Asking for a pay rise can be scary! It’s confronting to ask your boss for more coin.

But it’s the way you present it that makes all the difference.

And if you’d like to grow your Physio salary, it’s well worth the effort.

Firstly you need to understand where your revenue ends up.

Of the revenue you generate, part of that goes to you (obviously).

Another portion covers rent, reception staff, supplies, software and systems and marketing.

The rest is business profit (because without that, the practice owner wouldn’t bother running the business).

Typically all the other costs amount to around 50% of your revenue.

Once you take out your super, it leaves a Physio salary of around 45% as your upper limit.

So how can you ask for a bigger slice of the pie?

The wrong way

The wrong way to ask is to state that you deserve it, you’re working hard or you’ve been around a while.

All that might be true but it doesn’t pay the bills, as the saying goes.

As a business owner, it’s not about rewarding effort if that effort doesn’t correlate to revenue.

The right way

You need to justify your pay rise in one of two ways – by increasing the clinic’s revenue (not just your own) or by generating less operating costs.

Increased clinic revenue

We say the clinic’s overall revenue, as opposed to your clinical revenue, as any increase in your clinical revenue will already be reflected in your Physio pay when you’re on a percentage.

The reason you can ask for a greater percentage is by contributing to the revenue generation of others in the clinic.

You’re more productive as a contributor to the business, not just a therapist doing their own thing.

Work out the number of your patients that you’ve referred to other services within the clinic.

Send a patient per week to your in-house massage therapist?

That’s all extra practice revenue, and that’s a great reason for a pay rise!

Train the new Physio on specific clinical skills or reasoning?

That improves their treatments per episode and improves the clinic’s revenue.

You get the idea.

If you help the clinic generate revenue beyond your own, you deserve a pay rise.

But remember to justify with specific numbers, not concepts (eg. “I spend 2hrs/week training the new physio and their treatments per episode has risen by 0.5“)

Reduced operating costs

As mentioned above, your available pay is what’s left in the bucket after other costs have been removed.

So figure out how to take less out and you can justify a pay rise and a better Physio salary.

You can reduce the cost of marketing by improving word of mouth or doing your own networking.

Less cost to acquire new patients can be a surprisingly simple method of increasing your clinical revenue too.

Less reception support is another big expense.

You may be able to offer to process your own payments for the last hour of the day, or cover the phones during your Saturday morning shift.

Reducing the requirement for reception support can save up to $40/hr on weekends so it easily justifies your pay rise.

Each of these methods not only improve your bargaining power but also show initiative and a good business sense.

And that’s a fast track to moving into the senior ranks.

Getting your message right

Make sure you explain your proposed Physio salary increase in objective terms and avoid emotive or entitled words.

Objective – “I can help reduce operating costs by covering payments and phone calls in the first and last hour of each day.

That would save on reception wages.

If you’re happy to trial that, it would both improve your practice profitability and allow for a slight increase in my clinical salary”.

Emotive – “I’d really like to increase my clinical pay rate. I’ve been here three years and I’m trying really hard to help patients”.

Entitled – “It’s been a year since my last pay rise and I think I’m due for another increase”.


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