Salary Research and Negotiations

Job Search Intelligence

Created by the US Department of Labor, this site is designed to provide "the most accurate compensation and employment guidance available."

PayScale Salary Calculator
As with the cost of living, salaries vary by geography. Use this form to find the median salary for a given job in a given location.

ERI's Student Cost-of-Living and Salary Calculators
This website offers a free salary potential calculator and a cost-of-living calculator for over 7,200 US locations.
My Apartment Map let's you see rental rates for the area you choose

Compare Your Job Offers
Don't base your decision on salary alone! Rate each aspect of each organization's offer in terms of how closely it matches your expectations.

When Negotiating an Offer Makes Sense

People often ask whether they should automatically negotiate a starting salary once a job offer is received.

For an entry-level job, the answer in most cases is 'No.'  For example, most private sector employers hiring college graduates have established the market value of their entry-level jobs via national benchmarking, and their flexibility on salary or other benefit issues is extremely limited.

On the other hand, if an employer is creating a position based on your specific skill set - where little or no salary information exists - there may be considerable room for negotiation.

Once an employer extends a job offer to you, it's important to study its complete contents - the salary, benefits, training (which in some cases requires you to pay back all or a portion of the cost if you leave the employer within a specified period of time), and other stated perks. Most organizations will send this information to you in writing. If after reading through your offer package you feel that there may be room for negotiation, make an appointment to see a member of the Career Center's counseling staff to discuss further.

As with all other aspects of a job search, do your homework first before opening a negotiating discussion.

Salary negotiation videos:
Salary Negotiation Tutorial

This free tutorial will take you through the major steps and decisions you will be faced with in the salary negotiation process -- the art and strategy.