Ultimate Guide to Negotiating Your Salary

Negotiation skills can come in handy throughout your life, but they may never be more important than when you are discussing how much you’ll be compensated for your work. Whether you’re just starting out in an entry-level position, are changing careers, or simply want to get paid more for what you already do, you’ll find some incredibly valuable resources here. Read on for articles, guides, tools, and calculators that are all designed to help you become your own best advocate and successfully negotiate to increase your pay.

Salary Calculators and Wage Data

Before you even think of asking for more money, you should do some research on the typical salary range for your position and field. Keep in mind that geography also plays a key role in determining what people are getting paid. You wouldn’t accept the same amount for a position in a very expensive big city like Los Angeles or New York as you would for a similar job in a rural Midwestern town. Also, your position may be more highly valued in certain regions due to factors besides cost of living. It’s important to understand who’s making how much by checking out reliable sources of information, like those listed in this section. Armed with the latest facts and figures, you’ll be in a much better position to bargain.

Salary Calculator — Try this easy-to-use tool from Educate To Career (ETC). Provide your information and get intelligent data reflecting the salary range you can expect given your level of experience, education, and other relevant factors.

PayScale — Find out what you’re worth by entering information about your experience, education, location, and more.

Salary Calculator by Location — This salary calculating tool focuses primarily on geographical factors. Cost of living and salary can vary wildly in different areas across the country. Find out what you’d be worth in a different city or state.

Salary List — Look here to find statistical data about wages around the United States. Search by industry, position, company, or location.

Expert Salary Negotiation Advice

You can have the most positive attitude in the world. You can do all the relevant research. But if you don’t know how to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls in the negotiation process, you’ll likely come away disappointed. Use the expert advice in the following articles to give you the insider information you need to know in order to successfully represent yourself at the negotiation table. From FAQs to “what not to do,” there’s a wealth of need-to-know information in the pages that follow.

10 Salary Negotiation Tips — Read through this tip list before you sit down with anyone to negotiate your pay. Find out the most common mistakes, myths, and pitfalls — and how to avoid them.

Salary Negotiation Tips from Career Experts — This Mashable article harvests wisdom from experts on when, how, and why you should ask for a raise.

9 Tips to Negotiate Your Starting Salary — Use these simple but effective tips to help you talk to hiring managers about getting paid more for an entry-level or starting position. Read these before you start going to interviews.

37 Tips You Need to Know — This excellent Muse article lists several valuable negotiation tips. Knowing how to ask for more money is just the start. You also need to know when to ask, and how far you can push things before they backfire.

More Helpful Information for Negotiators

If you still aren’t entirely sure what your desired salary range is based on your field, your position, and your location, don’t worry. The information provided in this section will help you continue your research into the world of salary and wages. When you demonstrate an understanding of the current job market, you’ll show that you didn’t just decide to ask for a raise on a whim and that you’ve done your homework on the matter.

Career InfoNet — This page provides lots of links to help you do your research before you ask for that raise or suggest a higher starting salary to your new employer. Find out stats about various industries, occupations, and state-by-state hiring and salary climates.

ERI Salary Assessment Tools — Try these tools provided by the Economic Research Institute to find out compensation information on thousands of positions within over 1,000 industries and over 8,000 geographic locations.

BLS Pay Statistics — This page is part of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. On it, you’ll find links to all kinds of reports and articles about labor and wages across the country.

How to Write a Proposal for Salary Increase — This simple eHow article will take you through the process of putting your pay raise proposal in writing. From introduction to closing, learn what to include and what to avoid.

More Tips and Techniques for Negotiators

Keep reading for more excellent tips, tricks, hints, and insider information to help you get a leg up on the competition. Take a quiz to see if you know your stuff when it comes to talking money with your employer and see if you know the answers to the most commonly asked salary negotiation questions. Also, learn time-tested techniques that turn the tables and give you the power position when it comes to bargaining for higher pay.

The Smith-Wenkle Technique — This method, while first developed in the 1980s, has plenty of great strategies that can be employed in today’s job market. It was created by a headhunter in order to help give job-seekers more of an advantage at the negotiation table.

Salary Negotiation Quiz —  Take this short quiz to see if your salary negotiation skills are up to par before you sit down to talk numbers with anyone. The quiz’s author also wrote a book on salary negotiation, but you don’t have to buy it to take the test.

Salary Negotiation Skills — This unassuming website houses some great information on how to negotiate salary with savvy and smarts. Click through the linked headings to read the different sections.

FAQs for Job-Seekers — Click on any of the 20 most frequently asked questions about job-seeking and salary negotiation for thorough expert-sourced answers.

Negotiation Articles from Salary.com — Check out this collection of articles full of expert advice on how to negotiate with your employer when it comes to money matters. Topics covered include how to leverage your unique skills and how to negotiate cost-of-living adjustments.