The Secret Diary of a Practice Manager 27

Is practice management monetarily rewarding? 

Remuneration and salaries are always a controversial topic and - like most professions - there isn’t a job specification that fits all practice managers and roles. Because of this, pay can be quite varied across the board.

I have never disclosed my pay to another manager - nor would I ask a colleague their pay - so looking at these job adverts and the FPM Salary Survey results can be a good guide without having to ask or disclose this personal information.  

A key factor when it comes to our salary is age and experience. Practice management seems to attract a more mature person that has already gained business experience in another sector. Due to the fact most managers in general practice first step into the role with a wealth of experience, starting pay can seem quite attractive, but this also means that salary progression can be limited – and this isn’t helped by the continual squeeze on practice income. 

One may argue that the bigger the practice, the higher the pay. Is that fair? A big practice will have several levels of management and so the pressure can be shared by more people. Whilst on the other hand, if you are working for a smaller practice, chances are your role will cover all aspects of management; you will have no assistants or team leaders, so perhaps your pay should be higher to reflect the increase responsibility and the isolation? 

I have just moved practices, and money (whilst still being important) was not the overriding issue in my decision making process. I have moved from a 4,000 patient practice in a deprived area to a 12,000 patient practice in a more affluent area and although my pay has not significantly altered, the challenges have.

Practice managers can also be partners and that is a totally different concept - one that may suit some, but not all.  I have been a partner previously, but in my new job I will not be. To me, that is fine; the levels of risk for a partner can be high and the loss of employment rights must be taken into account. 

You only need to look at adverts to see there can be quite a difference from salary to salary within practice management, even as far as geographical areas are concerned. 

There is then the topic of bonuses, and whether this should be considered in our final pay figure or not. Add to that the NHS pension scheme and our salaries look even better. It is amazing how many times this is forgotten by staff and managers. There are very few sectors where an extra 14.3% is contributed by the employer. 

In conclusion, whilst I feel it is a stressful job, it is one that can be monetarily and personally rewarding.

FPM's Practice Manager Salary Survey is currently in it's eleventh year. To help us find out if you are receiving the right monetary remuneration in your role, take the survey here!

 

© First Practice Management, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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