More Than Just a Paycheck

 Most Americans are not exactly in love with their jobs—except for maybe Oprah Winfrey—but, if they feel that their jobs and careers are satisfying, pay a decent wage, offer challenges, and give them a sense that they are making a difference, then they are probably in the top 10 of those of us who are, in the words of a song from the 1980s by Huey Lewis and the News, "Working for a Living." Based on the 2005 Compensation Survey conducted recently by 24×7, biomeds in a large part comprise a happy and satisfied group of working Americans.

As with our 2004 survey, the readers of 24×7 report high levels of job and salary satisfaction, although our readers also note that it could still be improved in a number of areas.

According to the respondents, 87% said they would recommend the profession to others. This is a very high percentage, whether you’re talking about referring someone to your profession or recommending a movie, book, or vacation spot. The fact that the vast majority of biomeds would be willing to recommend their profession to others says a lot about how satisfied they are with their jobs.

Based on the verbatim comments compiled with the survey, the overall feeling is that the profession offers a challenging environment that constantly changes and a sense of value and importance among professionals. ("We know that we’re helping people.") Biomeds are certainly not the highest paid health care professionals, so it is no surprise that only 56% indicate that they are content with their salaries. That being said, only about 16% reported that they were very dissatisfied with their compensation. According to a number of the respondents, what the job does not offer in salary and bonuses is more than rectified in terms of its stability. With today’s roller-coaster environment regarding most professions and industries, being part of a stable industry offers a big upside.

One of the most impressive figures is that 52% of respondents had been with their current employer for 16 or more years. This is a remarkable figure, and it says a lot about the profession and those involved in it. Any human resources manager will tell you that it is not uncommon for them to see resumes from individuals who stay on a job, on average, only 18-24 months. As is true in all professions, the longer one stays in a particular industry and with the same employer, the better the chance that he or she will become a valuable asset to his/her profession, the company for which he/she works, and the customers who do business with the company.

While some respondents felt that most hospitals overwork their employees and that training is a problem for many biomeds, the general sense is that the profession is growing regarding its number of opportunities and its importance. In addition, most of the respondents shared that the profession offers a lot of satisfaction in that they know, according to one respondent, "You’re doing a good job, able to help people, and making a difference in the lives and health of those who are cared for by the health care profession." For those of us who are "Working for a Living," being a biomed is a good gig.

Tony Ramos