Dallas-Fort Worth healthcare workers are paid slightly more than the national average, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Healthcare practitioners and technical workers—such as physicians, nutritionists and therapists—earn a mean hourly wage of $35.53 an hour, which is 1 percent more than the U.S. average of $35.35. Healthcare support personnel –such as health aides and administrative staff—earn $14.11 an hour or 6 percent more than the U.S. average of $13.36.
Although DFW has a reputation as a robust healthcare market, healthcare workers comprise a smaller proportion of the local labor market. In the U.S., healthcare workers account for nearly 9 percent of the U.S. labor force, compared with 7.5 percent in DFW.
There is wide variability in median annual salaries for clinicians. DFW internists make about $30,000 less than the statewide median. Likewise, DFW surgeons earn more than $13,000 less that the Texas median. On the other hand, DFW psychiatrists earn nearly $60,000 more annually than their statewide counterparts do. Likewise, obstetricians and gynecologists earn $30,000 more than the Texas median, and midwives earn about $20,000 more annually.
Benjamin Isgur, Dallas-based director of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute, said several factors could be contributing to the difference between local and national healthcare compensation. He said DFW workers may have more options for employment and healthcare must compete against other sectors, especially for administrative staff. He also said relatively high utilization of health services in DFW might create more demand for health workers, thereby raising salaries.
Steve Love, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, said his organization has been conducting salary surveys for key hospital positions for 15 years. He said North Texas hospital salaries track closely with the statewide medians. He noted the BLS data included non-hospital facilities such as freestanding clinics and physician offices.
Steve Jacob is editor of D Healthcare Daily and author of the book Health Care in 2020: Where Uncertain Reform, Bad Habits, Too Few Doctors and Skyrocketing Costs Are Taking Us. He can be reached at [email protected]