The salary story for 2012 isn’t clear cut. While sleep practitioners saw their salaries rise across all disciplines last year, the numbers were decidedly mixed this year. Median salaries for sleep technicians dropped, and registered polysomnographic technologists saw their 2010 and 2011 gains wiped out. Respiratory therapists and sleep physicians were the only two sleep professional disciplines to come out on top, both reporting modest increases in median income. For sleep center administrators, the results were equally mixed. Sleep center CEO/owner/vice presidents maintained the status quo for a second year, while sleep director/supervisor/managers reported the highest increase in median salaries of all the disciplines participating in the survey this year after reporting the largest decrease in median salary last year. Overall, the survey results demonstrate that the economic climate for sleep professional salaries is in flux.
Sleep technicians saw their fortunes turn in 2012. After reporting an increase in median salary last year, the group saw a drop this year, from $44,000 to $39,695. The decrease, percentage-wise, was the largest reported by any of the sleep professional groups participating in our survey. Still, 2012 median salaries remain more than $7,000 above 2010’s low of $32,500. Median salaries ranged from a low of $34,000 for technicians working in the East North Central region—a significant increase over last year’s median low of $25,000 for sleep technicians working in East South Central—to a high of $65,000 in the West South Central region—an 18% increase over 2011’s median high of $55,000 reported for technicians working in the Pacific region. Thirty-two sleep technicians spread over eight regions participated in this year’s survey. No respondents from the Mountain region reported data.
REGISTERED POLYSOMNOGRAPHIC TECHNOLOGIST (RPSGT)
After reporting a 4% increase in median salaries from 2010 to 2011 (from $52,000 to $54,000, respectively), RPSGTs saw those gains erased this year, reporting a 2012 median salary of $50,893—a 6% drop from 2011. With 24 or fewer RPSGTs responding to the survey from each region, the profession had the highest rate of participation in the survey this year. And while RPSGTs in New England reported the lowest median salary for the profession, at $47,000, the figure is a 4% increase over last year’s reported low of $45,000. RPSGTs from the Pacific region again had the highest median salary with $61,000; however, it’s a decrease from 2011’s reported high of $75,000.
RESPIRATORY THERAPIST (RRT/CRT)
For a second year, respiratory therapists saw an increase in median salary. While they reported a 10% increase in median salary between 2010 ($50,000) and 2011 ($55,000), this year’s increase was more modest at 2%, with a reported $56,250. Respiratory therapists working in the West North Central region reported the highest median salary at $80,000. Meanwhile, respiratory therapists in the South Atlantic region reported the lowest median salary at $44,500. Still, the figure is an 11% increase over last year’s $40,000 low reported by RRTs working in the West South Central region.
SLEEP PHYSICIAN (MD)
Sleep physicians reported the second highest increase in median salary among all professions surveyed for the second year in a row. The 21 physicians participating in this year’s survey reported a 6% increase in median salary from $200,000 in 2011 to $211,000 this year. Physicians in the East South Central region reported the highest median salary at $308,332, a 3% increase over the $300,000 high reported in 2011 by physicians practicing in the West North Central region. East North Central respondents, however, again reported the lowest median salary and saw a 2% decrease from $102,500 in 2011 to $100,000 this year.
SLEEP CENTER DIRECTOR/SUPERVISOR/MANAGER
Sleep center director/supervisor/managers reported the highest increase in median salary among all the professions surveyed—from $65,000 in 2011 to $85,000 in 2012. For a second year, respondents in the Pacific region reported the highest median salary at $145,000. Sleep center director/supervisor/managers working in the South Atlantic reported the lowest median salary at $46,000. Twenty-five or fewer respondents from seven regions reported data. There were no respondents from the New England or West North Central regions this year.
SLEEP CENTER CEO/OWNER/VICE PRESIDENT
For the third year in a row, median salaries for sleep center CEO/owner/vice presidents held steady at $100,000. Respondents from the East South Central region reported the highest median salary at $150,000. Meanwhile, respondents working in the South Atlantic region had the lowest median salary for 2012 at $46,000.
Sleep Review‘s sixth annual survey of sleep professionals and sleep centers around the country was conducted in partnership with Mizuho Securities USA. The salary survey included responses from respondents received between June 16, 2012, and July 2, 2012. Among the respondents, sleep center director/supervisor/managers and registered polysomnographic technologists had the highest rates of participation. Survey participants came from every geographic region and all 50 US states with the Midwest and Southeast regions being the most heavily represented.
It should be noted that our sample sizes were small in regard to particular regions and particular positions in both survey years. This year we saw a 19% decrease in total respondents. In addition, it is unlikely that we had the same responders as last year, so an apples to apples comparison between years cannot be assumed. For these reasons, we recommend that readers interpret the data with the above caveats in mind.
The salary figures are the respondents’ base salaries; they do not include the value of additional bonuses, stock options, or other incentives.