Whether you are negotiating your salary within in your current position or during the job search; it’s essential to determine your worth.  Being prepared for the conversation will be beneficial for you and your employer.  The first step to calculating your salary is to determine what your experience, knowledge and skill set is worth in the current job market.  As much as we want to graduate college and enter the working world making $80,000- it is probably not realistic.  The same goes for being in our position for 3 months and then asking for a huge raise.  Understanding how your experience and education match up will enhance the negotiation process and get you paid what you’re worth.


Job Analysis email course


These 7 tools are a great place to identify your worth and calculate your salary :


Ask industry mentors for their opinion on what someone with your experience in a specific industry could be making.  This does not have to be a specific number but more of a range as companies may vary in their compensation packages.  But asking people you know and trust and who know and your worth is a great place to start the process.

Know Your Worth (Glassdoor.com)

Glassdoor is one of the biggest free sites to find salary information and it is provided by the users themselves.   They keep up with market and industry trends and information varies weekly.  The site allows you to put in everything from location to industry to experience and then pulls a salary report. 


This free and robust resource gives you a salary report based on your skills, knowledge, and experience after you answer a few survey questions.   It even takes into consideration things outside of your actual salary.  If you are currently interviewing they even have the function to evaluate an offer or compare your current job. Payscale takes it even further and allows you to do comparisons with other companies, location and educational background.


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This newer tool is geared for more technology and start up positions.  By registering for free, they give you a fair pay report and equity calculator.  They also match you up with jobs based on experience and compensation and have the ability to rate your employer anonymously.

LinkedIn Salary

This tool is structured a little different from the others as it shows what your current salary could be as well as your future salary.  It even gives you even more detailed information like bonuses and stock options and allows you to see top paying positions based on field of study, education, company size and industry.

Job Postings

Look at current job postings for similar positions in comparable areas and companies to see what the salary range is for that role.  This can be a little tricky since positions may have wide ranges but it will give you an idea if you are in the ballpark.  Make sure you are looking through the requirements for the role and be realistic about where you are in the job qualifications.

Salary Tool (Salary.com)

This resource has both free and paid options depending on what level of information you’re looking for.  For free you can compare compensation, experience, education, industry, alternate job titles, and job descriptions. But if you want a personalized report, you will have to pay.





Alissa Carpenter

Alissa Carpenter

Professional Trainer, Speaker and Career Coach at Everything's Not OK and That's OK
Alissa Carpenter offers professional development and career exploration to companies, alumni groups, student advising units, and individuals across the country. She works to enhance team communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills with an upbeat personality and true passion for working with others to set and achieve goals.Alissa has an MEd in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education, is a Gallup-Certified Clifton Strengths Coach and is certified in the Strong Interest inventory.
Alissa Carpenter