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​How to ask for a pay increaseIn everyday life we negotiate without even realising it – for example, with family, friends and colleagues.Firstly know your...

How to ask for a pay increase

In everyday life we negotiate without even realising it – for example, with family, friends and colleagues.

Firstly know your worth and decide on the lowest figure of what you would accept as an hourly rate. Do your research and find out what your peers are receiving which corresponds to the level of knowledge and experience you have, and the position advertised. Make sure you’re also taking into consideration the demographics of where the practice is located.

Prepare an agenda of the points to be discussed and send this to your employer in advance – this can also apply if you have been offered a new position and would like to negotiate points that were not discussed during interview stage.

The second thing to consider is what you offer to the business that exceeds your job description or makes you valuable within the company. Make a list of your key achievements over the past year or so. Do you go the extra mile for your patients? Do you always work the extra shifts? Do you ask your employer what more you can do? Do you have additional qualifications that can be used within your job role.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to remain confident and professional. If your employer thinks that you are not ready for a pay rise, do not threaten to hand in your notice or use emotional blackmail.

There are many courses available to dental nurses which lead to qualifications that are recognised and valued in most dental practices across the country. Adding additional duties and extending your scope of practice is a great incentive for employers to increase your pay. If you haven't been able to successfully negotiate the pay rise you wanted, you may decide that you feel undervalued by your employer – but remember that you can always ask your employer how you can improve. You can then book a review in three to six months’ time and try again.

The meeting

Firstly, remember to keep calm and be clear when communicating. We recommend you take along your meeting notes as well as the research and information about your qualifications – this shows your employer that you are professional and dedicated. Being able to share your research, qualities and value to the business is important in supporting your negotiation.


When negotiating, you need to establish how any changes will have a positive impact on the business as well as you. For example, “Training as a treatment coordinator will enable your business to grow. Having researched the course providers, I have found one that meets my needs, and you will also see a return on your investment in how the implementation of a trained treatment coordinator will not only free up your valuable chair time, but also increase productivity and enhance patients’ experience, as well as enabling me to support you with the non-clinical paperwork.”

At the end of the meeting, establish conformation of what was agreed and follow up with an email including timelines for implementation if this a salary/package review. Make sure you get it in writing!