Tips for Negotiating Salary in the Healthcare A/E/C Industry

The healthcare Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (A/E/C) sector is vast, with each role bringing unique expertise that contributes to the development, design, and creation of state-of-the-art healthcare facilities. 

It’s crucial to ensure that your skills and contributions are adequately rewarded. 

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro in the healthcare A/E/C industry, here are some strategies to negotiate your salary effectively:

  1. Understand the Industry Landscape: Before diving into negotiations, familiarize yourself with the industry’s current compensation trends. Sites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and industry-specific reports can provide benchmarks and salary ranges for various roles within the healthcare A/E/C sector.
  • Look Beyond Base Salary: While the base salary is a significant component of your compensation package, remember to consider other benefits such as bonuses, insurance, retirement plans, professional development opportunities, and more. Sometimes, these benefits can outweigh a slightly higher salary at another firm.
  • Practice Your Pitch: Negotiating can be nerve-wracking. To increase your confidence, rehearse your pitch. Clearly communicate your value proposition, using quantifiable achievements when possible. For instance, mention if you’ve overseen projects that came in under budget or highlight designs that enhanced patient care.
  • Be Ready to Compromise: While you should aim high, also recognize the importance of compromise. The employer might not meet your exact salary expectation but could offer other perks, such as flexible hours or opportunities for career advancement.
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions: Instead of making definitive statements, try posing open-ended questions. For instance, ask “How flexible can we be on the base salary?” or “What other benefits can we discuss to enhance the overall compensation package?” Such questions encourage dialogue and show that you’re open to solutions.
  • Stay Professional: Regardless of how the negotiation unfolds, maintain professionalism. Keep emotions at bay and focus on the facts. It helps to remember that this is a business transaction, and it’s about finding a win-win solution for both parties.
  • Consider Timing: If you’re a current employee seeking a raise, approach your superiors during performance reviews or after successfully completing a significant project. For new job offers, negotiate after you’ve received the offer letter but before signing any contracts. And keep the labor market in mind – is your role in high demand or is the market in contraction? 
  • Prepare for Various Scenarios: It’s wise to prepare for multiple outcomes. Have a minimum acceptable salary in mind, understand your deal-breakers, and be prepared to walk away if an agreement isn’t in sight.
  • Continuous Learning: The healthcare A/E/C industry is continuously evolving. To stay relevant and command a competitive salary, invest in ongoing learning. Whether it’s certifications, attending industry conferences, or undertaking specialized courses, these endeavors will not only enhance your skill set but also strengthen your negotiating position in the future.


  1. Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC): This certification, offered by the American Hospital Association, focuses on the unique construction needs of healthcare facilities, encompassing risk management, financial management, and the healthcare construction environment.
  2. Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC): This certification tests the knowledge of the principles of evidence-based design and their application to healthcare settings. It’s offered by The Center for Health Design.
  3. Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM): This American Hospital Association certification emphasizes the importance of maintaining the physical environment in healthcare settings, encompassing compliance, planning, design, and construction.

Closing Thoughts

Salary negotiations in the healthcare A/E/C industry can be complex, given the diverse range of roles and the continuous industry advancements. However, by equipping yourself with the right knowledge, practicing your pitch, and approaching the process as a collaborative effort, you can secure a compensation package that truly reflects your worth.

Want to find your next role in the Healthcare A/E/C industry? Contact us today.