What Salary Should I Ask For?

When you are preparing for an interview, you may want to know what salary you should ask for. Numerous factors, including location and the average salaries for the industry, will help determine the salary range you can ask for. Read this article to learn how to decide the salary you should ask for.

How can I determine what salary I should ask for?

Follow these steps to learn what salary you should ask for:

1. First, do some research on the position you are applying for

You may find it helpful to search job postings to find salary information as it relates to the role and responsibilities. You can also ask people from other companies about salary ranges for similar positions. You could ask if a certain salary is too high or too low for a particular job. 

2. Second, find out the average salaries for similar roles in your area

Since salaries for similar roles can vary by location, you can do some research to determine a range for your area. You may be able to find basic information in job listings but you can also ask people who work in your field. For example, try to ask people in your chosen industry about an appropriate salary for someone with your education and experience, and consider doing informational interviews with local businesses.

3. Next, consider your experience

As you conduct your research, you can consider your level of experience and expertise. Make sure to factor in your education, as well as any skills and certifications you may have. In some roles, your experience and skills can allow you to request a higher salary.

4. Last, be prepared to negotiate for a fair salary

Employers know what their pay scale is, but in many cases, you can still negotiate the salary. Go into the negotiation with your own goal salary range and enough information to support it.

How to ask for the right salary for you

When you talk about this topic during an interview, you will want to be prepared with research, such as pay information from a salary calculator or by doing your own competitive research. In order to negotiate a higher salary, you will need to use the information about the role requirements and ask the interviewer more detail about the kind of person the company is looking for.

Follow these steps to ask for the right salary for you:

1. First, request to save salary discussions for the end of your negotiation

Try to delay the negotiation until near the end of the interview. While talking about money could theoretically save you time (if the amount is far too low), it may be helpful to get as close to a job offer as possible. Waiting until the hiring manager has indicated that they want your services will allow you to ask how much those services are worth.

Example: If the interviewer asks about your salary requirements before you’re ready, you could say ‘Before we talk about the salary and benefits package, I would like to know more details about the position. What type of roles would I have as your communications director?’

2. Second, give a range instead of an exact number

Since the employer has a price range, so should you. It should have a floor that you are comfortable with but a ceiling that is more than your ideal amount.

Example: ‘Based on my research, the average salary for this position is $35,000 a year. Now, given my 15 years of experience in this industry and my credentials, I believe my salary should be higher than the average. Therefore, I would like to have a salary within the $35,000-$45,000 range.’

3. Third, consider different forms of compensation

There is most likely a limit to how much the employer is able to pay you, but a salary is not the only form of compensation you can receive. Remember to ask about company benefits, which include vacation days, health insurance and any moving costs if it is necessary to relocate. You might be able to negotiate for extra benefits to make up for a lower salary than you wanted.

Example: ‘What is included in the salary and benefits package?’ or ‘Are there any other benefits that you think I should be aware of?’ 

4. Fourth, request the information in writing

If you accept the job, you can request an employment contract. That contract should include your salary, your benefits package, your start date and everything else you negotiated during your final interview. This way, you have a document, and you can make sure your pay and benefits are correct.

You can do your own research to determine what a fair salary is for you. Talk to your co-workers and workers from other businesses to understand an appropriate range. During salary negotiations, understand where an employer’s price range is, weigh that against your own and offer a top price that is just above your ideal salary. Additionally, you can ask about the company’s benefits package and request the information in writing.