Compensation Survey Provider Review: Comparably

As a physician, it can be difficult to ascertain exactly how well you should be compensated. Due to the professional nature of your practice, training, or even specialization, being a physician carries inherent obstacles to overcome. While some businesses can stay local and try to attract customers to their business, physicians, and most other trained medical staff, need to choose their home state and city based on need, compensation, and availability. Of course, one of the most important aspects when trying to negotiate a position or enter a new market is to know exactly how much leverage you have.

Enter, Comparably.

Who Exactly is Comparably?

This enterprise aims to disrupt the domestic career market by offering a one-stop shop in their solutions towards achieving full transparency. Historically, employers and competitors have discouraged others from speaking about their salaries, compensation, and benefits so that they are less competitive. In the modern age, sites like Comparably have proven that everyone is willing to share their compensation freely and anonymously so that leverage can be brought back to the negotiating table.

In addition to providing their accounts with compensation information, they integrated a platform for comments, which lets users share further information – including culture, trajectory, shares/options, and other important information that you may find useful.

History of Comparably

Comparably was started by  CEO Jason Nazar. Although it has been around for a while, it wasn’t until the pandemic that it started to shine. Jason Nazar is an industry expert and had over 15 years of experience before starting the company.

His main motivation was to provide an alternative to the top player in the space, Glassdoor, which was dominating the feedback, especially through Google results. Nazar identified that some of the reviews were biased, and not previously checked. He found, as have many others, that there was a trend between review sites: only the most disgruntled or the most loyal employees post their experiences. This causes an extreme shift in work culture, as it is usually spurred on by some sort of extreme event – usually failing an interview, getting laid off or dismissed, or obtaining a large promotion, bonus, or raise.

Jason took all of this into consideration and produced the enterprise we know today. It was officially announced that Zoominfo had been acquired in May 2022. Their aim is to provide a platform that fairly regulates the discourse between employers/businesses and their competition and workers. They provide accurate listings, fact-checked salaries, and the ability for employers’ voices to be heard. It functions much less as Glassdoor does, and more like a review on Google. Users have the opportunity to post their opinion and data, but it will be checked and removed if it is inaccurate or found to “troll” the site, which is prevalent across many companies that offer anonymity.

Read: Is There a Physician Shortage in the US?

How Does Comparably Source Their Data?

Their data is user submitted, and the terms of the agreement are that this data is factual to the best of their ability. For each sector, and even position, there is an analyst that checks the validity of the compensation range provided. Furthermore, companies pay to use the site to list their opinions, culture, and jobs for everyone to see – including offering their true ranges and compensation bases to combat the war on misinformation that plagues most sites on the web.

The data is simple to access on the employee side, as there is only an account required. Employers are also free to use limited tools, but the corporate packages are the primary income source of the company, making it free to distribute to all of their users. Furthermore, the more accounts that are verified and contributed to the site, the more valuable the information that will be provided.

Types of Data

Comparably offers a plethora of data that isn’t available on most review sites and job boards. Although it began primarily as a way to identify top talent in the tech industry, there are multiple sectors available. Physicians can see their estimated compensation based on their desired job title or specialization, simply by inputting the title and the surrounding zip code.  Once an account has been made, you will have full access to their data.

Many things are offered which cannot be found elsewhere, but the data contained within also offers basic information. The idea of the site is that there should be a balance of feedback that isn’t dominated by any other party. For example, Glassdoor’s culture and comments largely come from former employees who have left the firm in many different ways. In essence, Glassdoor is a large exit interview, while Nazar and his team aim to have input from elsewhere.

While their primary focus is on current teams and employees who work at the company itself, the site has found itself opened up to many different factors. This means that it is not operated in a vacuum, and true insight into the company can be obtained through its data, whether it is factual or the way it is perceived by the public.

The data can sometimes also include:

  • Competitors in space
  • Alternatives and substitute services
  • Aggrieved and disgruntled customers/former employees
  • Similar sized companies in different, but related, spaces.

While this may seem to skew the data, the reality is that outliers make the case for a better and more wholesome picture. A researcher can only ascertain accurate information when they allow everyone to input their opinions and experiences.

Categories of data include:

  • Culture
  • Diversity (women, minority, sexual orientation, etc.) ratios
  • leadership
  • Reviews
  • Salaries
  • Jobs
  • Competitors
  • Interviews
  • … and a valuable Q&A section.

It is important to note these are categories, and there are tens of subcategories beneath them, especially if the company is in the “spotlight”.

Survey Reports and Associated Costs

While there is data that can be downloaded directly to a computer or electronic device, all of the information is provided on the site. While many other industry comparisons feature data on compensation and score alone, the data presented here is multi-faceted, clear, and attacks all factors from many different angles. Compensation is indeed a large driving factor for someone when applying to a position or looking to move to a new area. Physicians should also consider other various intangible benefits.

For example, the adage “people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses” holds in this respect. This is why the site has a dedicated CEO score, and culture score and lists many of the awards that they have achieved. Different from other sites, there is no overall score based on the review, only the difference in numbers. You will know the direct split between scores based on if they are positive or negative – listed in terms of percentages (i.e 85 positives, 15 negative).

Perhaps the largest difference is that those who wish to leave a review do not do so in a free-form format, rather they are asked a series of (usually 20) questions to gauge the entire picture fully. Questions such as feedback, positive criticism, constructive points, and the belief that they are compensated fairly or not will provide an accurate report for you to peruse.

As a physician, you may be primarily using their salaries tab. To receive your report, you simply must type in the industry you are in, the desired title (or the current one), and the zip code of the city you are looking to potentially work in or relocate to. Without signing up, it will only provide an average in that area, as well as a domestic average throughout the country for that job. It will prompt you to create a free account, which only requires basic information such as your email address, and will provide you with

  • Full graphs and compensation data
  • Salary ranking
  • Benchmarking
  • The community surrounding your profession
  • ….and access to desired reports such as onboarding, diversity, ease of transfer, culture, PTO, work-life balance, and reputation.

Related Reading: Primary Care Physician Salaries

Benefits of Using and Participating with Comparably

The chief benefit is that the information is free. The site and company are kept afloat through data, their recent acquisitions, and the payment plan for their corporate customers. Job seekers and those who are relocating do not have to spend a single penny to obtain their desired information. The only thing that is asked in return is to complete a short survey upon creating your account. This is not unlike other job sites or data collection forms, as every member needs to contribute their verified information for the rest to find it valuable. It would be a bad business model to let users collect the gathered information for free without offering their own experiences.

Physicians can easily benefit from this site because they are not pigeon-holed to a specific title, like other sites that are used solely for the medical field. You can rest assured that you will have an unbiased opinion of the role and company. Additionally, it provides economic data based on the zip code – an extremely important factor that is often overlooked. It does not matter if you are paid highly if the information is not provided on the basic economic standing of that locale.

Lastly, full transparency from current employees, past employees, competitors, teams, and managers themselves will help to balance out an extreme point of view that is often the case with other sites that only allow a certain group of people to participate.

How Does Comparably’s Report Compare to Competitors?

Having plenty of choices for compensation information is a great thing, as smart doctors will check out multiple sources of information. Since medical professionals and students have a lot on their plates, a look at how Comparably compares to other sources of information can  ensure each practitioner gets the information they find valuable.

Let’s contrast Comparably with similar providers such as Sullivan Cotter, Merritt Hawkins and MGMA.

Comparably vs Sullivan Cotter

Sullivan Cotter primarily focuses on physicians throughout the country and pays well for the data. They provide such information as

  • Base Salary
  • Bonuses
  • Advice on relocation
  • Reimbursement of Continued Education
  • Any fees and payments that are associated

Sullivan Cotter is the leading firm that helps provide physicians with the data necessary for choosing the right location for their home state, and how to build up their practice or role once they are there.

It is difficult to compare the two, as Sullivan Cotter serves a slightly different purpose. While compensation and available jobs are part of their information, they focus more on providing niche and detailed services for the continuing establishment of your career within an area. You could technically use Comparably as a way to inform yourself of the industry, area, culture, and other details of the locale and scope, and then contact Sullivan Cotter to effectuate the move.

Their surveys cost between 4800 and 2100 for non-participants, or 525 to 1200 for participants.

Comparably vs. Merritt Hawkins

Merritt Hawkins is another example of a compensation survey provider that focuses solely on physicians.  They provide such information as

  • Resident practice preferences
  • Compensation
  • Revenue generation
  • Recruiting incentives
  • Inpatient/Outpatient surveys
  • Physician appointment wait times
  • Final-year Medical Residents

Unlike comparably, it goes into the nitty-gritty of becoming a physician in a certain area as a whole. It does provide information based on thousands of physicians throughout the country, but also information on customer data. Meritt Hawkins would be useful for those with established practices that are looking to see if they would be able to fare better in a different location, based on the need for their services through the above surveys.

Comparably vs. MGMA

MGMA, along with Sullivan Cotter, is considered the leading compensation survey provider in this space. They offer many of the same services, but there is a key difference. MGMA tailors the data that is provided to them through their sample size to smaller enterprises. They then sell the information to small practices (fewer than 6) or individuals, while Sullivan Cotter is often contracted by larger hospitals and medical organizations.

Read about even more Compensation Providers:
Payscale  |  |  Medscape  |  Doximity  |  ZipRecruiter  |  AMGA  |  Top Reports of 2020


How To Easily Access Comparably Data

While it may not be a niche solution like the other providers mentioned in this article, it is much easier to access data on their site. Account creation is free, participation is free and not cumbersome, and the breadth of the data is unmatched by other general providers in this space.

The ease of use also provides the unseen benefit that it can be paired with another other provided, both as a way to crosscheck the information and to verify sources and compensation.


When looking to relocate, it is paramount that you use a compensation survey provider to help evaluate employment opportunities and quality of life. Physicians Thrive are experts in Contract Review and can help you dot every I and cross every T when it comes to your offer.

We know that the choice is never easy, especially when you are looking to use a service to help you make that decision. This is why Physicians Thrive has provided a free-to-download Compensation Report – which serves to answer all questions and summarizes the information above in a single report.

Comments (0)

About the Author