Finding Out What The Job Pays


PAYOne of the most useful tools when entering a salary negotiation: Knowing how much your prospective employer pays others at the company who hold your would-be title. It’s also helpful to have a sense of what you are worth in the labor market. In other words, what would competitors of your would-be employer pay someone with your level of training, skill and experience?

All of this information is increasingly easy to find. Besides the old-fashioned method of schmoozing with folks who work in your chosen field, there is a trove of salary information online, much of it highly specific and lots of it free of charge.

The easiest, fastest way to get a salary snapshot: Google. Just type in a job title, location, company name and the word “salary” or “compensation,” and you’ll get a quick hit of information. I just did it for “editor” in New York City and the top hit was for job aggregation website, which pegs the average salary at $70,000.

Indeed and the other big job aggregator, SimplyHired, both have easy-to-use salary links. SimplyHired’s is a “salary estimator” at the bottom of its home page, under the heading, “Job Seekers.”  Salary information comes up on Indeed as soon as you search for a job title and location. These sites collect their information from job listings. Consider this information a ballpark estimate. It isn’t specific to you, but it can help give you a sense of the range for the position and company in the city where you’re interviewing.

Another source for ballpark estimates: the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ table of Occupational Employment Statistics, which offers a wealth of salary information drawn from its employer surveys. This data is best used to get a broad sense of various fields and what they pay in different regions of the country, rather than a laser view of a job at a particular company. For instance, the mean annual wage for a computer and information systems manager across the nation was $136,280 as of May of last year. In the metropolitan New York City area, the job paid a mean of $169,530, while in Chicago it paid $125,440, and in Silicon Valley, $184,120. This data can be useful if you are considering a career change and/or a move, and wondering about compensation prospects in a particular field and region. But the BLS offers no information about jobs inside companies, and its job titles are broad, so it won’t help you much in salary negotiations.

Read more at FORBES