Should I be paid more for doing two jobs?

by Staff - Original publish date: December 6, 2011

Q. Two weeks ago I took a part-time job as an x-ray technician. In the classified ad the employer listed two positions available: x-ray technician and medical assistant. When I applied for the x-ray job, I was asked whether I was able to perform the duties of the other job, if needed. I said yes, I could and would help out if needed. Now I seem to be doing both jobs and the company isn't trying to fill the other position. I don't mind doing the work, because it enhances my skills, but I don't want to be taken advantage of. Should I address the situation now or bide my time? If they do not hire another medical tech, am I entitled to greater compensation?

A. It is not unusual to be asked in an interview whether you have skills and abilities that go beyond the scope of the job for which you are interviewing. Nor is it unusual for people to be expected to perform two different jobs that require two different sets of skills and abilities - this is sometimes called a hybrid job. My question is, did the company actually hire you as an x-ray technician or as a medical assistant - and which position are they paying you for?

It's important because the job of x-ray technician typically is paid better than the job of medical assistant. If the company is paying you a competitive wage as an x-ray technician, you are far better off than if you were paid as a medical assistant.

Now, I can understand your frustration if you are having to work more hours to get the medical assistant work done. However, if you still get to work normal working hours and you get paid for performing as an x-ray technician even when you are performing the tasks of a medical assistant, consider yourself lucky.

You'll have a problem, on the other hand, if your company isn't competitive when it comes to your role as an x-ray technician but expects you also to perform the role of a medical assistant. So before you talk to your supervisor, go to the Salary Wizard and find how much your job is worth. If the company is not paying you anywhere between 25th and 50th percentile, get as much experience from the job as you can - and then look for another position.

Good luck.