Does Private Practice Really Pay the Bills?

I have been asked, “can you really make a living in private practice?”   I have been told (and still hear this occasionally), “You make your living teaching, not with your practice.  If you made enough money with your business, you wouldn’t keep teaching.”  Hmmm….

Well, I understand that many people much prefer the idea of getting a regular paycheck, that your employer gives you, on a regular basis.  And, I do admit that I teach a couple of classes in the fall and spring semesters.  I rarely teach in the summer.  So let’s look at the math:

I teach 2 classes at $2,275 each for 16 weeks.  If you do the math, that equates to $284 per week or $142 per each class.  Now I only get paid for the time I am actually in the classroom teaching.  I don’t get paid for preparing for class, grading, traveling (1 hour each day, Monday through Friday), nor do I get any travel reimbursement.  So, by the time you back out all the time I spend and the gas I pay for to go to and from class, I make about $17 per hour for 5 hours per week.  And no, that’s not enough to live on!  I teach because I love to teach and I love to interact with the next generation coming up.

I make my living by seeing clients and billing my time.  It’s the same in this business as in any business.  I love being a therapist and I will continue to work in this field as long as I am able to do so because it’s fun!

We can all use some extra money at times and, as is true with ANY business, you are going to have months you do very well and months that are a bit leaner.  The key is learning how to plan for and balance those factors out.

I remind people that not only can I make a living in private practice, I DO make a living in private practice!  If you are considering making this move, be prepared for challenges and people who are skeptical, but if you work those things in to your plan, you will be ok!

Namaste!  See you next time!

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