Locumstory.com knows you have questions about working locum tenens, and we’re giving you the answers in a simple, two-click search. Find out specialty-specific pay ranges, the typical schedule, average assignment length, and how in demand your specialty is in the current market by using the specialty tool located on our homepage. Simply click on your specialty and the information you’re looking for pops up.
Locumstory.com gathers the resulting data from locum tenens agencies and provides estimated information by specialty, and the data is updated annually. Keep in mind this information is general in nature, and can vary by region and facility. For example, thelocumguy.com breaks down the pay factors in the following lower to higher pay rates:
- Location: Urban vs. rural
- Type of shift: Daytime vs. swing vs. night
- ICU set-up: Closed ICU vs. open ICU
- Facility type: Government vs. private facility
The pay shown in the tool is an average pay range but could vary based on the above factors. That being said, this information is meant to help you determine how locums may work for your specialty. It can also be something to refer back to at a later date to see if your specialty is in higher demand, thus opening up more opportunities in a wider variety of locations.
The image above gives an example of what an anesthesiologist might expect from working locum tenens. The tool reveals that anesthesiologists are currently in high demand, and facilities typically need anesthesiologists for weekday coverage for around 20-day assignments, and locums providers earn on average $165 to $200, approximately 26 – 54 percent more per hour than anesthesiologists in a permanent position.
Locum tenens physician and anesthesiologist Dr. Noel Lumpkin says in her book The Road Warrior Physician:
“For some, the financial pull of doing locums is most influential. In the past, I have done assignments with lots of overtime and calls which yielded pretty sizable paychecks.”
For longer assignments, other factors come into play such as what types of accommodations do you want (hotel, apartment, home rental, etc.) or are you able to commute daily from your home. If not, what type of rental car do you want or do you want a hotel that is close enough you can bike to work? All of these elements determine your pay rate.
Where currently there is a high demand for anesthesiologists, the tool reveals that right now there is a lower demand for gastroenterologists, meaning there are fewer location and assignment options available. This doesn’t mean locums jobs aren’t out there, it just means that the locations and pay may be more limited.
Many physicians choose to work locum tenens in place of a full-time job but for many specialties it is easy to pick up locum tenens shifts as a way to make extra money on top of their permanent jobs. Both emergency medicine physicians and hospitalists often have schedules that allow them to pick up locum tenens shifts.
Looking at emergency medicine you see that there is a high demand and schedules range from 12- to 24-hour shifts. Picking up a weekend shift or picking up a few days each month can be an easy way to bring in extra money and gain broader experience while still maintaining a permanent job.
So check out the specialty tool and see what is has to say about your prospects for locum tenens today.