However, today there is a demand that women make as much as men in the same positions and workers on the lower end of the pay scales must fight to get the minimum wages raised, which are always transparent.
So, how do you find out?
- The average salary in your field?
- If you are moving, if there is competitive pay in your discipline?
- How to negotiate your salary
- If a career change is worth it?
- If going back to school to get a degree is worth it?
- If you will get that raise you have been thinking about asking for?
- Where to look for comparisons of salaries, or averages?
Thanks to those that make it their business to create apps, we now know where to look for what is called a salary calculator. This can help us answer the previous questions. What it is, is an online resource that can help job seekers research the salary others are making in their field or fields they are considering.
It helps you to not only compare to others in your state in other states, but it also helps you see what the future can bring.
Experts suggest that you use these tools only for calculating averages. They are not exacting software because of the change in demographics from person to person. For Instance, there could be different levels of accountants in the same company. Therefore some salary calculators will ask that you put in exact information to get as close to the calculation as possible.
Salary in your field- start here to compare your salary to those that are doing the same job in your area. Remember the results are not exact. No job you do is exactly like someone else’s. For instance, when you work as a freelancer you cannot compare exactly that what you charge a client is what a company is paying someone to do the same job.
The salary calculator software takes your information and can only give you an estimate of differences.
When moving – this tool is great for when you are considering moving to another city or state. All you must do is type in zip codes and your job title, you can go a little higher on the chain when you do this, and up pops the average salaries of several positions.
This gives insight into whether that city or state is for you. You can use the tool to make up your mind about the move, and it helps keep you from moving somewhere where the outlook is bleak.
You don’t want to move somewhere when the quality of life is going to get worse because of high prices that do not commensurate with the job market.
Negotiating your salary- This can be a great negotiating tool when going into an interview. Do not ever say what a calculator says, but if asked your desired salary, you will be prepared with an average of what is being offered in positions at the same level of the job posting.
Some managers are going to want to tell you what is being offered in the same range, but at least if you are prepared you will not be subject to what is called low-balling. That is when you are offered way less than what you are worth.
One of the great things about being offered a salary that is of the average by the hiring manager, is that you can then negotiate that offer by bringing up why you are worth at least a tick up than the average. Be prepared at an interview with this type of negotiation.
Have your resume ready with your skill-set and what you would like as a salary, based a bit higher than the average.
Thinking of changing your career- can be nerve-wracking enough without knowing what is out there. But when it comes to your salary, the salary calculator comes in handy so that you can determine whether switching your career is good at this time or not. Markets change and what is being offered now can change in the future.
What if you are deciding to take a break from the hustle of big business and are willing to take a pay cut, you need to know what is out there to determine just how far down the rung you can go without changing your way of life too much.
Keep in mind, just because you are going to take on less responsibility does not mean less money in a lot of situations. Consultants make a good salary and are not as hands on as everyone else in the business.
Increasing your knowledge- by considering online classes, or going back to school, is another way that the salary calculators can help. Type in what you want to go after, an MBA? MA? Whatever it is the calculator can determine if it is beneficial to pay into getting that degree by giving you the stats on how much more you will be making if you jump into classes.
Consider this– many skills that are needed today in the business worlds or freelancing sector, are very easily learned by getting books and studying them on your own. It takes discipline though; the same kind of discipline you would give to a class that you may have to pay hundreds of dollars for.
In today’s education horizon, there is no reason for anyone not to know anything they want to without a degree. The only exception to this rule may be something like medicine and law, which you cannot practice without corresponding degrees, but the gaining of the knowledge is out there if you want it.
For instance, if you are in the graphic design sector, going back to school for increased knowledge in this field is something you may want to do if you do not have the discipline to get up and get to your desktop and self-teach.
The graphic design field is ever changing with new software, and with that software comes tutorials that can easily be added to existing knowledge without spending money on classes.
Need to ask for a raise? If so, the salary calculator can help during salary review time. Do your homework before approaching your boss with a request for a raise, and give valid reasons why you should be considered for a higher pay.
Bring up your yearly evaluations and if you can get a manager to vouch for your work and give you a letter recommending a raise, that is even better. Some bosses are not hands on, they only show up at salary reviews. They depend on their managers to tell them who are the stars in the company.
However, do not slap your hands on your boss with the calculator. They know what you are worth and bringing in what you have done for the company will weigh more than a simple calculation.
Where to find the salary calculators?
Payscale.com: We found this one to be diverse in its use for not only employees but employers. It included some really great information on the gender pay gap, and offered a great negotiation guide.
There were free downloadable reports for employees and what we really liked is their focus on getting employers to “pay the right way”.
HomeFair.com: What we enjoyed while researching this site was that it was not just for salary calculations but offered school reports, city reports, moving companies etc. This is the type of site needed if you are considering a move from your state. You will be equipped before you get there with information on all demographics.
Indeed.com: one of the most visited job search sites in the country, Indeed.com offers salary comparisons along with a resume and cover letter free help. Their online database is full of information for the job applicant looking for help in all aspects of the job search. They even give good suggestions on the interview process.
Monster.com: Monster has been on the online job search scene for quite some time and offers a quality salary calculator that is in our opinion the best one for closest accuracy. The estimates indicated were researched closely with multiple business and we found that they were highly concise and covered an extensive network of jobs.
Monster also had the best blogs in our opinion. Their blogs were socially networked across all the favorites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. We know how important an online footprint is when job searching.
Now that you have the info, dive right in and find where you belong in your career path. Whether is change, new skills, or a raise in pay you are after, the information provided will get you started on your information search. Good luck!