Completing paid surveys is probably one of the easiest methods of earning some extra cash on the side. And as we know, when you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, every little bit helps. In addition to the extra cash, surveys have enabled me to learn more about some of the newest radiology technology and products that I may not have learned about otherwise.
In the past, I have briefly addressed opportunities for completing paid surveys in my prior post called Alternative Careers And Supplemental Income For The Radiologist. But today, I thought I would go into some more detail about surveys since I regularly participate. So, let’s start by talking about the general rules for deciding when it makes sense to complete a survey, go through the different types of surveys, and then finally delve into some of the opportunities that are available out there based on my own experiences.
My General Rules For Deciding If A Survey Is Worth The Effort
You will find that surveys vary widely in the amount of time and effort for a given amount of cash. Unless you really enjoying completing surveys for free, survey companies should compensate you well for your knowledge and time. Remember, even medical students usually have more education than the folks giving out the surveys. And, education comes at a price. So, I would recommend to not allow the survey companies to take advantage of your goodwill.
In fact, let me give you my rule of thumb. A survey company should compensate you at a rate similar to or greater than what you would earn by moonlighting. What do I mean by that? If you are a resident and you can make 100 dollars per hours by working an extra shift, then you should work at a rate no less than 100 dollars per hour. That means if you work on a survey for 15 minutes, you should get paid no less than 0.25×100 dollars or 25 dollars for your time.
Also, make sure not fall for the sweepstakes entry reward for completing a survey. Usually, there is no guarantee you will win. And, you are essentially providing a free consultation. You are worth much more than that!
Finally, if you need to travel to complete the survey, make sure you calculate the amount it costs to get to the survey. Deduct that amount from the survey fees to come up with a final total to decide if the survey is worth your time. Or even better, have the survey company reimburse you for the travel expenses.
The One Exception To My Rules
But, of course, I have one exception to the rules. (Just like there always is!) If you have nothing else to do at the time, then I permit you to consider completing a survey for less. Why do I think that is a reasonable exception? Well, getting paid for doing something is always better than doing nothing, even if you are not getting paid what you are worth. Hell, you have lots of bills to pay for your medical school training!
What Are The Different Types Of Surveys?
Surveys opportunities vary widely. These include the standard online questionnaire, participation in a phone interview, a direct interview with a survey manager, and sitting on an expert panel. Out of the different varieties, I find the online questionnaire to be the least thought-provoking and energy draining. Other forms of surveys require more active participation. You need to be awake to answer the questions!
In addition, survey companies attend national conferences and offer opportunities for radiologists. Take advantage of these opportunities when they avail themselves. Often times, these opportunities can be the most lucrative.
Overall Best Survey Companies For Radiologists
Over the years, I have found that at any given time, the best survey companies change. Depending upon your specialty, the best radiology survey company may vary. Presently, the following companies still give me the most opportunity to complete paid radiology related surveys at the highest rates: GLG Group and M3 Research. In fact, I remain an affiliate of both of these companies since I complete these companies’ surveys regularly. Of course, other survey companies every once in a while ask for my opinions. On the whole, GLG Group and M3 Research still give me the most opportunities.
Although no magic bullet exists for getting rid of student debt, survey opportunities can give a significant boost to your bottom line. Try to avail yourselves of the opportunities when they arise. Who knows? You may even learn or thing or two!