Are you happy with your current pay level?
Organizational psychologists have long established the link between job satisfaction and job performance. Earning less leads to feeling demotivated and lowers job satisfaction levels.
So how do you get an accurate estimate of how much you deserve to be paid? You can ask people you know but getting accurate information is a tough call.
Asking coworkers is usually not an option because of strict company policies. Pay secrecy laws in the US are often misunderstood or simply not followed. The legality is another debate but most companies prohibit employees from discussing any information related to salary and compensation.
Online salary tools are a great option if you want to stay safe.
Salary negotiations are often easier if you know what your skills are worth. All of these tools are anonymous and maintain a large database of salaries. You can use them to learn the true worth of your skills and experience.
You can filter the salary data according to income levels, categories and industry. Looking up salaries is free but the service also allows you to purchase a more detailed and personalized report. The site is quite comprehensive and includes information on benefits, salary trends and advice related to salary negotiation. The expert podcasts and blogs are particularly useful for anyone looking to enhance their industry knowledge.
You can get a free salary report via PayScale, simply answer a few questions about your job title, education, skills, location and experience.
Another useful tool they have is the Job Skills page which shows what kind of skills are in demand. This section is quite useful for anyone planning their career or looking to level up. The skills are also categorized according to priority, value and location. The top 3 skills are listed according to occupation types; the expected pay boost is also listed alongside.
You have to sign up for a free account and can look up salary information according to job titles. Review other people’s salaries to find the true worth of your skills, education and experience.
The site also includes an interactive forum where other users can provide feedback on your salary and benefits package.
Another nifty little feature is the RSS feeds options. It can be setup as an alert to monitor salary data in your city/region. A salary map is also available if you want to check how your salary rates on a global scale.
This one doesn’t strictly compare your salary to that of similar professionals but is quite useful and eye-opening. It helps you get a global perspective on your annual earnings. Simply enter your country and annual salary amount in the local currency and it displays some interesting infographics.
The salary data for comparison and averages is sourced from the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The Career Builder tool is probably the best one out there. It lets you upload your resume and compares your data to show you where you stand in the industry. If you don’t want to upload your resume, you can simply search by job title. You will particularly like the Career Insights section.
Choose your job title, enter salary, skills and location to get access to information such as how your salary compares to the national average, how well your skills match up with your job, and how highly demanded your skills are in that particular location.
More detailed insights include the following information:
- Core skills in demand
- Standout skills
- Locations which offer the best job prospects and pay well
- Salary comparison according to city and experience
- Job compatibility based on skills
- Recommended educational path
- Other compatible jobs
- Most in-demand city
- Highest paying cities
Figuring out how much you should earn will help you gain an upper hand during salary negotiations whether you are a new recruit or looking to secure that promotion. Online databases contain updated and accurate data, and information is the best bargaining chip.