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Med Care Res Rev. 2004 Sep;61(3):392-408.

How health policy and health services researchers are compensated: analysis of a nationwide salary survey.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


The membership of Academy Health, a professional organization, was invited to complete an anonymous Web-based survey in 2002. Responses were received from 1,140 of 2,633 surveyed (43 percent). Fifty-six percent worked in academic institutions or teaching hospitals, 34 percent in the private sector or foundations, and 10 percent in government. Most (96 percent) had at least one advanced degree, and the diversity of educational backgrounds was pronounced. The median annual salary was $99,000. Salaries were highest in the private sector, followed by academic and government settings. There were large regional variations, with higher salaries in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. Adjusted data suggested these higher regional salaries were inadequate to compensate for higher local cost of living. Among academic respondents, nonadjusted salaries increased with advancing faculty job titles, but this seniority effect was inconsistent across geographic regions. Junior faculty salaries, when adjusted for cost of living, were more similar across regions than salaries at the full professor level.

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