What is a BILL RATE?
Hello. I am Laura. I love to travel, and I love lattes!
That is why today (drum roll) we are going to learn BILL RATES with a good ol' coffee analogy.
The amount of money, per hour, a facility will pay the recruitment company for us to come work. (Facility= hospital, outpatient client, home health agency, etc.)
The company will take that hourly bill rate number and multiply it by the number of hours you will be working for the whole contract.
That number equals the total amount of money in our shared coffee pot.
Let's do some math!
$65 (bill rate example) x 468 (hours in a contract that is 13 weeks and 36 hours a week) = $30,420.
Now we have a coffee pot full of money! Over $30,000 to play with!
That coffee pot of >$30,000 goes to two different coffee mugs.
Mug #1: The recruitment company will take what they need to pay their bills and make their profit. Companies will usually take around 18-27% of the bill rate to cover their costs.
Mug #2: The traveler's pay! We get the rest, and we get it in many different forms. Some include:
- License Reimbursement
- Travel from Point A to Point B
- Your Taxable (w2) wages
- Your tax-free money to reimburse you if you have a tax home
- Orientation Fees
- Recruiter company issued bonuses
Knowing that all of these categories are part of our coffee pot helps us negotiate and also see how money could get moved around. (And helps us NOT fall for marketing tricks!)
We have to know how to add it all up and break it down to an hourly amount in order to compare pay packages. Comparing just our taxable rate and our stipends doesn't cover it all!
Other things to know about bill rates
- This number is different from job to job. It is different depending on location, supply and demand of a job/region, your specialty, your experience, the season and unknown reasons.
- This bill rate number is paid to the company ONLY for hours you work. When the recruiter came up with over $30k to work with that is if you work 100% of your hours. Many of us get sick and call out from time to time. Well now the company made zero dollars for those hours and you can expect to not make money for hours you do not work either. If a company is paying you for hours you don't work keep in mind that had to come from somewhere. You can thinking about where they withheld money in order to have that money to pay you when you call out.
- Remember: The tax-free stipends/reimbursements do come out of the bill rate also. Everything does.
- Many recruitment companies do not allow us as travelers to see this number. Sometimes they say it's the VMS/MSP companies who won't let them. Sometimes they don't want to because it hurts their negotiating power. But for whatever reason many times you will not see their cards. (also keep in mind if a recruiter tells you a number, you also have to trust they are telling the truth).
- As travelers, we get curious about this number because we want to know we are getting a good deal and that the company is pouring the "coffee" between the mugs fairly.
- Pro tip: The best way to know you are getting a fair deal is use Nomadicare to get your recruiter! But also always work with two or three companies. If a recruiter knows this, they are more likely to pitch you higher pay packages to compete with the other companies. If they know they are your one and only, they might push the profit margin in favor of a big recruitment company payout instead of a fair win/win coffee split for you.
- In general, this bill rate number is not at an all-time high right now. It is a more competitive year so pay rates are not fantastic right now (2018). The market is always changing! Hang in there and try to be flexible and fast with submitting to jobs!
Learn More about where all this Bill Rate money goes in this video below!!
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