the awkward questions

8 Feb

I would really love to talk to an SLP who wouldn’t mind openly talking about starting salary expectations and negotiations. Can we do some kind of blind interview Unsolved Mysteries style?

I understand how to find out average salaries, but what about just starting? Most school districts use the teacher salary schedule for SLPs, and those salary schedules work on the Step-Level model. The Step-Level model says “You have this degree, you have this many years of experience – here is how much money you will make.” Most will move you up in pay if you have a Master PLUS hours (Master plus 8, Master plus 16 etc).

What I’m taking issue with is that, for example, my University has the Master of SLP and also Master of Education. MY degree consists of 64 hours. The Education Master programs at my University consist of 30-40 hours. The school however sees I have a “Master” and so my starting pay is equal to that of a Master of Education. But our degrees are not equal. If a Master of Education and I graduate on the same day, I will have AT LEAST 20 graduate hours more than they will.

How do SLPs address this? DO they address it or do they accept that they make the same as the classroom teachers despite more education? A PT/OT isn’t on the teacher salary schedule – why, as allied health professionals, are we? This seems to be a professional advocacy issue – how do you handle it? What do you think? Are we worth it?

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4 Responses to “the awkward questions”

  1. Becca February 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Hi — I’ve been following your blog, and this one is MY big question, too! I have no problem talking about my salary, but apparently I’m the only one. But now, I’m in the same boat as you, and trying to figure out what the heck I should be expecting to make as a CFY, the first years on the job, and long term! I hear a lot of numbers bandied about, but nothing concrete from Someone In The Know. Particularly someone in the STL area, because knowing the salary of a SLP in NYC is totally useless to me….

    As far as your Masters Plus question — wouldn’t that mean you’re Masters plus 20? Because you have 20 credit hours over that of a Master’s teacher?? But I don’t know.

    • weathersby February 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

      You know Becca, let me look up some numbers – I know there’s at the least salary averages for states as a whole.

      I would be, assuming the avg Master of Ed has 40 graduate hours, about 25 hours up from that. I just looked at the district I’ve applied with and the Master Plus 16 is a $2000 difference.

      If you’re looking at schools – most districts have a Teacher Salary Schedule on their website. The rumor is that rural districts pay more but from my research I wouldn’t necessarily agree. You just have to do your homework.

      If you’re looking at medical – your guess is as good as mine! I think SNFs pay best, maybe nursing homes.
      Let me know if you find anything out! I’m going to talk to some teacher friends of mine, see what their avg Master hour total is. If it really is 20 hours less than me I will likely ask for more.

  2. Christina February 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    I am in my CF and working for a school district. I have a 65 credit hour masters degree. After I was offered the job I met with the HR director to determine salary. He asked me how many credit hours my masters was. According to our teacher contract, a masters degree is 36 credit hours, and a masters plus is 46. So, I was automatically given the masters plus salary. Our OT and PT work for our ISD so we don’t have an Allied Health Professions salary schedule. Our school social workers (and I think our school psychs) are on the teacher contract as well.
    I would definitely explain things to the HR director if you are at that point and they are not aware of how many credit hours your masters is. They may not be aware that there is a difference. They are prepared to negotiate – it is part of their job. Please let me know if you have any more questions. I know that I was super confused about how everything would work when I was interviewing, etc.

    • weathersby February 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

      Christina! Thanks so much for your help. Please feel free annnnny time to share info with me (and readers)! I could use all the help I can get 🙂

      I wasn’t sure if it would be…expected? Common? to ask for more or point out the difference, so you give me hope and hopefully some guts to point it out when the time is right.

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