Have you ever wondered if you’re getting paid enough at work? Are you working tirelessly for a wage that’s far lower than it should be? And how can you know? Years ago, this might have been difficult. You’d have to network, ask probing questions, and consult with many people to get an understanding of the average wages out there that relate to your field and what you do. Today, the process becomes much more simple.
Are You Getting Paid Enough at Work?
If you’re curious if you’re getting paid enough at work, take these steps to zero in on your rightful wages.
1) Search Your Company Wage Averages per Title
Thanks to glassdoor.com, you can pretty much see the average wage of any position at any company. Here’s how they do it. You enter the site, looking for a particular job description and the typical wage. They might let you see some, but quickly blur out the results saying that you first need to become a free member to see the free results. Here, you enter your name, occupation, and your average wage, hit enter, and can then see all the results you were looking for.
This is exactly how glassdoor.com keeps their wages and job descriptions updated – by nosey people just like you! 😉 The beauty is, your personal name is kept off the salary entry and you get to see real wages entered in by real people for the jobs you’re interested in.
Example: Google Software Engineer
Let’s say that you’re a software engineer and work for Google. If you want to see how your earnings rank against your peers, simply search first by the company you work for.
…And then find your job title (ex. Software Engineer). Remember, you might need to create a login to get this far. In my opinion it’s totally worth it considering the mass amounts of salaries and positions that glassdoor.com has available.
Based on the results shown above, the average salary of a software engineer at Google is $127,086 per year. The maximum payout for this title is $226,000.
After your search of your company name and your title, what’s your take? Are you getting paid enough at work?
2) Search for Similar Jobs in Your Area
In addition to simply searching your company and your title, I would search other related companies in your area as well. After all, your company might be paying you well compared to your peers, but could be grossly underpaying you compared to a company just one block away!
Let’s keep role playing with the Google job. If you live near Mountain View, CA, simply search “Jobs”, enter in your title, and your location. Available jobs will show immediately and most of them will have salary information for what they’re willing to pay someone with your skill set.
If you know of similar companies in the area, you can search for that specific company name with your job title (just like you did with your own company search).
If you’re still not sure if you’re getting paid enough at work, take the additional steps below.
As a back-up to the data you found on glassdoor.com, search salary.com as well. The sites essentially provide the same information, but might vary slightly with the result that’s presented. Just like with any research, it’s always best to increase your sample size to get the most accurate data.
According to salary.com, the average software engineer earns $113,128 in Mountain View, CA, which is a little less than the reported salary of $127k by glassdoor.com for Google.
Between the two results, if you’re earning $120,000 as a software engineer in the Mountain View area, then you’re getting paid at about the average. If, however, you’re only getting paid $90,000, then you’re probably not getting paid enough at work and might want to have a friendly conversation with your boss.
4) Think About the Value You Add
If, through these first three steps, your salary is comparatively average or below average, you might also want to think about the value that you provide your company. For instance, if your work as a software engineer earns the company $800,000 in profits each year, but they’re only paying you $100,000, you might want to start thinking about talking to your boss for a raise.
Obviously, you’re not going to get paid $800k, but your direct involvement in the future profits of the company would certainly move your employer to consider a $10,000 or $20,000 raise.
Don’t just take your salary and compare it to the average. Think about the benefit you provide for the company, and then add or subtract accordingly.
5) Add/Subtract for Experience
Along the same lines, think about the experience that you bring to the team. Have you been working within your field for 10 or more years? Then you probably know more about your department, your company, and the industry when compared to your peers.
Also, factor in your education. Do you have a bachelor’s degree? Maybe a master’s degree? Or, maybe you have specific certification that results in you performing more efficiently on the job. Whatever the case, if it improves your abilities, then it should be reflected in your salary.
Bonus: Consider Your Financial Status at Home
About a year ago now, I was approached to apply for a new role at work. Some would have been afraid to apply or to ask for more money because they simply want to make sure they can keep paying the bills at home.
For me, I was financially stable. I was completely out of debt (including the house) and I had plenty of money in the bank. If they wanted me as badly as I thought they did, I figured that they’d be willing to pay for it. For this reason, I asked for a 15% raise. And you know what? They gave it to me.
It all started because I was confident in my financial status at home. If I lost my job, no biggie, I could have lived for two years without a salary. Certainly I would have been able to find a solid job during that time.
If you want a big raise at work, start with a smart plan with your money at home. Financial security can do great things for your performance and your confidence at work.
So what do you think? Are you getting paid enough at work?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.