Normal Sinus Rhythm
I read with great interest your article on salaries in the biomed industry [“Pulse Check: Compensation Trends,” Dec. 2000.] Having been out of biomed for several years and just returning to it a few months back as a manager of an instrumentation service group for a medical testing lab, I was overwhelmed by the comments and complaints from my technicians regarding their compensation. “I’m not paid enough,” “He’s paid too much,” and “I guess I’m paid well enough,” are the common themes. My own opinion — some are not paid enough, some are paid too much, and some are just about right — sort of like the three bears. Articles like yours both tend to help and to hinder the processes of making this issue more equitable. I prefer to manage it in terms of individual contribution, though, rather than by title.

Also well put were your comments regarding why managers tend to be paid higher. The stress, the juggling, the politics, the endless game of chess we have to play can be a true grind and affect our personal lives much more so than a nuts and bolts technician’s life. Although I do not have a “four-packs-a-day Rolaids habit,” I have been known to sleep like a baby when I go to bed — I wake up every three hours and cry.

One question though, were the salaries shown in the article reflective of total compensation (including benefits) or were they the gross-pay from their paychecks?

— Name withheld because
    my employees also read 24×7.

We don’t normally run anonymous letters, but it’s appropriate — and amusing — in this case. There were many similar missives.

Just to clarify, on the Pulse Check questionaire it says, “Total annual compensation (in U.S. dollars, including overtime, bonuses, etc.)” Remember, this was a look at trends. You should hire a compensation consultant if you need a formal investigation of your region. Don’t call us for a freebie, and to answer the fellow who left voicemail, we do not testify in divorce cases!

Because this story is in high demand, we posted the entire text, with the graphs, on our Web site,  A few copies of the December issue are available and may be purchased by calling 401-455-0555. The price is $10 and we accept major credit cards.

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