Benefits and Compensation

Geography often accounts for significant differences in pay rates for the same job. When employees evaluate where to work, they take into consideration where they can earn the highest value for their services. Likewise, employers often attempt to locate facilities in areas with lower prevailing wages to keep their labor costs down.

You will research the following benchmark jobs in the health care industry. These jobs are found in most major metropolitan areas and most require education beyond high school.

  1. Dentist
  2. Dental hygienist
  3. Pharmacist
  4. Physician’s assistant
  5. Physical therapist
  6. Registered nurse

Using online resources, determine the pay rate for each job and compare the wage rates for those jobs in Cleveland, Ohio, and Omaha, Nebraska. Obtain information from at least two different sources. Be sure to read the job descriptions to ensure that you are comparing the “same” job. Suggested pay rate resources include (but are not limited to):

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Professional organizations for each profession

Your assignment:

  1. Identify your sources of information.
  2. Create a table showing the average pay rate for each job. State what information you used in the table. Were any data sources judged to be of higher or lower quality? How did you make that determination?
  3. Does one geographic area generally pay more than the other? Explain why you think that might be. (You may need to do additional research on the cost of living in each area.)
  4. Which jobs pay the highest and the lowest? Is this what you expected? What factors might explain the difference in pay rates?
  5. What is the occupational outlook for each occupation in Cleveland and Omaha? (Check multiple sources such as CareerOneStop and the Occupational Outlook Handbook.) How might this affect the differences in pay rates between the two cities?
  6. If you were to make a recommendation to an employer that was deciding where to locate a facility, what would you recommend based on your research? What other factors (outside of compensation) might you consider?

Submit your answers to these questions in one single Word document.

Write an APA-style paper that addresses these questions. Your paper should be framed as a formal paper, not a Q&A, so you should write it without listing or referring to the question from the assignment. (It should look like a research article about the subject matter, not a response to a class exercise.)

Use in-text citations to show where you are applying or discussing content from your textbook or other course materials. In addition, be sure to cite where you are applying or discussing content from external sources (such as the salary websites suggested above) as well. End your paper with a References list that gives the full details about the sources. In-text citations and References should be formatted according to APA standards.


Essays will use the following Grading Rubric:

  • 40% Comprehension and Analysis: Critical thinking, innovative and original perspective, and appropriate analysis and recommendations (where applicable).
  • 30% Application of Content: Synthesizes and analyzes course content and independent research, and applies both appropriately in the paper.
  • 20% Quality of Writing: Articulation of ideas, using correct grammar and spelling, with effective structure and format to the paper.
  • 10% Citations and References: Uses APA-style citations and references to demonstrate source of ideas and information in the paper.


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