As a job hunter, one of the questions you’ll be faced with is, “what is your salary requirement or expectation?” Your salary range is made up of a minimum, average, and maximum salary based on what you have to offer your employees through skills and years of experience. Being upfront with this will save time and money on both sides during the potentially lengthy and investing interview process. Knowing your salary range is also helpful for knowing your worth when negotiating for the best possible deal. Take a look at this month’s job hunting tips for ways to determine your salary range.
Use Salary Calculators
One of the best ways to figure out your salary range is by using websites and calculators designed specifically to factor in your work experience compared to national, regional, and even local averages to give you an accurate salary range. Many of these websites will include current statistics of what people in the same or similar job titles are making in your area. This can be used as a benchmark to figure out approximately how much you should be making. Salary.com, Indeed.com, Payscale.com, and Glassdoor.com are all reliable sites to survey as you work on determining your salary range. Try your best to find the salary range for the experience level and the city area you are looking at. The difference in salaries between entry-level, 1-2 years, will differ from 10 years experience, as will salaries in large metropolitan areas versus suburban cities.
Ask Experienced Colleagues in the Field
If you know a more experienced professional in your field or desired field, consider picking their brain for insight into your job worth. Although money is a sensitive topic, many are willing to help gauge where you might fall on a pay scale according to what they have experienced in the field. Use this new information, not as a rule to what you should make but rather as another piece of research to help you formulate the most accurate range possible.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Another resource to use when researching salaries is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. This handy online resource contains information on every occupation group you may be interested in. Included are median salaries, necessary education, and projected job growth, among many other facts. Keep in mind, the salaries are a national average and may be higher or lower depending on what region you’re in. Using this handbook is a helpful tool when looking forward in your career in terms of projected job growth and suggested higher education to make yourself more marketable as a job candidate.
Base it on Your Budget
Lastly, one of the most important factors to consider when stating your salary range is the cost of living. The biggest mistake you could make is settling for a salary and then realizing that you won’t be able to pay all your bills each month. Since you know that your salary range is made up of a minimum, median, and maximum amount, be sure that the minimum amount you’re asking for will be enough for you to live on. That way if your potential employer can only offer your minimum salary at most you won’t have to worry about getting another job or finding other ways to make your money stretch.