how much should i get paid

How Much Should I Get Paid? Salary 101 Course

This article was last updated on October 5, 2017

One of the worst feelings that a hardworking and dedicated working professional can experience is that of being underpaid. While organizations make sure that they don’t overpay employees, it often becomes perplexing for employees to ascertain whether or not they’re receiving the remuneration they deserve, given all the secrecy surrounding compensation packages.

In fact, employees often find themselves at a disadvantage during salary negotiations as they don’t know at what amount they should draw the line. According to Glassdoor, “If employees know what they’re worth, that will help ensure they get fair pay.”

In a survey conducted by Glassdoor, it was found that 65% of employees wish they better understood what fair market pay for their location was. Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor’s community expert, added that 73 percent of those surveyed said they’d look for another job if they found that their market value was higher than their current pay. If you too aren’t sure about how much you should be getting paid, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, we’ll tell you how to determine your market value and get paid according to industry standards.

  1. Use the Internet

When in doubt, turn to the internet for answers. It is always a good idea to look for answers on well-known websites such as,, or even the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They provide a good estimate of how much others in the same profession as you are earning.

The good thing about using these platforms is that they’re quite accurate in their data analysis. However, the salary ranges presented are typically wide and may not be specific to your skill sets and achievements. Salary-calculation tools can come to your rescue here.

Glassdoor launched Know Your Worth, which is a free tool that helps professionals find out whether or not they’re paid well. The tool employs machine-learning algorithms and throws up a chart that displays the user’s value as per local market trends and the typical salaries offered in a particular area.

While it is true that every employee is different and pay packages vary from person to person even in the same company, it is important to know as to what you can expect to negotiate more effectively. Samantha Zupan, Glassdoor spokesperson, opines, “Doing as much research as possible can help set your expectations as to where you may fall.”

  1. Your Pay Should Match Your Responsibilities

A lot of professionals make the mistake of accepting a pay based on their job title alone. However, it is crucial to factor in the number of and the kind of responsibilities that you’d be handling before finalizing a number.

Typically, the most productive employees are given more responsibilities as they know how to get the job done. However, if this isn’t accompanied with an increase in pay, it is likely that such an employee’s market value is higher than what he/she is paid currently. recommends aligning your job description with a “benchmark” job. This entails matching your salary with your job title as well as job description. advocates “a minimum 70 percent match of your job responsibilities to the benchmark description you are trying to match.”

  1. Make Your Prior Work Experience Count

The number of years you’ve spent in a profession and in learning new skills to do the job better also determine the kind of pay you deserve. A senior employee with considerable years of experience can certainly expect a high compensation package. If you’re a newbie, on the other hand, you will make lesser. Depending on your experience, employers may be willing to pay you a premium as well.

This makes sense because when equipped with the relevant work experience, not only are you more productive at work, your organization also spends fewer resources on training you for certain skills. So, they may as well give you a better pay. Build your resume so that it highlights your work experience adequately and you will be able to negotiate a better compensation package.

  1. Consider Your Qualifications and Location

While most workplaces decide your pay on the basis of the educational qualifications they see in your resume at the time of hiring you, it is possible that you may take up an extra course or earn an advanced degree while you work. If that’s the case, make sure to bring this to your employer’s notice. This way you can ask for a raise if you think you’re currently underpaid.

Further, the location of your organization also has a role to play in determining your remuneration. The cost of living is typically higher in cities, which is why packages are higher too. Depending on whether you work in a big city or a rural town, you should receive a pay that’s commensurate with this aspect.

  1. Consistent Work Achievements Matter

In any professional organization, the results achieved matter the most. So, what you earn should ideally depend on your accomplishments. And if you’re an employee that achieves the desired results unfailingly, you can maximize your earning potential.

If your efforts and achievements have led to consistent and tangible results, such as higher sales and increased revenue for the organization, your value in the company should increase too.

If you’ve been winning accolades for your work or have been taking extra training to perform better at your job, and this doesn’t show in your pay, you need to take this issue up with your manager during your performance review and ask for a better bargain. Whether it is your personal qualities such as mental toughness, time-management or decision-making abilities, make sure you highlight them to get what’s due to you.

  1. Don’t Accept the Average

By accepting the average pay during salary negotiations, you close your chances of receiving a higher pay. While you will have to draw the line somewhere, avoid accepting the average pay as it is nothing but the average of the salaries already being paid. If you’re performing better than others, you should be paid more than them.

Play to your strengths and make magic happen by bringing up your unique merits. Remember, no two employees and their skills are the same. Your employer knows this and will, therefore, understand that several factors come into play when deciding how much you should earn.


Employees tend to be more productive and efficient when they feel that their employers are ensuring their financial security in return for their contributions to the organization. The market value of an employee is typically determined by the skills and experience he/she possesses. Getting paid accordingly is important as underpayment of salary can lead to demotivation and an eventual exit from the organization. The next time you negotiate your pay with your boss, make sure to refer the above points to determine whether or not you’re receiving the remuneration that fits your qualifications, talent and work experience.

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