When it comes to knowing your worth, it pays (literally) to do your research. Comparing salary trends across multiple websites offers a comprehensive view of the market so you can understand fair compensation for your role. Additionally, you can discover bonuses, benefits or perks different companies offer.
Salary information can be sourced from several websites, including:
These platforms have slightly different salary ranges because they each use a proprietary algorithm to gather and analyze data from various sources, including self-reported data, job listing data, and employer data.
Finally, you can access data on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. The BLS salary data is considered more reliable because it uses a larger sample size and a more rigorous methodology than some private sector salary surveys. Unfortunately, their reports take longer to publish, so they may not accurately represent the current market trends.
This type of research is essential in securing a salary that reflects the skills, experience, and value you’ll bring to your new (or current) role.
How to Negotiate Your Salary During an Interview
Let’s say you are a product manager with five years of experience, advanced training in product strategy, and a portfolio of successful products. The company you’re interviewing for offers you $95,000, but you know through research that the median is about $108,000 for your location, industry and experience. Additionally, with your advanced training, you should earn higher than the median.
In the negotiations, start by thanking the employer for the offer, and explain that you’re excited about the opportunity. Now is your chance to present your research which could include data from salary calculators, similar offers from other companies and your knowledge about salaries at the company (if you have inside information).
Then, talk about your advanced training and extensive experience. Highlight your impressive projects and how you’ll bring similar work to the new role. Suggest that your target salary is $110,000 per year. In the best-case scenario, the employer will agree, but sometimes there are back-and-forth negotiations until a mutual agreement.
When negotiating your salary, getting caught up in thinking it’s all about the dollar amount is easy. But the truth is, there’s more to your compensation package than just your salary
Here are some examples of things you can negotiate for that might make a big difference for you:
- Negotiate for important things, like a better health insurance plan or a higher employer contribution to your retirement plan.
- PTO is a big deal. Ak for more vacation days or flexibility in how and when you take your time off. It’ll make a big difference in work-life balance.
- Remote work can be an attractive benefit. Negotiate to work from home some or all of the time, especially if you’re someone who works better in a flexible environment.
- Ask for more professional development dollars. Take advantage of opportunities to improve your skills, like attending conferences, workshops or classes.
- If you’re relocating for the job or leaving your current job for a new one, it can be a valuable benefit to negotiate a sign-on bonus.
- Stock options or equity is a great way to benefit from the company’s growth. It can boost motivation and financial security if you’re willing to take a longer-term view on the job.
Example Negotiation Conversation
You: Thank you for offering me the role at your company; I’m excited about the opportunity to work with your team. I have researched the average salary for someone with my qualifications and experience in the market and landed on $110,000.
Employer: Unfortunately, we cannot match that salary; it’s beyond what we’ve budgeted for the role. We can offer you $102,000.
You: I appreciate the offer, and I understand your budget constraints. Can we negotiate other forms of compensation, such as additional PTO, flexibility for remote work, professional development opportunities or a sign-on bonus?
Employer: We can definitely look into those options.
You: There’s a great conference in August every year that I’ve attended. It’s about $3,000 to attend with travel and registration. I would love to have that approved as a part of my job acceptance offer. Additionally, since I will be moving for this job, is there an opportunity to receive a one-time $2,000 relocation stipend?
Employer: We can certainly consider it. We will have to look into the budget for the conference and the moving stipend, but we can definitely discuss it further.
You: That would be greatly appreciated. Those additional benefits would go a long way in making this a mutually beneficial agreement for us.
Employer: We agree; we’ll include those options in our final offer.
You: Thank you, I am looking forward to being a part of your team and to continue growing as a designer at your firm.
Employer: We are looking forward to having you on board. Let’s schedule another meeting to finalize the details of the offer.
It is worth noting that negotiation is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to be open to compromise and find a mutually beneficial agreement that would meet your expectations and the company’s budget. Also, It’s essential to keep in mind that this is a dialogue, and the employer’s budget, internal policy and market conditions will have a say on the final offer.
How to Negotiate a Raise With Salary Data
Knowing your salary range isn’t just for those looking for a new job; it’s important for everyone. Having accurate and reliable salary data is a valuable tool when negotiating a raise. But when should you ask for more? The best time to bring up the topic of a raise with salary data is when you have a solid case and your employer is most likely to be open to the conversation.
It might be a good time to ask for a raise during these times:
- During your performance review
- On your job anniversary: This shows your employer that you’re committed to your job and the company and that you’re interested in staying with the company long-term
- If the industry is doing well or if the demand for your profession is high
- If you have accomplished something significant such as completing a large project, it may be the right time to ask for a raise.
Some people may be afraid of being told no or being seen as pushy or greedy if they ask for a raise. However, asking for the compensation you deserve is a normal part of career development. Just be prepared and be confident.
Example Conversation of Asking for a Raise
You: Hi, I was wondering if I could schedule some time to talk to you about my compensation.
Manager: Sure, what’s on your mind?
You: I’ve been working here for [amount of time], and I’ve taken on some impactful client work. I’ve also been keeping up with industry developments and investing time improving my skills. In light of all that, I’d like to discuss a raise.
Manager: I see. Can you give me some examples of your additional responsibilities and how you’ve exceeded your goals?
You: I’ve been working on [X project], and we’ve completed it ahead of schedule and under budget. The client was so impressed they decided to contact us for additional projects.
Manager: That sounds like valuable contributions to the team. Have you looked into the market rates for your position and responsibilities?
You: Yes, I have done some research and found that the average salary for someone with experience and skills in this field is around [amount].
Manager: I understand where you’re coming from. Let me look into the budget and see what we can do. Can I get back to you on this next week?
You: That would be great. Thank you for considering my request.
Okay, okay, your conversations won’t look exactly like this (unless you’re characters in this article.) But you get the idea. The point is, for some people, these conversations are scary, but they’re valuable (literally). Be optimistic and professional and start the salary discussions with research.
2023 Product Salary Trends
P.S. if you’re looking for interview prep, check out our ebook: Ace a Product Manager Interview
And learn how a PMCIII certification can elevate your career.
2023 Data Salary Trends
2023 Design Salary Trends
We’ve packaged the Design salary trends into a downloadable chart that divides jobs based on roles and whether they are market or product-focused or if they are execution or strategic-focused.
Pragmatic Training Can Elevate Your Career
Pragmatic Institute can help professionals in product, design and data roles elevate their careers by providing them with actionable and practical skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace.
Master the battle-tested tools and techniques needed to create and market truly great products. Tackle complex business problems with hands-on training focusing on the product craft, from understanding your market to launching solutions that sell.
Enrolling in data training at Pragmatic Institute can help individuals and teams to leverage data to drive business success. The training provided focuses on providing actionable guidance, hands-on practice, and a business-oriented approach to solving problems and making decisions with data. This can help professionals to improve their ability to analyze and interpret data, make data-driven decisions, and understand the impact of data on their organization’s overall strategy.
Empower designers to contribute more strategically by combining business acumen with user advocacy. The training focuses on interactive learning and practical application and offers an ecosystem of resources and community. This can help designers to improve their skills, advance in their careers and stay current with industry trends and technologies.