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Salaries and Offers

Will you be paid what you're worth? How do you find out the "going rate" for the job you're seeking with the degree you've earned? When is it appropriate to negotiate salary, and how do you do it effectively?

Salary can be a tricky topic. The resources below can help you become more knowledgeable about typical salary ranges for your field, and how to negotiate to ensure a fair compensation package. If you're going to talk salary, make sure you've done your homework.

Salary Research Links

Entry-level Salary Information:

Additional Salary Research:

Be sure to check professional associations in your field for additional salary guides.

Guidelines for Salary Research

  • Remember that compensation varies by industry and geographic location.
  • Pay attention to how the salary statistics were gathered. Many books and websites contain national salary figures, which may include wide variation from state-to-state.
  • Remember how an average/mean is computed, and keep in mind that outliers (especially high or low figures) can skew an average.
  • Keep in mind that reported salary figures are usually not entry-level unless they say "Starting Salary Offers" (such as the survey chart to the right). Just because the average salary for a Social Worker in your target area is $31,000, don't expect to start there. Unless labeled "entry-level," expect salary stats to include people with 10+ years of experience.
  • Look at several sources of information. You would never rely on only one source for a research paper. The same holds true for your salary research. Statistics have limitations - using several sources will give you a more accurate picture.
  • Privately-owned, for-profit companies tend to pay more (on average) than non-profits and governmental agencies.

Handling Job Offers

Throughout your job search process, you should be researching and evaluating the organization. You need to learn all you can in order to know whether to accept an offer or not. In addition to the responsibilities of the job, here are just some of the things to consider: work environment, opportunities for advancement, relocation considerations and the compensation package. The research you did on the organization, as well as your questions and impressions at the interview, can help you gather information to make your decision easier.

For more information on job offers and negotiating, click here.

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