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Does it get better?

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Ok, got my first offer (late friday), will most likely accept and see contract on Monday. I am not overly impressed with the pay. I am taking the stipend and in a smaller community, so housing is going to be pricey. Keeping my fingers crossed to find a roommate @ the facility.

My question, does pay go up with more assignments?

Don't you want to see the contract before you accept an offer? At least make your acceptance contingent on what the contract actually says.

That is a very large question, but the short answer is that your pay should go up.

Compensation is a multi-variable equation. Factors include your specialty, years in specialty, years of travel, competency, ability to represent your employer well (professionalism), competence, efficiency, willingness to help out on unit, willingness to work overtime (plus obviously overtime worked increases pay), likeability, communication skills, interview presentation, location, hospital, hospital immediate need (supply and demand), working conditions, agency, relationship with agency, recruiter, relationship with recruiter, prior assignments with agency, ability to negotiate, and knowledge of the industry (better agencies for you, vendor managers, locations, working conditions, and so on).

Generally, as you prove your worth as a traveler, agencies will start offering you better paid assignments sort of organically. They prefer to put better travelers with better jobs because among other reasons, their own reputation for providing quality staff will be enhanced. Just from an agency perspective, this ultimately means stronger relationships with their clients and ability to garner higher bill rates (which means they can attract higher quality travelers with higher pay - a virtuous cycle). Your own knowledge base will go up and you will know where, when, and who to work for, and what you can squeeze out of agencies. Besides managing agencies, you will also manage other factors in your career better, and your own finances.

Except for the very hottest in-demand specialties, there is a very big difference between what 10 year travelers get from that of first year travelers. So again, yes, pay should go up regardless, but how much depends on you. I wouldn't be too concerned with it for your first couple of assignments as getting those successfully completed assignments on your work history is very important.

Lastly, travel as career is more about other factors than just pay. If you just want pay, working for a union hospital in San Francisco or Boston or surrounds is probably a more secure route to wealth accumulation. Travel is a lifestyle decision ultimately. Yes, it is usually a good step up financially if you are from the South, but money doesn't make you happy.

Absolutely about contract before official accepting.

I took your advice and posted on CL regarding room share. I landed a really nice room with private bath/large TV/internet/cable for $400/month.

So, things are already looking up. Now I'm going to try and bump the OT.

Congrats! Cheap housing will make your effective pay much better!