By Keri Forsythe-Stephens
When most people think about the start of a new year, they conjure up images of a blank slate—perhaps a chance to accomplish the goals they let slide in the previous 12 months. Me? I think about our salary survey. This isn’t hyperbole.
As 24×7’s chief editor, I’m acutely aware of how important our annual compensation and job satisfaction survey is to the HTM industry. Year after year, readers tell me how they wait until our data comes out to ask for a raise, physically ripping out the salary charts and handing them to their supervisors before stating their case.
It’s why we collect data for at least two months—we want to make sure it’s as accurate as possible. 24×7 also employs a consulting firm to analyze the information that respondents share with us. Executing the survey is a big undertaking, and there’s nothing that I love more than to share positive results.
This year, unfortunately, the results were mixed. Although salaries rose in certain geographic regions—most notably, the South—certain job titles saw slight declines. Despite surging inflation, the national median salaries for clinical engineers, radiology equipment specialists, and managers fell slightly in 2021, with the latter job title witnessing the largest year-over-year drop.
It’s yet another blow to the HTM sector, which has been fraught with Right to Repair issues, staffing concerns, and heavy workloads. Not to mention the daily challenges of working in a healthcare environment during a global pandemic.
But, if anything, such adversity has solidified HTM professionals’ commitment to the field, and more importantly, the patients it serves. Commenting on the best part of working in HTM, one survey respondent wrote: “Every day, I help save lives and fix [equipment]. It’s easy to sleep at night.” The ability to positively impact patient care was a common theme among survey respondents, with another remarking: “I like knowing that I can fix or maintain equipment to keep patients—and/or me and my loved ones—safe.”
Respondents also praised the diversity of work and how no two days are ever the same in HTM. “Although there are aspects that are predictable, I find the day-to-day routine varies more than most career fields,” one person wrote.
These benefits led nearly three-quarters of respondents—an impressive 71%—to say that they were either “likely” or “very likely” to recommend the profession to others. To me, that’s very good news—and something I’ll hang my hat on.