Tools for Determining Salary Benchmarks
The first step in salary negotiations is figuring out what the job is worth in the broader job market. Your benchmarked figure will fit into a range that you determine by researching and comparing a variety of sources including:
- YSE Employment and Salary Data
- FederalPay: Check pay information for employees of the federal government.
- Indeed Salary Insights: Indeed clearly posts the average salary for a position in its headline.
- SalaryExpert.com: Another resource for employers and job seekers to find compensation data to help in their job or candidate search.
- PayScale Salary Reports: Interface with salary information that allows you to input education and job skills.
- The National Association of Colleges and Employers offers the most accurate compensation data available. Click here to access the NACE Salary Calculator Center
- Job Search Intelligence
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Tons of wage, salary and benefits data by region and sector; information on trends and occupational outlooks.
- cbsalary.com: A free salary calculator from Career Builder.
- opm.gov: typically grades 9-11 for Masters degree, depending on previous experience, calculates by location. Even if you are not looking at US Government work, these figures are a good starting point and will give a good idea of averages across sectors by location.
- The Riley Guide
- Ask friends and recent alums
Once you have determined a figure or a range, be prepared to discuss your method of determining the range during your negotiation, i.e. “According to my research, a typical starting salary for an associate level Environmental Consultant for a medium sized firm working on government contracts in the NYC area is $x.”