ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society commissioned Research USA to conduct a survey of ASET members and medical professionals in the neurodiagnostic profession in order to learn more about salaries and current benefit plans offered to technologists.
Some specific areas studied included:
Number of years as a neurodiagnostic technology professional
Type of employer
Number of years with current employer/employed in current position or title
Chief function or job title
Services provided at primary place of employment
Base pay by hourly rate or salary range
Neurodiagnostic-related credentials held
Benefits provided to technologists by employer or business
Employment trends observed at the workplace in the past three years
Lab/business management and staffing
METHODOLOGY The names used for the survey were selected from ASET’s list of members and medical professionals in the Neurodiagnostic field with known email addresses for a total of 12,987 names. During the course of the survey, an additional 255 names were contacted (250 were suggested by a colleague or contacted ASET, and 5 contacted Research USA requesting a link to the survey).
On April 12, 2022, all selected email addresses were sent a survey invitation from Kevin Helm, Executive Director of ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society, which explained the importance of the survey and provided a link to the survey’s website URL.
As an incentive, all respondents were offered a copy of the ASET Salary and Benefits Survey report.
Follow-up email messages were sent to non-respondents to the online survey on April 18, April 25, and May 2, 2022.
All survey responses were sent directly to Research USA. By May 13, 2022 there were 2,225 usable responses for a net response rate of 20.6%.
The data in this report are based on a computer tabulation of 2,225 questionnaires that were received. Results are shown for total respondents and, where applicable, cross-tabulated by Lab Managers, Program Directors/Clinical Site Instructors, Independent Contractors, Business Owners, and all other job titles combined. Results are projectable for total respondents (with 95% confidence) within a range of ± 2.2% for most of the tables that follow. Where average amounts are shown, “mean” and “average” are synonymous. All data with a base of less than 50 respondents should be used with caution and for informational purposes only.
Seventy-three percent of all respondents indicated being a member of ASET. The largest percentage of this group (60.2%) currently has an Active membership with ASET. Twenty-five percent are not an ASET member.
Females comprised 71.8% of those responding with the average age of all respondents being 43.2 years (median 41.9).
Respondents were asked in which state is their employer located. The largest percentage of respondents (17.6%) are located in Middle America states (IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, TN), 17.2% are located in New England (CT, DE, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT), and 12.9% are in South Central states (AR, LA, OK, TX).
Respondents have an average of 13.9 years of experience as a Neurodiagnostic professional (the median is 10.4 years). Of the 85.7% who report holding credentials in Neurodiagnostics, an average of 11.2 of those years (median of 7.8 years) were worked holding credentials in Neurodiagnostic modalities.
About two-thirds of those responding (65.4%) describe their employer as a hospital, with 25.8% being a general non-profit hospital, and 21.3% being a university or teaching hospital. Seven percent each describe their employer as a remote/ambulatory EEG service provider or service contractor, instrument company/vendor, or outpatient clinic (either hospital-owned/sponsored, private, or physician-owned).
Respondents who describe their employer as a hospital were asked for their hospital’s licensed bed size. The average bed-size at respondent’s hospitals is 573 beds (the median is 479), with 30.1% of hospitals having 700 beds or more.
Twenty-two percent of respondents who work at a hospital report that their facility is unionized.
Respondents employed at hospitals (65.4%) were asked which area has administrative control over their lab. Seventy-one percent of those responding indicated that their lab is controlled by Neurodiagnostics, Neurology, Neuroscience, or Neurophysiology. Nine percent report Respiratory Care has administrative care over their lab, followed by Cardiology or Cardiopulmonary care (4.7%).
Nearly nine out of ten respondents (89.1%) describe their type of employment as a full-time employee (30+ hours/week).
Respondents have spent an average of 8.5 years with their current employer (median of 5.6 years) and have been at their current position and title for an average of 7.3 years (median of 4.6 years).
The largest percentage of respondents (43.8%) describes the chief function or title of their primary job as Neurodiagnostic Technologist I or II. Lead, Chief or Principal Technologists are comprised of 15.1%, followed by Supervisors (8.0%), Lab Directors/Managers (7.2%), and Neurodiagnostic Specialists I or II (6.4%).
Independent Contractors and Business Owners were asked to describe the ownership of their company. Forty-four percent describe their company as a limited partnership, private company; 41.3% are a corporation, private company; and 15.2% have some other company structure.
Respondents were asked which services are provided at their primary place of employment or business. EEGs are provided at 80.6% of respondent’s place of employment. Over 40% also provide or perform LTM in Neurocritical care/ICU/cEEG (49.5%), IONM (46.3%), LTM in Epilepsy (46.0%), and Clinical EP (41.6%).
Respondents were asked whether or not they have taken national exams for Neurodiagnostic professional credentials. Over three-fourths (77.3%) have taken the national exams and hold at least one credential in Neurodiagnostics. Among those who hold one or more Neurodiagnostic-related credentials, 72.2% hold an R. EEG T., 33.1% hold a CNIM, 12.8% hold an R. EP T., 12.5% hold a CLTM, and 8.9% hold an RPSGT.
More than one-fourth (27.5%) hold one or more other allied healthcare-related credentials with the largest number holding EKG or ECG credentials (5.9%) or Certified Medical Assistant (4.9%).
Most respondents (85.6%) indicate that their employer or business hires technologists who do not currently hold professional credentials, with 41.7% being required to obtain credentials within a specified amount of time.
Seventy-one percent of employers or businesses provide incentives for technologists to obtain professional credentials, with 50.7% providing an increase in pay for obtaining credentials. Many also offer reimbursement for costs associated with the exam (48.8%), materials and books to help study for the exam (28.5%), and time to study while at work (23.8%).
Respondents were asked to describe the highest level of education they have currently achieved. Most (86.3%) have attended some college or better and 48.3% have attained a 4-year college degree or better.
Respondents were asked how they received training in Neurodiagnostics. Forty-six percent report receiving on-the-job (OTJ) training and 45.4% graduated from a Neurodiagnostic program. Those who received on-the-job training report that the training lasted for 8 months.
More than three-fourths of those responding (77.7%) indicated that one or more professional benefits are paid by their employer or business. The largest percentage of respondents indicated that their employer or business pays for professional membership fees (44.7%), credential examination fees (38.1%), paid time off or excused absence to attend a meeting/ course (36.3%), meeting/course registration fees (31.9%), and some or all meeting/course costs (28.3%).
Over nine out of ten (94.9%) receive or their business provides any healthcare, paid time off, retirement, education, or other paid benefits for technologists. Of this group, 99.1% are provided with health care benefits. Ninety-eight percent are provided with health insurance, followed by dental insurance (93.6%), vision plan/discounts (91.4%), life insurance (85.0%), disability insurance (73.6%), healthcare savings accounts (70.1%), and wellness programs (65.4%).
Nearly all respondents (98.5%) are provided with paid leave benefits, with 94.6% receiving paid time off. A majority are also provided with paid holidays (60.4%).
Retirement benefits are provided by 96.6% of employers, with 72.5% providing a traditional 401(k) or similar defined contribution retirement savings plan and 63.8% providing employer contribution/matching toward an employee 401(k) plan.
Other benefits that many employers or businesses provide are free parking (45.5%), mileage reimbursement (38.0%), college tuition/expenses for employees (33.0%), flexible scheduling (30.5%), dependent care savings accounts (25.0%), and laptop, cell phone (24.4%).
Lab Managers, Program Directors/Clinical Site Instructors, and Business Owners were asked to check items that reflect their observations regarding their employment setting or trends in the workplace in the past three years. A majority of respondents report that it is more difficult to find technologists with previous experience, formal training, and/or Neurodiagnostic credentials now than three years ago (59.1%) and demand for formal Neurodiagnostic education is increasing (50.9%). Fifty-three percent of Lab Managers also report that they are performing more tests per technologist than before (47.4% overall).
Respondents were asked about their base pay. Respondents who are paid by an hourly rate make an average of $35.49 per hour (median of $32.75/hour). Salaried respondents make an average of $76,166 annually (median of $69,945). The average annual salary of all respondents (hourly and salaried) is $75,515 (median of $68,524).
Analysis of salary data (per years of experience, title, credentialing, education, location/demographics, etc.) is detailed in the full report.
Respondents were asked by approximately what percent their base pay changed over the past year. Seventy-three percent report an increase in their base pay, by an average of 3%. Twenty-five percent report no increase in their base pay over the past year and 1.7% report a decrease.
Lab Directors/Managers and Business Owners were asked to report the average number of procedures performed annually for various types of studies. A wide range of answers were given for each of the procedures performed. An average of 933 outpatient EEGs and 896 inpatient EEGs are performed annually (median of 559 and 500 respectively).
Lab Managers and Business Owners were asked if their facility requires the use of video for all routine EEGs. About two-thirds (65.7%) report that their facility does require the use of video and 24.4% report their facility does not require the use of video. Ten percent indicated that some client facilities require the use of video, and some do not.
Lab Managers and Business Owners were asked to give the average number of days their lab typically monitors for long-term EEG. LTM EEG with or without video outside of the ICU setting (non-EMU) is monitored for an average of 2.7 days, LTM EEG with or without video in the ICU is monitored for an average of 3.6 days, and LTM EEG in the EMU is monitored for an average of 4.4 days.
When planning workflow schedules, Lab Managers and Business Owners were asked how much time is typically allotted per patient for various procedures. The following table shows the average and median number of minutes allotted for each procedure.
Overall, Lab Managers and Business Owners report an average of 15 full-time employees for their neurodiagnostic lab (median of 11). They report an average of 2 job vacancies for Neurodiagnostic staff, with 76.7% having one or more vacancies. The job vacancy (or first vacancy if more than one) has been open for an average of 4.7 months.
Over one-half of Lab Managers and Business Owners (50.8%) think that their current staffing is adequate, with 35.2% stating that they do not need to use outside Neurodiagnostic vendor services and 15.6% who report supplementing staff by using outside Neurodiagnostic services as needed. Forty-nine percent report that additional staff are needed.
Lab Managers and Business Owners were asked to indicate the changes that occurred during 2019–2021 regarding technical full-time staff. Overall, 46.4% added one or more Neurodiagnostic staff, with 25.6% adding 1 or 2 Neurodiagnostic staff. Thirteen percent reduced Neurodiagnostic staff and 24.8% reported no change.
Among respondents who reported a staffing change during 2019–2021, 56.8% indicated the change was due to an increase in patient test load. Thirty-one percent indicated that the change occurred because they were unable to fill vacancies and 20.5% reported that new Neurodiagnostic tests/services were offered.
Lab Managers and Business Owners were asked which staffing and lab changes are planned for 2022–2024. Eighty percent plan to add new staff in contrast with 0% who plan to reduce staff. Several plan to open a new facility (13.8%). Twelve percent indicate no changes are planned for 2022–2024.
Lab Managers and Business Owners report that 88% of their facilities or businesses allow staff to work overtime hours, with 75% being allowed to work as many hours as needed to properly cover patient care. On average, their staff accrues 6.8 hours of overtime per pay period.
Lab Managers and Business Owners were asked if their facility or company provides on-call services outside normal business hours and/or 24/7 technologist coverage. Overall, 36.4% provide both on-call services and 24/7 technologist coverage, 27.1% provide 24/7 technologist coverage and technologists no longer take call, 25.6% provide on-call services outside normal business hours only, and 10.9% do not provide on-call services nor 24/7 technologist coverage.
Lab Managers and Business Owners were asked how employees with various job titles receive compensation for on-call pay or services. The largest number of employees receiving on-call pay are Neurodiagnostic Technologists I or II, receiving an average hourly rate of $3.23.
When on-call, and in addition to regular on-call pay, 52.4% of respondents report that employees are paid a different rate than regular on-call if they are called in to perform direct patient care onsite.
Lab Managers and Business Owners were asked whether or not their staff is compensated for shift or weekend differential, with 78% reporting that their staff is compensated. For most of this group, staff is compensated hourly. Among Neurodiagnostic Technologists I or II, the average hourly pay rate shift differential is $2.09/hour for 2nd shift, $2.87/hour for 3rd shift, and $2.96/hour for the weekend shift.
When Lab Managers and Business Owners were asked to select the top three options that most closely apply with their hiring requirements and practice, 70.6% prefer to hire technologists who are credentialed, graduated from a formal training/Neurodiagnostic program, and/or have Neurodiagnostic experience, but have difficulty recruiting them due to lack of availability. Forty-seven percent hire technologists with Neurodiagnostic experience or who have graduated from a Neurodiagnostic program, and are not credentialed, but are required to attain credentials within a specified amount of time. Thirty-six percent hire technologists with Neurodiagnostic experience or who graduated from a Neurodiagnostic program, who are not credentialed and do not require them to attain credentials.
Lab Managers and Business Owners were then asked to select the top three options that most closely apply to their hiring preference. Seventy-one percent prefer to hire technologists who are credentialed, graduated from a formal training/Neurodiagnostic program and/or have Neurodiagnostic experience, but have difficulty recruiting them due to lack of availability. Sixty-two percent prefer to hire technologists with Neurodiagnostic experience or who have graduated from a Neurodiagnostic program, and are not credentialed, but are required to attain credentials within a specified amount of time. Fifty percent prefer to only hire technologists who have graduated from a formal Neurodiagnostic program, have previous Neurodiagnostic experience, and/or are credentialed.
Lab Managers and Business Owners report that an average of 9 months is allotted for on-the-job training for new, non-experienced technologists, and 2.8 months for onboarding of new experienced technologists. New hires are allotted an average of 20.6 months to attain credentials after hire.
Lab Managers and Business Owners were asked to describe the education and training of their current staff. A majority report that most technologists on their team are credentialed (64.2%) and/or graduates of a formal Neurodiagnostic program (60.8%). Forty-eight percent are trained OTJ.
Fifty-one percent of respondents report that their facility is a clinical site for a Neurodiagnostic program, and 10.0% indicate they are a training hospital for a medical school.
About 13% (284 respondents) indicated they work a secondary job in Neurodiagnostics. Among these respondents with a secondary job, 199 agreed to answer a series of questions pertaining to their secondary job. Overall, 30.9% are a remote/ambulatory EEG service provider or service contractor, 28.5% are at a hospital (any type), and 14.1% describe their employer as an outpatient clinic.
Among respondents whose secondary job is at a hospital, the average licensed bed size is 459 beds (median of 373 beds). Twenty-two percent report that the facility at their second job is unionized. Those who work a secondary job are scheduled an average of 11.6 hours per week. Most (86.9%) are scheduled 20 hours or less. Their average length of current employment is 5.5 years (median of 3.1 years).
The average annual salary for all respondents (hourly and salaried) at their secondary job is $28,400 (median of $21,810). Forty-four percent who are salaried are paid a base annual salary of $20,000 or less.
Thirty-five percent of respondents with a secondary job reported an increase in their base pay over the past year. The average amount of this increase was 2.1%.
Forty-three percent of respondents receive, or their business provides a shift or weekend differential. For most of this group, the differential is paid hourly with the average pay rate being $3.29/hour for 2nd shift, $3.63/hour for 3rd shift, and $4.10/hour for weekend shift.