Healthcare Workers Can Expect 2.6% Raise in 2011

Healthcare workers can expect an average base-salary increase of 2.6% in 2011, up from 2.3% a year ago, a new survey shows. Physicians' raises will continue to be slightly below average at 2.3%.

Healthcare workers can expect an average base-salary increase of 2.6% in 2011, according to a new survey. That's a slight increase from the 2.3% raise reported in 2010 but lower than the average 2.8% increase for all industries for 2011.

Salary increases for physicians will once again be slightly below average at 2.3%, while nursing can expect a 2.7% salary increase in 2011, according to a report from global management consulting firm Hay Group.

"The healthcare industry did not see salary budgets fall until 2009, while other industries felt the effects of the recession much sooner, lowering salary budgets as early as 2007," said Ron Seifert, vice president and executive compensation practice leader for Hay Group's healthcare practice said in a statement. "So, while healthcare is still 0.2 percent behind other industries, it seems to be rebounding at a faster pace after taking a deeper dip in a much shorter timeframe."

According to the report, just 4% of respondents in the healthcare industry reported they will implement an across-the-board freeze on salaries in 2011.

"Healthcare providers have felt the pinch, but salary budgets are beginning to move upward, mirroring the slow ascent we are seeing in the broader economy," Seifert said. "Interestingly, healthcare salary trends are also starting to track those of other industries, which we haven't seen for at least a decade."

Fewer healthcare executives will see their salaries frozen in 2011, with 8% of organizations reporting a freeze of executive pay. That compares to just over 20% of all industries that reported freezing executive pay last year.