Health care employees can expect an average salary increase of 2.6 percent in 2011, according to a survey from the Hay Group. That’s up from salary increases of 2.3 percent reported in 2010 and slightly below increases of 2.8 percent reported across all industries for 2011.

Eighteen percent of respondents from all industries reported that they will maintain a salary freeze at all levels in 2011 to reduce compensation costs, while only 4 percent of health care respondents reported an across-the-board salary freeze.

Fewer health care executives will see their salaries frozen this year, with 8 percent of organizations reporting a freeze of executive pay compared with 20 percent of organizations in 2010. The survey also shows parity in planned increases for health care employees in 2011 with executives and all employee groups seeing the same increase.

Salary increases for physicians are still lagging slightly at 2.3 percent, while nursing will see a 2.7 percent salary increase in 2011. High performers will see less than 1 percent more than all employees with 2.8 percent planned base salary increases for 2011.

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