I’m here to help you clarify exactly how you can do this.
The two most common SLPA salary options are hourly or salary. Depending on your employment terms, type and etc., you might be offered a salary-based compensation or an hourly based compensation.
What is the difference?
I know this is very obvious, but I will still explain this for clarification. If you are a salaried employee, that means your SLPA salary will be the same amount of pay every pay period regardless of your hours. If your SLPA salary is hourly, you are earning your wage based on the number of hours you work. The main difference would be the overtime hours. Salaried employees do not get paid overtime even if they work more hours. Hourly employees, however, do earn overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week.
There are a lot more difference than just the overtime. For example, salary base employees are entitled to Employer-sponsored benefits such as healthcare coverage and paid vacation and sick days. A possible downside to hourly employees is that during difficult times, employers can more easily cut your hours when they choose to.
Why is this important for speech therapists?
This is something to look out for when comparing different employment opportunities. Typically, hourly employees get paid when they have a session with a patient. This could mean that the number of patients you see is how much you will get paid for that pay period. This can be extremely difficult during times when cancellations are high.
Having worked in a speech therapy company, I can assure you that during school times, which is basically 9 months of the year, you will definitely have higher cancellations. This means you could be earning much less than what you anticipated. However, if you are a salaried employee, you are earning the same amount regardless of number of cancellations. Even if you only see two kids a day, you will still earn your full pay for that day. However, most companies that pay salary wages have a minimum requirement to be met when it comes to number of visits.
On the other hand, if you earn an hourly wage, you can work longer times, see more patients, and possibly earn more than you anticipated.
It all comes down to income stability. Most people cannot afford to have unstable incomes, so in this case, salary wages would be more beneficial. You know what you are earning, and you won’t have to stress over any uncertainties with your income.
There are typically 4 main places that most SLPAs and SLPs work.
Schools and Hospitals: schools typically pay a salary wage. You will have a stable and predictable income each pay period. However, the caseload is much higher compared to other settings and most SLP’s and SLPA’s who work in a school setting typically report taking work home every day.
Private clinics: Depending on the clinic, you might get a salary wage or an hourly wage. However, majority of clinics pay hourly because there are much higher cancellations.
In Home therapy: In home therapists are paid hourly or per patient they see. This can be very difficult because of the unstable income that varies each pay period.
You best option would be working in a private clinic that pays salary wage. This might be a little difficult to find since there are only a handful of clinics in California that are paying salary. The pros of working in a private clinic that pays salary is a stable income and a much lower caseload than schools and hospitals.
Here is a bonus tip you did not know about SLPA salary!
If you are browsing for SLP and SLPA job opportunities, don’t be tricked by higher rates. Most hourly positions seemingly pay higher rates than salaried positions, however, this is not the case.
I will give you an example. Let’s say you have two options
Company A: Salary wage – $45,000 Vs. Company B: Hourly wage – $30
Just looking at these two, you will immediately pick company B because you will calculate:
let’s take a look at company B:
$30 x 40 (hours) x 52 (weeks in a year) = $62,000 a year.
Even though you are supposed to work 40 hours, you will most likely not see 40 patients a week. I would say the average patients that you will see in a week during school times are 20-25 (optimistically).
So, the correct calculation will be:
$30 x 20 (hours) x 52(weeks in a year) = $31,200
$30 x 26 (hours) x 52 (weeks in a year) = $40,560
Notice that it becomes almost impossible to get to the first rate you calculated. You will most probably earn much less than Company A.
Now let’s take a look at company A:
Most people calculate the hourly wage for comparing. So, this is what they do:
$45,000 / 40 (hours) / 52 (weeks in a year) = $21.63
But this is totally wrong because you almost never see 40 kids a week. Instead, you have to calculate like this:
$45,000 / 25 (hours) / 52 (weeks in a year) = $34.61
$45,000 / 20 (hours) / 52 (weeks in a year) = $43.26
SHOCKING!! I know.
This shows the real value because it shows the amount of work you put in and the wage you earn. Higher rates don’t always mean higher wages. Be careful SLPA’s.
I have an offer for you now!
Speech Improvement Center is a speech therapy company that actually pays salary wages. We have over 22 locations in southern California such as Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando County, Ventura County, Orange County, Kern County and San Diego.
We assist with relocation if you are out of state and interested in moving to California!
For career opportunities at Speech Improvement Center, please visit: Careers – Speech Improvement Center
Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have: Contact Us – Speech Improvement Center
Be sure to check out our blog to learn about how to succeed in your SLPA career!
SLPA License Requirements in California: SLPA License Requirements (speechic.net)