Locum tenens or permanent position.
So which makes more money?
A career in anesthesiology is financially rewarding.
There are many benefits to working in the medical field and you know you will always be employed.
There are also options that you have once you are working.
However, sometimes these options are more of a necessity than elective.
Both locum tenens and permanent salaried positions have benefits and drawbacks.
Let’s look at the wages involved in each and you can decide which would suit you better moving forward in your career.
The first thing that can have a bearing on your income is where you are located.
Some states pay more and there also may be more work available in certain areas.
Working in a permanent full-time position can be very comfortable for many people, the wages are high and there are most often benefits that are included in the employment package.
Working in locum tenens on the other hand can actually pay higher wages to make up for the lack of benefits.
You may also have to work longer shifts, double shifts and overnight shifts.
Many of these will pay more per shift.
Working locum tenens can also prove to be more lucrative by working part-time at several different locations.
The hours can actually be more than that of a full-time salaried anesthesiologist.
You could also have a full-time job or other income from a different source and enjoy working in anesthesiology when you decide.
This can bump your income up considerably.
However, if you or someone in your family requires medical attention on a regular basis, this can be very costly without the benefits that come with a full-time salaried position.
Other Considerations For Locum Tenens VS Permanent Positions.
While the location in the country can make a difference in the wages you make, so does where you actually work.
Emergencies, private clinics, dentists or doctor’s offices can all have varying wages.
You can make more with a specialized skill set.
If you have certain sought-after skills, you can make more, work more and likely work where you choose.
If you are willing to work in smaller communities and rural areas, you can often expect a higher wage.
This is also a great way to get more experience and hours built up.
Many locum tenens, depending on the state in which they are working, can set up a limited liability company (LLC) or other incorporated entity.
This allows more write-off options and other ways to save on their taxes.
However, your taxes will be somewhat more complicated.
Putting In The Hours…
Regardless of what position you opt for or are working by choice or necessity, the average wage per hour often works out to be very close.
Many new doctors choose to work as locum tenens through an agency.
This gives them a wide variety of experience and networking opportunities.
Many new anesthesiologists prefer to work when they want, to get their bearings and start paying down their medical school fees.
It can be very beneficial for those just out of med school with a long career in front of them to work locum tenens jobs.
This can build a strong foundation for your career in the future.
Locum Tenens Specialty Areas.
If you are really wanting to make the most of your career, plastic surgery is often at the top of the list in terms of money.
Orthopedics are also often at the top of the list.
Cardiology is a very rewarding career and pays more than many other areas, again, based on location and other factors.
Of course, none of these wages are considered low and a new grad can start off at a very decent wage right out of school.
Plus, landing a salaried full-time position might be difficult when you are just starting your practice.
Ultimately, It’s Up To You.
The position you ultimately choose or are offered will greatly depend on what you want.
As both situations pay well, many people like the freedom of working locum tenens.
It frees them for other things and other opportunities while they glean experience.
If you are more established and need the benefits and the security that comes with a permanent position, then you may still need to start out working locum tenens through an agency.
It allows people a fantastic opportunity to see what is available and helps them decide what will work best for them.
Working locum tenens gives you the option of choosing when and where you want to work.
An established anesthesiologist working locum tenens has less chance of suffering from burn-out, can pick the hours and shifts they want and still make a very suitable wage.
However, the difference in salary for locum tenens vs permanent is very little, if at all, in the long run.