Compensation Survey Provider Review: Payscale

A Payscale salary survey can provide valuable information to help you to learn more about financial compensation available through various employers. As a trusted resource, Payscale provides information that may help you with more insight into what you could expect from working in a wide range of positions throughout this field as well as valuable information useful for evaluating your employment contract or negotiating your salary.

The 2022 Physician Thrive compensation report can provide even more information that you may find beneficial. We encourage you to learn more about what you can expect from compensation by taking a closer look at our free report.

In the meantime, consider more about Payscale and how a Payscale salary survey could help you to gain more insights.

What is Payscale?

Before you can dive into the Payscale salary survey, it helps to know a bit about the company. Payscale is a compensation software and data company. They work to provide employers with an opportunity to better understand how to pay employees while also working to help employees understand what their worth is within their sector of the job market.

Payscale was founded with the goal of helping people as well as businesses to have real-time information related to how people, including physicians, were paid in the job market for the services they offer. Initially, the company began as a crowdsourcing organization that gathered compensation data from employees. They would then create reports, including a Payscale salary survey they would provide to employees.

History of Payscale

Payscale was first launched in 2002 and was founded by Joe Giordano and John Gaffney. In 2014, Payscale was acquired by Warburg Pincus. In 2019, the company was valued at $325 million. The company first began producing data from crowdsourced information. Over time, they began offering crowdsourced and company sourced products that included a wide range of data for users.

The company’s software platform aided in managing employee compensation strategies and structure. It also could provide analytics from the data to help companies to prepare for and make wise decisions. Payscale earns revenue from subscriptions to their SaaS subscriptions. This software is used to help companies with market rates for hiring new employees, benchmarking, as well as budgeting goals. It also helps employees to better understand where they stand in the financial rankings within their profession.

Related Reading: Your Complete Guide to Physician Compensation

Where Does Payscale Get Its Data?

Payscale’s business model depends on accurate reporting of salary information. As a result, the company has a variety of ways they collect and verify data. The company says that they collect and report their own salary data. This data comes from comprehensive salary surveys that they collect. While those surveys include physician information, they also include many other industries. The data comes from a wide range of geographic areas as well.

The company’s data is considered clean and unbiased information. They do not blend data to create the PayScale salary survey results. More so, the data is always less than a year old, often less than 90 days old.

Their salary data collection comes from employees. This is done through online salary surveys that are administered to individuals. This process collects data that ranges from pay information to job profile data. Those who contribute this information receive fair market valuation reports that help compare that information to other people.

PayScale does not provide any financial compensation or other incentives to those who provide this data. This helps to encourage clear and accurate information.

What Surveys Are Available from Payscale?

Payscale completes a variety of surveys for many reasons. Some of those surveys include the following.

Peer Data is designed to help companies to make informed decisions about pay. This includes salary trend information that comes from leading companies and can be filtered by industry and location.

Employee reported data is a survey that provides salary data that comes from 65 million employees who submitted that information on their own. Survey publishers is a traditional salary dataset that comes from third-party consultancies.

Payscale compensation surveys are sourced fully from employers. More than 2,000 employers from a range of businesses submit this data, which is then provided through quarterly updates to those who participate. The company also offers an HR market analysis survey, which gives companies more insight into how they attract and retain talent. The Payscale data API dataset allows customers to create their own custom applications using salary data.

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Last Published Data

Payscale is constantly churning and with that comes numerous compensation reports and other surveys throughout the year. The Salary Survey, one of its more sought-after surveys, is produced once every quarter.

Other reports are provided on a less frequent basis though most are submitted at least one time per year. Because the company continuously has access to new data and information, the surveys provided are very accurate and typically available readily.

Data from the company’s compensation best practice survey, for example, informs the 2022 Compensation Best Practices Report. This survey was open from the end of November through December of 2021. In January, the company then analyzes that information and creates a cohesive dataset for users. The official report is then scheduled for release in February.

Sample Size

The sample size for data from Payscale is varied. This depends on the type of report and data. For example, the company’s crowdsourced data has over 55 million profiles created by people who work in a wide range of industries. There are over 250 compensable factors that are considered. More so, the company reports that over 150,000 new Payscale salary survey records are collected. This is just for its crowdsourced data.

For company-sourced data, the company has over 2,000 customers in various businesses that contribute data. The amount of data provided ranges widely. In addition to this, the company gains additional information from third party organizations.

Payscale Salary Survey

Customers of Payscale have access to three data offerings that are within the company’s compensation platform. There are three key areas of data, including crowdsourced data, company-sourced data, and traditional data.

Salary Survey – Types of Data

Crowdsourced data is the main component of the data collection the company does. Payscale founded the largest crowdsourced data set ever, with more than 55 million profiles and some 250 compensable factors to consider. Each month, they receive 150,000 new salary survey records that are added to their database. This allows the company to have one of the largest and most robust compensation datasets available today. It also helps to ensure that the data the company offers is the most up to date and thorough possible.

Company-sourced data is aggregated from participating company’s HRIS data. Customers provide this data to be able to be a part of a data sharing community. It also allows them to learn what their competitors for talent are paying in the market. Payscale has over 1000 customers that take advantage of this opportunity to contribute information so that they can receive more data.

The company-sourced data method allows employers to submit this valuable data without having to worry about participation. This type of data is released each quarter to provide accurate and up to date information about the job market.

The third method of data collection is done through a traditional survey process. The company has a number of trusted survey vendors they work with throughout the industry. This includes data sources such as Mercer, Aon-Hewitt, Willis Towers Watson, and Radford. Payscale customers have access to the survey data from these providers within their products.

Related Reading: How Female Physicians Can Counteract the Gender Wage Gap

Salary Survey – Methodology

Data collected by Payscale is its own data for the most part. The company is typically provided through voluntary self-reporting from employees. The data is clean and unbiased. They do not extrapolate results. They also do not apply any type of general cost-to-living adjustments to the salary data. The company’s data is also very new and fresh, most of which is 90 days old, and other components are no older than 365 days.

The company does validate all of the salary data points it receives. It does this through the help of trained professionals as well as through the use of technology. The data reported is only data that can be validated in some way using the company’s survey system as well as the compensation team. It also must fall within the company’s age requirements.

Salary Survey – How Could a Physician Participate?

It is possible for physicians to participate in the Payscale salary survey data collection. The crowdsourced data collected by the company is the largest amount of data obtained. This is done through self-reporting. Those who wish to receive access to the data are asked to submit their own information to the company. This is done through an online survey. The information is validated, but anyone can contribute.

The Compensation Best Practices Survey typically opens in November of each year. Individuals who wish to participate need to register on the company’s website. They can then submit information through the survey each year when it becomes available.

Those who wish to obtain additional information from a company standpoint need to register as a participating company.

Salary Survey – How to Access

To access the information provided by Payscale, there are several options. Some information is readily made available on the company’s website. However, to gain data surveys, individuals must contribute. The company relies on individuals to create their own account on the website. Then, they must participate in the actual surveys to receive information and survey data. Survey data is available to companies as well, as long as they participate.

Comparing Payscale to Other Providers

There are a wide range of organizations that provide pay and other compensation comparison surveys. Here is a look at how Payscale compares to some of them.


The company provides crowdsourced data. It has a very easy to use interface without a lot of ads. There are a number of questions to ask, and that information must be validated. Users must participate in the survey to obtain access to the report data.

Bureau of Labor and Statistics

The information from the BLS is highly accurate and reliable. It is also comprehensive, providing a great deal of insight on not just salaries but also job requirements and tasks, providing for a more comprehensive comparison. The BLS collects data from 200,000 establishments every six months to ensure accuracy in its reporting. combines much of its data with the BLS data. This helps to make it highly reliable. For those who wish to access this information, it is readily available and does not require providing a completed survey to gain access.

Read about more Compensation Info Providers:
Doximity  |  ZipRecruiter  |   Comparably  |  MGMA  |   Merritt Hawkins  |  Sullivan Cotter AMGA  |  Medscape

How Would a Physician Use Payscale?

The website is very interactive and easy to use. A physician can create an account with the company (there is no charge for doing so). Once you do this, you can fill out your own profile so you can complete surveys and contribute to the process.

Then, you can use the search features and tools on the site to pair down the information available. This allows for you to gather data on very specific careers within various geographic areas. You can look at various factors, including base salary, bonuses, and total pay, as well as information on very specific areas. It includes job details and skills as well. Factors such as location, years of experience, skills, and education help to determine market worth.

Gathering This Information Is Valuable

For many physicians, it is a good idea to use compensation providers like this to help evaluate an employment opportunity. This can provide ample insight into how your job compares. Physicians Thrive are experts in Contract Review and can help you with all aspects of their contract.

We also believe that physicians need to gather as much information as they can to make wise decisions about their financial health. We encourage you to learn more about life insurance, which you can do when you fill out our form for more information. Get our complete guide to life insurance now to start on that process. We also offer information on disability insurance, the best way to protect yourself and your salary.

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