What salary should I be earning?

Salary is one of the most influential factors for accepting a job, or even pursuing a particular career. Knowing what salary you should be earning is vital to ensuring you’re getting paid what you’re worth, based on your individual skills and experience.

Although salary information can be quite elusive to find and evaluate, there are a few worthwhile ways to discover what income you should be taking home.

Do your research

You can gain an invaluable insight into the salary range you should be earning by doing your homework. A Recruitment Consultant would be the first point of call, as they often have access to the latest salary surveys. Look for comparable jobs on recruitment sites online to see what sorts of salaries are being offered. Careers information websites may also detail salary expectations for different job roles. There are also a number of websites that provide salary information for specific jobs, and although these may only give you a range or an average figure, they’re a good place to get a general idea of salary indications.

Consider skills and experience

The skills and experience you possess will also be major factors that influence your salary. If you’re just starting out in your career, you can expect to earn much less than someone who has years of experience under their belt. If you want to increase your salary prospects, look to acquire new skills or training, or even undertake voluntary work to help boost your career prospects.

Factor in the location

The same job role can command vastly different income levels depending on where the job is based, so factor this into the equation when working out how much salary you should be earning. If you want to improve your salary prospects, it may be worth considering relocating to another part of the country, or even overseas, if the income there is more substantial.

Demand and supply

Salary values can fluctuate at different times based on how much demand there is for a particular job. The more sought-after the position, or the harder it is to find someone to fit the role, the higher the salary expectations.

Even the size of the company you work for can play a role in salary levels, with smaller businesses not necessarily able to match the same salaries as bigger, more established brands.

Bear in mind also the hours that you work – if you work night shifts or unsociable hours, you’re likely to be paid more for the inconvenience.

Economic conditions and changes in industry may also have an influence on salary, so take a wider view of the picture when trying to grasp how much you are worth.

Having a general indication of what you should be earning can put you in a much stronger position when applying for jobs. When asked by a recruiter what your salary expectations are, you can reply with confidence, knowing that you aren’t underselling yourself, or pricing yourself out of getting the job. Once in employment, periodically checking what salary your role commands can also provide good grounding for negotiating a pay rise with your employer.

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