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7 of the best salary information sites for negotiation

Why negotiate your salary? For one thing, negotiation works. Showing the skills and value you bring

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Why negotiate your salary? For one thing, negotiation works. Showing the skills and value you bring to the table and knowing what you are worth can result in more money. Whether you are considering a job offer or getting a raise, negotiation is key.

But first, it’s good to know what you’re worth.

Salary research can give you a better idea of ​​just the right number to advance, and what increases you can expect as you progress in your career. The best salary research sites will help you do your homework in any field. (And most are free to use!)

Best Salary Information Websites

Salary.com

The most popular salary-specific workplace, Salary.com list each position in a field with free salary information. Their data collection includes cost-of-living calculators, comparison tools and benefit lists, as well as negotiation tips.

Salary.com also serves as a career website and provides mailing lists and advice for those on the lookout. In general, it is probably the best website for salary information.

Glass door

Glass door is known for its extensive company reviews and employee feedback. A salary search provides data for specific jobs at specific companies, rather than a general estimate.

Employees share information on salaries, benefits, maintenance questions and more – a great insider resource when starting a new company.

PayScale

A good resource for new degree students, PayScale provides a free salary report based on experience, education and other factors. Students should check the “College Salary Report” for the low point of what several majors can expect to earn (and some negotiation tips). The career research section contains a career goal tracker with salary data for the jobs you want.

Indeed

The well-known workplace aggregator has a salary search tool. Indeed let you use keywords to search, in addition to job titles. Since Indeed users have access to over 50 million job postings from unique sources, there is a ton of salary data here.

Salary list

All the data on Salary list come from official reporting by companies or the U.S. Department of Labor so you know you are getting accurate information. The site provides salary data records for existing jobs by title, company and state.

Salary expert

With data updated daily, Salary expert offers not only free salary reports but also cost of living analysis and career salary potential. You can also look for jobs by salary, which can be a great tool if you are thinking of changing fields.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The most recent “Career Prospects Handbook” from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (available online or in print) provides salary data for thousands of jobs, searchable by field.

It is also a good idea to research any websites specific to your field or career for salary data. These sites may have more information on industry standards, especially if your field is a rarer one.

What should you consider?

Sites will often allow you to search based on job title, training, level of experience and location. But how does each factor affect the compensation you have to ask for?

Job title

Titles reflect responsibility and experience. While some companies will give you some space to name your job, others will not be as flexible. Make sure you are clear about the responsibilities of the title being offered (or the title you want.)

Career field

Depending on the profit ratio of your industry, the same title may come with a different salary. Sales representatives can work in various fields, for example. But sales representatives in high-demand fields, such as pharmaceuticals, may charge more than those in other industries.

Location

If you live in a place where housing, transportation, food and other necessities cost more than the national average – such as a big city, a coastal city or a tourist destination – you should earn more.

A cost-of-living analysis (COLA) comparison, offered on many of the sites above, lets you know what to expect in your area.

Experience

Work experience in your field can increase your value and your salary. Internships can count in your favor, depending on your responsibilities there.

Read more: 7 reasons to consider an apprenticeship before going to college

Education

Having a degree, period – an associate, a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree – should boost your salary expectations. Having a degree in your field is even better.

Where you went to college can sometimes make a difference. PayScale has a “College ROI Report” (ROI stands for return on investment) that analyzes how degrees from different colleges can affect your salary.

If you have not been to the Ivy League or a “top” school, do not count yourself out! Education is one of many factors that employers consider when determining compensation, and the more experience you gain, the less it usually matters.

Read more: Going to university or going to work: which one makes financial sense to you?

Special skills

Whether it’s a software program, some kind of design or a foreign language, special skills can be profitable in the job market. Try doing a keyword search for a unique skill, and see which employers are willing to pay more for it.

The key is supply and demand. Workers in more in-demand fields, such as nursing or computer science, tend to have more bargaining power.

But, as you can see, there are many factors that determine the “right” remuneration for your work. And there are variables that you can not control. Racial and gender pay gaps, for example, still persist. Industries that are deteriorating, or going through a temporary financial downturn, may not have that much money to offer.

Tips for a successful salary negotiation

Keep a series in mind, rather than a number. This gives you and the company more flexibility, and you’ll probably end up in the middle to higher end of the range.

Know the lowest salary number you can live with. It is better to have a floor than a ceiling.

Request benefits such as employer-paid health insurance, retirement contributions and performance-based bonuses – if your company is less willing to negotiate a salary. Benefits can ultimately save you more in the long run.

Summary

It’s normal to feel like talking about money – especially with your boss. Throw in the possibility of confrontation and strife, and negotiating for a salary increase can be quite nerve-wracking.

But being prepared – knowing what to expect and what others are doing in your position – can help calm your nerves.

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