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Advice on these pay packages please


Has 2 years experience.

One of my recruiters ( I have 3 companies looking for me) is showing me the pay package for every assignment she submits me to for me to OK it. I have already completed my first assignment as a travel nurse back in July. For reference, my base rate was $18/hr. I was bringing home $1200 + per week after taxes. I was ok with this amount as a first time traveler and plus it was more than I was making as a staff RN.

My concern was the base rate for these assignments she's submitting me to. I'm worried that I would not be paying Enough taxes.


13 weeks/ 40 hours

Base Pay $9.00hr ($360.00 taxable)

Ot Rate after 40 $40.00

Per Diem (non-taxable stipend) $1140.00 weekly ($4560.00 monthly)

Travel Check $200.00 (half-half)

Approximate Net $1410.00


13 weeks/36 hours

Base Pay $9.50 ($342.00 taxable)

Ot Rate after 40 $40.00

Per Diem (non-taxable stipend) $1140.00 weekly ($4560.00 monthly)

Travel Check $500.00 (half-half)

Blended Rate $41.16


13 Weeks/36 hours PM

Base Pay $10.00hr (360.00 taxable)

Ot Rate after 40 $40.00

Per Diem (non-taxable stipend) $1140.00 weekly

Travel Check $600.00 (half-half)

Blended Rate $41.66

I have been waiting for another travel assignment for almost a month. At this point I will take whatever I can get. Also while I am still needing to gain experience as a Travel RN,I am OK with making 1100-1200/wk. I just want to know if the base pay is ridiculous and will hurt me in the long run. Thanks for your replies!

Why would you be worried that you are not paying enough taxes? Do you have a tax home?

NurseAndLovinIt, BSN, RN

Has 2 years experience.

Yes, I do have a tax home. Even after reading through 12 plus pages on this travel forum, I couldn't find a post to compare mine to. I guess I just want to make sure things are in order. And the base rate is half of my first assignment, so that makes me wonder. I tried asking my recruiter, but she basically told me that the less taxed income in a package I have is good.

Yup, less tax is better, and higher take home rules! If you want to compare offers on a level playing field, use PanTravelers calculator. That will spit out a single number per hour total pay to help figure out what is best financially.

Is that per diem for housing and meals? I am also trying to compare numbers. Seeing such a low hourly offered to me is scary. For me it's hard to include the nontaxable as income as I know it will be spent on housing. PanTravelers is a great resource though and helps to put it in perspective.

It is one pot of money. The more you spend, the less you have. It doesn't matter if the money comes from a housing stipend or another part of your compensation.

Wouldn't such low hourly rates trigger an IRS inquiry? I remember reading that on this forum. Nine and ten dollars is barely above the minimum wage in most states.

Nope. IRS only sees withholding taxes. They have no idea what you make per hour. A large swing in income in our tax bracket will not trigger an audit.