How Does Your Salary Compare?

Michele Warg
Posted by

When entering salary negotiations or preparing for an annual evaluation, it's in your best interest to know your worth and investigate comparable salaries. Businesses often undergo planning based on salary guides, and when applicants and existing employees are knowledgeable about salary trends, it can increase your chances of boosting your pay.

Evaluate the Package

Salary negotiations depend heavily on the package businesses are willing to provide. Instead of focusing solely on a specific number, weigh the perks of the job, such as bonuses, remote work options, retirement plan, stock options and vacation time. While your salary may be slightly less than an administrative assistant or clerical associate at a neighboring firm, your firm may offer more perks that benefit you financially, professionally and personally over time.

Compare Industry Salaries

Do your research before engaging in salary negotiations during your annual review or when offered a new position. Know the trends within your geographic area and within the industry. For example, the Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide reports that employees in professional roles experienced salary growth with a composite rate of 3.68 percent from 2014 to 2017. If your firm doesn't offer comparable salaries that represent this growth, it may be time to bring the increases to the hiring manager or supervisor's attention.

Investigate your specific industry, too, when comparing salaries. For example, the Robert Half Salary Guide predicts that a growth of 2.1 percent in 2017 is likely to occur for professionals in financial services, administration, technology and accounting. Individuals working within administrative roles may have the upper hand when engaging in upcoming salary negotiations, according to the Salary Guide. In 2017, specialists within telesales and telemarketing could see a salary increase of up to 3.2 percent, whereas customer service manager salaries may grow by 2.6 percent. Professional-level employees, such as human resource directors, are also in a financially secure position, with approximately 46 percent of this workforce expected to see an increase in salaries, according to Robert Half.

Know Your Worth

For best results, enter salary negotiations with a positive and confident attitude. Forbes recommends starting with your highest salary expectations to ultimately reach your desired pay when vying for a new position or a promotion. Potential or existing employees should show that they have the skills and experience to succeed within a position and clearly identify how they can impact the company's overall production and profitability.

Utilize national and regional salary guides to determine whether your current salary is in line with your professional role and what it entails. Employees entering salary negotiations should approach the topic with confidence, armed with research to prove their worth, their ability to positively impact the company and their willingness to learn.

Photo Courtesy of twobee at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch