Q: Hope you are doing well! I know that you meet a bazillion people so I’ll refresh your memory! I am an RDH who attended your course last year. Since February I’ve been working hard to figure out how to incorporate Myo into my professional life. I’ve been networking, and have been in touch with two of your graduates that live in my area! One of them owns a therapy center. She has invited me to work as a contracted orofacial myologist in her practice. I’m so excited about this opportunity! I see my first patient on Wednesday! On to my question now… How do you decide on an hourly rate? Should I expect a percentage of the rate that the parent is being charged? I seriously have no idea where to begin. Your input is greatly appreciated! Thank you.
A: Hi, I definitely remember you!!! I am excited for you and think it is a wonderful opportunity for both of you. It is not easy for me as an outsider to suggest a fee. Here are the considerations: What is the usual and customary fee being charged in her office and your area for typical speech patients? What is she supplying to you and what are you supplying? Whom will the patients be paying, you directly or through the usual office administration methods? Is this a trial period to see if you can bring in more clients or are you depending solely upon them to provide you with patients? In other words, are they all going to be coming from her or will you be marketing for the office? Find out what you can and then maybe you should give me a call … or continue emails, whichever works for you. I want to help you come to a fee but can’t do it without more input. Also, you have to dig deep within yourself and ask yourself: What would be a reasonable fee for me to receive that would make me feel satisfied but not greedy, especially just starting out. Based on what she is providing (room, supplies, access to patients, or whatever other things), what is a good place to start…..and how can I contribute to marketing, etc. and then receive more income from my own efforts? What does SHE think is a fair payment for my services; can she give me a ballpark figure (and I would have my own ballpark figure written on a piece of paper so I could show her if appropriate). Keep in mind that it is a two way street and she hopes you will benefit her company; thus, you can feel open about discussing what you would like to earn. Do some homework and find out if possible what SLPs are charging for typical treatment sessions in your area. Then figure that her company should receive a fair amount of your fees if they are paying for the rent, supplies, and marketing, etc. Example: If they are doing all the work and promotion and providing the space and patients, then you might ask for 1/3 of it. Bear in mind that you should not ask for more money just because they get more than you expected…..what matters in the bottom line is what feels ok for you to start. If you have been getting X number of dollars per hour as an RDH, and this new opportunity comes along, maybe starting at the same amount is reasonable or maybe asking a bit more than you have been making so you’ll be enthusiastic about promoting yourself. As you can see, it’s more of what your mindset is and what you hope to do with this opportunity that counts….the success down the road brings the financial benefits. Hope this is helpful…dig deep! Sandra