Do You Make What You’re Worth? 5 Steps to Calculate Your Salary

A rising economy, more jobs, fewer taxes… while some of what the current presidential administration says might be true, the bottom line is you should make what you’re worth no matter what. Are you? Is there a way you can tell? If you believe you aren’t, conduct research before you storm into your boss’ office and demand a raise. You’ll have more success with facts to back up your position.

1. Review Labor Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzes the current job market and predicts the future one. It has thousands of jobs in its database, and it provides detailed information about each one. Head over to its website and type your job title into its search engine. Then, review the information about your job in full. You will see everything from educational requirements to salary statistics throughout the land. This helps you determine if your pay fits in with others in the same position in your area.

2. Assess Your Education Level

Do you have the education level required for your job? If not, this could be one reason why you aren’t making what you should – if you discover you aren’t making what you should, that is. Education is a key component in career success these days, and the more education you have, the more money you make. Look at the required education for your position and then head back to school if you don’t have it. Also, consider a postgraduate degree if that would help you in your plight to earn more dough.

3. Assess Your Experience Level

Education isn’t the only thing, however. Experience counts, too, and in some jobs, experience surpasses education in terms of importance. What do you do and how does your experience improve your marketability? This is the million-dollar question. If you have work in a vocation where experience counts, such as information technology, your salary should reflect gains in your working knowledge. You started out at a help desk but you learned and now work in networking. Boom. Instant raise.

4. Take Into Account Your Tenure

Speaking of experience, how long have you been at your job. With an emphasis on fair pay hitting the job market at an all time high, many businesses are adopting policies that take this into account more than other things. For example, most local, state, and federal jobs have salary tiers that increase over the years. Everyone in the position starts at around the same base pay and receives raises in line with each tier. Consider how long you’ve been at your job and how that tenure affects your pay.

5. Calculate!

Finally, use a salary calculator to determine the average market salary for your position in your city. It’s important to know what you should make in comparison with others where you live. Most companies use this information to determine their salary base, and then they make that base competitive to attract the best talent. For example, the average salary for a software engineer who has six to 10 years of experience in the Bay Area is $130,000. This gives you an idea of what you should make.

Now, march in your boss’ office and secure what you’re worth! Oh, and be professional, or you might find you get what you deserve on a bad front.