to look for. While there are general assumptions for the going rates attributed to this type of position, in this line of work, there are other factors that must be taken into account. Among these factors: shift times, availability, location and the setting of ICU work. With all of this in mind, you can determine how much work you are going to be doing, and where this work is going to be taking place. The going rate will change, but you should have a good grasp on what your labor is worth.