It's Worth What You Can Sell It for: A Survey of Employment and Compensation Models for Clinical Ethicists.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

HEC forum : an interdisciplinary journal on hospitals' ethical and legal issues


This article reports results of a survey about employment and compensation models for clinical ethics consultants working in the United States and discusses the relevance of these results for the professionalization of clinical ethics. This project uses self-reported data from healthcare ethics consultants to estimate compensation across different employment models. The average full-time annualized salary of respondents with a clinical doctorate is $188,310.08 (SD=$88,556.67), $146,134.85 (SD=$55,485.63) for those with a non-clinical doctorate, and $113,625.00 (SD=$35,872.96) for those with a masters as their highest degree. Pay differences across degree level and type were statistically significant (F = 3.43; p < .05). In a multivariate model, there is an average increase of $2,707.84 for every additional year of experience, controlling for having a clinical doctorate (ß=0.454; p < .01). Our results also show high variability in the backgrounds and experiences of healthcare ethics consultants and a wide variety of employment models. The significant variation in employment and compensation models is likely to pose a challenge for the professionalization of healthcare ethics consultation.





PubMed ID