Atrium Health Implements Market-Leading Minimum Wage Increase

01.12.2024 Atrium Health News

Health provider investing more than $328 million into its workforce

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 12, 2024 As the new year sets in, many Atrium Health teammates will be seeing a larger paycheck. Effective Jan. 14, the health system will increase base pay for the bulk of its workforce by a minimum of 3%, with its hourly minimum wage also increasing to a health care market-leading $17.50 per hour in both the Charlotte and Winston-Salem markets. The system’s current minimum is $16.50 per hour.

In total, Atrium Health’s parent organization, Charlotte-based Advocate Health, will be investing an additional $328.4 million into its teammates’ compensation beginning this month.

“Every day, our teammates deliver exceptional care for our patients and communities, so it is essential that we prioritize taking care of them too,” said Ken Haynes, president of the Southeast Region of Advocate Health. “That’s why we continually make these types of investments into our workforce, to make sure we are attracting and retaining the best talent. It’s because of our teammates that Atrium Health is the most trusted and preferred health care provider.”

The 3% across-the-board base pay increase amounts to an additional $117 million in salaries spread among more than 64,000 Atrium Health teammates across the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama.

The increased minimum wage will result in higher wages for 31,700 hourly workers in roles such as nursing aides, medical assistants, pharmacy techs and environmental services technicians. Atrium Health has steadily increased its minimum wage by a total of 140% since 2012, raising it each year. With this year’s increase to $17.50 per hour, Atrium Health’s North Carolina teammates earning the organization’s minimum will now be $10.50 per hour higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Atrium Health’s locations in rural Georgia and Alabama will see the minimum wage there increase from $14 per hour to $15 per hour.

In total, the increased minimum wage represents an added $45.5 million investment into Atrium Health’s hourly teammates, including compression adjustments designed to lift wages for those previously making just above their respective new market minimum. Also, recalibration of pay ranges for jobs within the organization is resulting in another $40.9 million in additional salary investments.

Atrium Health also is expected to provide more than $125 million in added funding as part of other compensation programs it offers its teammates.

“Together with our teammates, we have created an incredible workplace culture to care for patients and communities,” said Christie Peterson, chief human resources officer for Advocate Health’s Southeast Region. “Part of creating and sustaining a great culture is ensuring we are compensating our teammates not only for the great care they provide each and every day, but also in a market-competitive way. We value and appreciate our teammates for all they accomplish and believe this added investment helps demonstrates that value and our commitment to our workforce.”   

Advocate Health is among North Carolina’s largest employers, with more than 64,000 Atrium Health teammates and $5.6 billion in annual payroll, including the additional 10,500 teammates it employs in Georgia.

In recent months, Atrium Health has been recognized by Newsweek as a “Top 100 Most Loved Workplace,” by Forbes as a “Best Employer” in both North Carolina and Georgia, as a “Best Place to Work for Veterans” and a “Best Employers for Diversity,” as well as by Diversity MBA Magazine as a “Best Place to Work for Women and Diverse Managers.” Atrium Health was also named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare.”

As the health care industry continues to face a shortage of qualified clinical staff, Atrium Health is currently hiring, with a special emphasis on nurses. Whether an experienced nurse looking for a change or someone just entering the profession, Atrium Health and Advocate Health offer endless opportunities to start or enhance a career. Visit our careers website for a complete listing of available positions.