You need to find salary information and you need that before you apply to a job so here are some of the best ways to find out what the salary ranges are for jobs you are interested in.
In 2021, we are starting to see a little bit more transparency when it comes to salary information in job postings. In otherwords, some companies are posting salaries.
Some states have even made it against the law to ask how much you made in your previous job. (Good news!)
But I still remember when you would see the salary listed in the job posting in the newspaper ad. Employers then decided they would be better off by not sharing their salary range publicly.
Sadly, when this information is hidden, it leaves the job seeker wondering: is this job really the level I am looking for, should I even bother applying and what is the going rate for this type of work in the market.
Here are 3 ways to find salary information. It is best to use them all and take an average or at least compare.
1. Research Online (salary calculators):
Using the following salary calculators is quick and a good starting point. But too often, this is the only thing people do. These sites are good, but some say the salary ranges seem inflated and some employers don’t consider them accurate. Nonetheless, it is data and it’s better than nothing.
Your state’s Department of Labor website
Another resource with nice narrative about the occupation responsibilities and requirements is published in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (managed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). This has salary info at the bottom of each occupation.
2. Talk to Recruiters
Recruiters and employment agencies place people in temporary, contract and/or permanent jobs. See what recruiters really do. They have an idea of what the going rate is (and it certainly can vary by company). Pick their brains/ask for their advice on the going rates around town.
3. Ask People Doing the Job
No, I don’t really mean asking a total stranger “How much do you make?” Not only is that rude, it usually will not get you anywhere or anything.
What I suggest you do is to reach out to people you know and who are in your profession or industry and ask this question:
“what are you seeing the going rate is for my kind of work today?”
More often than not, you will get some sort of answer.
Get This Info Early
You will be asked to complete online applications that ask for your salary requirements.
You will be asked in phone interviews for your salary requirements. The sooner you know what the appropriate salary range is the better. You don’t want to price yourself out of the market or undervalue your talent. This is tricky.
The Value of Your Skills is Determined by…
The basic principle of supply and demand means that when there is a greater supply, it will drive prices down.
This is something you should be aware of. Just because you made $190 billion in your last job, doesn’t mean that is what you are worth. Consider these questions:
- How many other people can do what you do?
- Are they also looking for work?
- How many openings for the exact job you are interested in do you see listed online?
In the world of economics, supply and demand matter.
The bottom line
It’s up to you to use the best ways to find salary information and know what your value is in today’s workplace.
At the end of the day, you are only worth what your future employer is willing to pay. And the job may require less or more than what you did in your past job. No two jobs are exactly the same, even if the job titles are.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.