Fair Pay Negotiation Calculator

đź’Ş Make sure you are getting paid fair!

1. Just insert the numbers any offer in the calculator.

With those few numbers, we will show you where you can ask for more money!

2. Be empowered and armed with negotiation scripts.

This tool will walk you step by step through your pay package, so you are armed with why you deserve more. 

3. Tell your friends!

Make sure your friends are getting all those extra dollars with you. This tool is awesome, share the wealth! 

  • Taxable per hour (typically $18-$25)
  • Length of assignment
  • Hours per week
  • Weekly insurance costs
  • Weekly meals and incidentals stipend
  • Weekly housing stipend
  • Travel Reimbursement
  • License Reimbursement
  • Additional Reimbursements

Your breakdown is ready!

Gross Pay

What you make before taxes are taken out

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Hourly

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Weekly

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Take Home Pay​

What you would make in a 22% tax bracket

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Hourly

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Weekly

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Understanding your pay breakdown

Knowing how and where to negotiate is a powerful skill in being an empowered traveler. Each section of your pay package is broken down below. Jump into each section to understand how and what to negotiate for, as well as learn about important topics to make you a better traveler.

This is the number to pay attention to when negotiating. Extra hour pay is how much you will be making per hour when you pick up extra hours or shifts over your contracted hours.

Good to know: When you work hours over your contract you are not allowed to get tax-free stipends anymore. Your whole pay will be taxed now. If you don’t negotiate this amount, your extra hour pay could drop below the blended hourly rate you were making. Ask to make (at least) your total blended hourly rate for every hour you work over your contract.

Here is what you should ask for based on your numbers:

If they don’t give you extra money for hours you pick up you will make the following:

Some companies decide to pay more than 1.5x for their overtime rate. If your company does this, that is great. Just multiply your Taxable Hourly by the overtime rate they pay you and see if that number is around Blended Hourly for this contract.

Some companies refuse to negotiate this part of a contract. Always ask, but there is a high chance you will get no’s.

Before you walk away just because of an extra hour rate think about:

Does this contract even allow me to pick up extra hours or shifts?
Do I even want to pick up extra hours or shifts?
Do I have other options if I say no to this one?
Do I really want this assignment for location or clinical reasons?

*The fastest way to not make great money as a traveler is to not work. Having a job is better than not for our money goals.

This is state mandated. Each state has a rule that tells the staffing company how much they must pay us for every hour we work over 40 in a week. If you are working in California you will also get paid extra for each hour over 8 in one day.

Remember that overtime only works on the taxable base rate because this is the only part of your paycheck that is legally income. Here is what your overtime pay looks like:

During a holiday week, your hours are not guaranteed. The facility has a pass and doesn’t have to pay you for a holiday if they don’t want you to work.

There are a few things that could happen on a holiday:

1. The facility doesn’t need you. That would mean you will work fewer hours that week and you will not get paid for the holiday. There is a possibility that you could pick up a different shift that week, but it is not guaranteed.

2. The facility needs you. In that case, you work and will be paid the holiday rate per hour – which usually means an increase to the taxable hourly part of your pay that day.

Holidays are not included as a “call-off” shift. Each assignment may come with a call-off shift allowance. For example, a manager might be allowed 3 days during your 13 weeks assignment that they can call you off and where you would not get paid. Only after those 3 call-off shifts are over would your guaranteed hours kick in.

The most common holidays in travel nurse/allied health contracts are: New Years Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

Ask your recruiter upfront about how their company pays for holidays and what to expect!

When you are extended, negotiate! There are many overhead costs that the agency does not have to pay when you extend. No background test, drug screens, licenses cost, travel cost. 

Most companies will not allow you to get more tax-free reimbursement money, because that would be not very logical to the IRS on why you would suddenly need more money for housing or meals when you are in the exact same place.

But you can ask for a raise in your taxable pay, you can ask for a one time bonus, a CEU course, scrubs and more.

A good rule of thumb is if you received money for traveling (for example $500) in the first contract, at least make sure you get a raise that equals that amount of money in the extension.

The cancellation policy overrides any guaranteed hours. If you have a facility that no longer needs you, this policy will tell us how much of a notice you would get. Common examples are a zero-day notice, a two-week notice or a 30-day notice. Whatever the cancellation policy is from the facility to you is the same notice you need to give the facility if you have an emergency and need to call the contract off.

Tip: When you are finding housing in an area try not to sign leases that are the full three months of an assignment. Rather, try to have a month to month lease or a clause in the lease where the landlord will let you out in the case of a cancellation.

While cancellations are rare, they do happen about 10% of the time in our industry.

Sometimes facilities have a certain number of shifts that they are allowed to call you off with no pay. Even if you have guaranteed hours, they can use these call off days first before the guarantee kicks in. This is especially common with nursing contracts.

Even if you have call off shifts in the contract, many times your facility won’t use them but they could! So it is important for you to know the number of shifts you could be called off to budget for that.

Guaranteed hours means that the facility that is hiring you is saying:

“We’re going to give you ____ hours of work each week. I will also have ___ number of call off shifts where I am allowed to cancel a shift without paying you. But after the ___ call-off shifts are up, if we call you off, we’re still going to pay you for those hours.”

Important: If you volunteer to not work, the facility could think you were willing to take an unpaid day off. Make sure you clearly tell them that you are willing and able to work. Remind them that if they don’t need you that they are agreeing to still pay you.

A company should give you your standard hourly pay AND the tax-free reimbursements for the shift.

However, if you call in sick or for any reason choose not to go to work, you will not get paid your standard hourly pay OR the tax-free reimbursements for that shift.

Exceptions to Guaranteed Hours

A facility does not have guaranteed hours during these weeks:

– Any orientation week

– The last week of an assignment

– Any week that has a holiday in it

Also, guaranteed hours only kick in after a facility used up all their call off shift allowance.

So if you signed a contract that has 3 call off shifts inside of it, you are agreeing to get send home up to 3 times with no pay, sometime during the assignment.

After those 3 call off shifts are over, you are guaranteed to get paid as long as you are willing and able to work and do not volunteer to go home.

The hospital sets this amount in the contract that is between the agency and the hospital. An agency usually only gets to charge between $4 – $10 dollars an hour when you are on call.

Many companies will pass along whatever the rate is to you but don’t expect much money from these hours. Feel free to ask for more but there is not much juice to squeeze here.

Hospitals usually pay a bit extra to the agency for call back hours.

Examples on a $70 bill rate:

If the hospital is paying 1.5x: The agency would now get to charge $105 an hour for each hour of call back.

If the hospital is paying 1.3x: The agency would now get to charge $91 an hour for each hour of call back.

If the hospital is not paying extra: The agency would only get to charge the same $70 an hour for each hour of call back.

We don’t get to see that “master agreement” to know for sure how the agency is billing each hospital for those hours but there might be room to negotiate.

1. Always make sure that you get a 2 hour minimum pay if you are called in. (So if you get called in just for a 30 minute assessment you are still paid for 2 hours and it is worth it). This is pretty standard in contracts between facilities and agencies so that should be passed on to you.

2. If you already maxed out your weekly stipend money, make sure you are still making the blended rate (if not more) for these hours just like you would when negotiating extra time.

* Blended rate is the combined amount per hour that you make each week when you add up your taxable rate + stipends.

A missed shift if when you, the traveler, cancels a shift. When you miss a shift there are two parties who do not get paid:

1. The recruitment agency
2. You

So depending on how your agency structures their pay packages, sometimes there is a clause in your contract that says you have a penalty for missing hours. They essentially are just not paying you for that day that you were out.

You already won’t get paid for the hourly rate. But the company still needs a way to get back the stipend part of your paycheck. So they might make a penalty that will equal something close to what your stipends cost them per hour. So while it may say the word penalty it really means you are not getting paid (hourly or reimbursements) for any hours you don’t go into work.

Just make sure the amount is fair. If they are charging you more than your stipends would have cost them, challenge that. You shouldn’t actually have to pay money for being sick, you just simply don’t get paid.

Provided by the facility

These bonuses are offered by the hospital and are separate from the bill rate. They are usually completion bonuses in a tough to fill job.

Ask what the rules are for getting this bonus. Some things are overly strict (must complete 100% of the hours, so you can’t even have one sick day). And also as when you will get this bonus so you and your company are on the same page, many times it’s a month or more after you finished.

Provided by the agency

This could just be marketing to make a job sound more exciting. They could have just taken a dollar from each hour you would work and offer you a $500 sign on bonus but when it’s all said and done it’s the same amount of money (or less because bonuses tend to be taxed higher than regular income).

I always recommend making sure the tax-free stipends/reimbursements are maxed out first before ever considering a bonus. If it’s offered just ask if the money can be instead divided up and put into your stipends.

Find more pay packages

Search thousands of pay packages from across the country, and see how your pay package compares to others.