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Asking for a raise?

I work for 1 doctor at 2 of his offices. They are each in 2 completely different areas and therefore have 2 different average salary rates for the areas. I get paid $43 at one office which is okay for the area, but then I get paid the same amount for the other office when the average salary is $53 in that area. I just graduated and this is my first job, so I was just grateful that they wanted to hire me in the first place and made the mistake by accepting the salary. My 90 days is coming up and I wanted to ask for a raise on just the one day that I work at that other office. I was wondering if you guys thought it was appropriate to do and how I should go about it/what I should say? Thank you.

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Author Note:
Also, do dentists usually "haggle" hen talking about raises? Should I keep my ground, or compromise because I am still new?

2 Answers

I think it’s interesting how some hygienists have bought into the notion that somehow our years of experience should dictate our salaries. If we were getting paid directly by patients or insurance companies (like dentists do), we would all get paid on the services/procedures we provide and not based on how many times we’ve performed said procedures. Dentists who recently graduated are not subjected to a reduction in pay simply because they are new at the job.
That said, hygienists should know their production numbers so that they can bring factual data to a meeting where her/his value to the practice is being determined by the owner.

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It’s such a struggle being a new hygienist (or seasoned, for that matter), needing a job, so accepting less than you should. Just because you are a “newer hygienist” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get paid what you are worth! You are a trained professional and deserve to be paid as such.
After 90 days of working and being paid $10 below average, I think asking for a raise is appropriate. I would run a report on your production numbers and have it ready when speaking to your boss. The industry standard is that your wage should be about 35% of your production. To be very clear, 35% of production, not collection. I would also list out what you have done for the office; how you are a team player and basically your accomplishments thus far, showing other reasons you deserve a raise beyond just numbers. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t expect getting a $10 raise at once. If a dentist is going to pay so low in the first place, I don’t see them all of a sudden becoming generous, being a savvy business owner trying to keep good employees on staff, or caring about employee morale being high. However, I really hope your situation will be different! And whether a dentist is a big negotiator really depends on their personality; some are, some aren’t. Be prepared either way.
I would also suggest bringing up to your boss that you would like reviews every 6 months or every year going forward where you can discuss pay raises based on continued performance. It’s playing the long-game, but this may give you a chance at getting your wage where it should be.
Overall, some dentists hire new hygienists because its easier to take advantage and pay well below average. It’s sad, but its true. If your boss doesn’t budge on pay rate, personally, I would move on. No one should be taken advantage of especially when you are making them money. $10 below average is being taken advantage of in my opinion! I’ve been there, so I can say that out of personal experience!
I really wish you the best of luck! Stick to your guns; you should be paid an average wage or very near, even being new. It may take time getting your wage to average, but if it really is a good office to work at, it may be worth the wait. If not, consider other options.

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