Cooperative Care
By Cooperative Care on August 09, 2023

Asking the right questions about caregiver pay

When you’re looking for a job as a caregiver, you expect the employer to be an expert in hiring and expect them to ask you lots of questions. In return, it's helpful for you to know the right questions to ask about caregiver pay so that you can make the best decision about where to work. 

Wisconsin's average wage for a caregiver is $15.40 per hour, based on skill levels, certifications, and other special skills. At Cooperative Care you can expect to be paid $16-16.50 per hour to start. After 90 days you would be able to earn more money by becoming a Member of the Cooperative. Cooperative Care also pays $2 more per hour for any weekend or overnight hours. Cooperative Care pays all holiday hours worked at time and a half. Overtime is also paid at time and half. (40+)


What are the questions you should be asking about caregiver pay?

First, ask about the hourly rate or salary for the position.

Get a clear understanding of the base pay offered for the caregiving role. Determine whether it is an hourly rate or a fixed salary.

Understand if there are different pay rates for weekdays, weekends, or overnight shifts.

Inquire about how your pay will change based on the day of the week or the shift timing. Some employers may offer different rates for weekends or overnight shifts, which may affect overall pay.

Ask about additional compensation or benefits that contribute to caregiver pay.

Ask about additional compensation elements such as overtime pay, holiday pay, or bonuses. Additionally, inquire about benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, or mileage reimbursement if applicable.

How does the company handle payroll and taxes?

Understand how payroll is processed and if taxes are deducted directly from wages. Clarify whether the employer will provide tax forms (e.g., W-2) at the end of the year for accurate tax reporting.

What are the opportunities for pay increases or performance-based incentives?

Determine if there are opportunities for pay raises based on performance, seniority, or completing additional training or certifications. Inquire about any incentive programs that might exist within the organization.

How often will you be paid?

Ask about the frequency of paychecks—whether it's weekly, bimonthly, or monthly—and the preferred method of payment, such as direct deposit or physical checks. Make sure you know when you can expect your first paycheck.

How will you pay be affected if the client cancels or changes the shifts?

It’s important to understand the policy regarding last-minute cancellations or changes to shifts and whether caregivers are compensated in such cases.

Ask if there are any union or collective bargaining agreements that affect pay rates.

Inquire whether there are any union or collective bargaining agreements that impact pay rates or if there are specific pay structures in place due to organized labor representation.

Are there any additional costs or expenses the caregiver is responsible for?

Learn about extra costs or expenses that caregivers are expected to cover, such as uniforms, transportation, or specific equipment.

Remember to document the details of the pay rate discussions, including any agreements or promises made, to ensure transparency and avoid misunderstandings. If possible, it's always beneficial to have a written employment contract that outlines the agreed-upon pay rates and other relevant terms and conditions.

How much job flexibility will you have to allow you to schedule your work around the needs of your family or other responsibilities?

Being able to schedule shifts to avoid additional childcare expenses or avoid lost time in traffic or higher commute costs can make your job more valuable. Fitting your work into your other life responsibilities can be an important part of understanding the value of a job.

Combine the total value of pay and other benefits to understand the total pay package. You can ask the employer if they have an estimate of the total value of the pay and benefits, they offer. If they can’t provide this then you can add the after-tax pay for a month, add an estimated number of overtime or more highly paid shifts, plus the cost of purchasing the benefits that are offered. This will give you a good idea of the total value of the pay that is being offered.

Published by Cooperative Care August 9, 2023
Cooperative Care