2008 Salary Survey Results

Incomes continue rise seen in past years

With all the concerns lately about the economy, health care risk managers at least can take some solace in knowing that their median income is holding steady with indications for upward movement. Healthcare Risk Management's Salary Survey indicates that salaries for health care risk managers were the same as 2008, but a significant number of readers report salaries above the median.

The exclusive 2008 Healthcare Risk Management Salary Survey was sent to about 1,200 readers in the June 2008 issue. A total of 120 were returned, for a response rate of 10%. The results were tabulated and analyzed by AHC Media LLC, publisher of HRM.

The median income for health care risk managers in this year's survey is $95,000, the same as last year, which saw a big jump from the $85,000 in the 2006 survey. There had been no increase from 2005 to 2006. Health care risk managers had seen their incomes climb steadily each year for a good while prior to 2005. While there was no jump this year, there still is reason for optimism, because a significant portion of respondents - 25.21% - reported incomes in the $100,000 to $129,999 range.

The median salary increase over the past year was 4% to 6%, the same as reported in the 2007 survey. In prior years, a median increase of 1% to 3% was much more common. Thirty-five percent report increases in the 4% to 6% range, down from the 37% reporting that amount last year, but 10% reported increases in the 7% to 10% range, and 1.67% reported increases in the 11% to 15% category. Another 1.67%, our clear winners this year, reported increases in the 16% to 20% category.

Also, 13.3% reported that their salaries had not changed this year, the same as last year's report. Only one reader, 0.83%, reported a decrease in income.

One bit of good news appears in the number of hours worked. Some years have seen readers reporting long hours at work, more than 50 hours per week. But the 2007 survey suggested those hours had been cut back and were beginning to plateau at a more reasonable level. In the 2008 survey, 27.5% reported working 46-50 hours per week, down from the 33% reported last year's. The 2006 survey had reported 39% working those hours. Only 15.83% reported working 51-55 hours per week this year, down from the 20% reported last year and continuing the decline from the 28% reported in 2006.

About the same number of risk managers still are working 56-60 hours a week, 10.83% in 2008 compared to 11% in 2007. That still is an improvement over the 16% reported in 2006. Only 1.67% reported working 61-65 hours in the 2008 survey, up slightly from the 1% reported in 2007.