CompHealth Blog

Locum Tenens Physician

There is good money in locums

Locum tenens physician with patient - pay is good for locums

Does working as a locum tenens physician pay off? The dynamics of locums means the career alternative typically pays a higher wage compared to the pay earned by physicians in permanent positions.

Compensation works differently for locum tenens physicians, according to CompHealth Locum Tenens president, Lisa Grabl. “Unlike a more traditional salaried job, locums are independent contractors and are usually paid a flat hourly rate for the time they work, whether it’s a weekend shift in an emergency department or a six-month stint as a hospitalist.”

Factors that determine locum tenens physician pay:

Demand for the specialty: Facilities pay more for specialties that are competitive or difficult to fill.

Location and type of facility: Locum tenens positions exist across the country, but rural facilities or those having trouble attracting permanent candidates will pay more than those in popular urban locales will.

Skill set: Positions calling for difficult procedures or specialized skills often pay more than general assignments.

Type of shifts needed: Working weekends, call, or holidays may result in a higher hourly locum tenens pay rate.

Patient load also plays a role — high workload positions usually pay more than slower-paced assignments. Also, as independent contractors, locums physicians receive higher pay to offset not receiving traditional benefits like health insurance and retirement contributions, which they must manage on their own. Many locums physicians will set up an incorporated entity to reap additional tax benefits.

Licensing, credentialing, and privileging are usually taken care of by the locums agency as are the costs of medical malpractice insurance, travel, and housing — all considerable expenses. Locum tenens agencies also typically have a deep knowledge of the licensing, credentialing, and privileging processes in different facilities and states and the relationships to expedite the processes.

The locums lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but for those who are ready to try a new adventure, it’s a lucrative way to work as a physician.

To learn more about locum tenens opportunities in your specialty, call 888.212.0816 or view today’s locum tenens job opportunities.

SEE ALSO: 2020 physician salary report: Compensation on the rise until COVID-19

About the author

Kevin Kealey

Kevin Kealey

Kevin Kealey is a marketing writer who’s been with CHG for sixteen years in various roles, including perm physician recruiter and divisional trainer. Prior to CompHealth, Kevin worked as an educator, executive coach, and training consultant for 20+ years. Kevin lives with his wife Suzanne in South Carolina with their two German shepherds, Bailey and Blazer, and a Congo African Grey parrot who goes by the name of Sebastian.

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