Although discussing salary can be a nerve-wracking experience, it is important to understand the value of your experience so you neither get paid too little for your work nor make yourself too expensive as a candidate. Consider your salary as well as monetary and non-monetary benefits (see benefits list below) as items to be negotiated.
For more details, visit the Offers and Negotiations section of Career Readiness Guide (PDF).
Understand Your Value
When you accept a position you are agreeing to make a significant investment in the organization. It is realistic and fair to expect that organization to make an equitable investment in you. As long as you are tactful and realistic, it is unlikely that an employer who has a vested interest in you will withdraw an offer because you tried to negotiate a better compensation package.
Consider the Complete Compensation Package
When considering an offer, take the complete compensation package into account. Keep in mind that these benefits may also be negotiable!
- Flexible Work Hours
- Cell Phone/Laptop/iPad
- Life Insurance
- Flex time
- Retirement Benefits
- Tuition Reimbursement
- Stock Options
- Health Insurance
- Transportation Allowance
- Relocation Benefits
- Telecommuting Option
- Sick Leave
- Professional Development
- Dental Benefits
- Paid Vacation
- Childcare Options
- Annual Salary Increases
Most Offers are Negotiable!
Do not assume that an employer's first offer is the best offer. Many employers will initiate salary discussions by proposing a salary figure that is at the lower end of the position's allocated pay scale. This is to allow room for the candidate to negotiate.
However, it is important that you understand the appropriate salary range for both the job and your skill level.
For more details, review the Offers and Negotiations section of the Career Readiness Guide (PDF).
How to Negotiate Salary
Determine an appropriate salary by becoming familiar with the organization's size, budget, typical salary range for that position, in addition to their usual benefits package.
Pursue market research and determine what similar organizations offer for that particular position.
Know what you are worth by talking to people already in the industry with a similar background and training. Ask them what a competitive salary range is.