How to Calculate Your Target Salary Range

February 1, 2023
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If you're on the search for a new job, you may have a general idea of what kind of salary you'd like to earn. But if you've been at the same job for some time, or if you've taken time off from work, it can be difficult to determine whether your current salary is fair and appropriate in light of industry standards and market trends.

We've put together some resources, links, and general advice to help you zero in on your target salary range.

Why You Should Share A Salary Range

While it’s easy to understand why job seekers would be reluctant to share a firm salary range, it may actually be in your best interest to be upfront about your salary needs.

Recruiters and hiring managers rely on candidate-reported salary requirements to determine whether a potential new hire makes sense for a given role. By sharing your salary range before the conversation begins, you filter potential outreach and narrow interviews to roles that can support your lifestyle. Choosing not to share your salary range opens you up to outreach that wastes both yours and the hiring manager's time.

Revealing your salary requirements early in the hiring process can give a recruiter an advantage in negotiating for you. Nothing is worse than getting into an interview process for a job you really want and finding out the company's salary range is way below your minimum requirement.

When you approach salary conversations as a collaborative process in which everyone's needs are considered, negotiations become much less painful.

Calculating Your Salary Range

Determining a salary range gives you focus and direction in the job search. It helps you rule out jobs that fall outside of your target range, making it easier to focus on companies that match your interests and qualifications.

Consider Your Budget 

The first step in determining your salary range is to consider the cost of living in an area and what you need to live comfortably. Consider your basic monthly expenses, including food, housing, transportation, healthcare, and any other expenses that may be unique to you. This is also a great time to be honest with your self about your skill level and the actual salary range that your experience could command. It's great to be aspirational, but erring on the side of caution will save you time and lead to better conversations with recruiters and hiring managers.

Research Salary Ranges in Your Industry

Researching salary ranges for your industry is the most important step in determining a salary range. The best sources for this information are websites that aggregate salaries for specific industries. These sites can be a good starting point when determining your salary range. However, it’s important to note that the data included on these websites may not reflect your experience level or current position with an employer.

Here is a list of our favorite resources for researching tech salary ranges:

  • Blind’s Salary Comparison Tool - Blind collects data from their network of tech employees. They analyze and compare your salary range with compensation information submitted by verified employees from similar roles.
  • Comparably - This resource allows you to see what people like you get paid at work. Comparably is one of our favorites because you can search for roles based on their salary range. 
  • Payscale - Allows you to input your location, field and career and get a range for your market worth.

Consider Other Benefits

In addition to your salary, you should also consider your benefits package. Benefits like health insurance, retirement plan options and paid time off can offset potential losses or gains in the salary department. Your salary range should take into account other benefits that may be important to you in the long term. candidates are encouraged to use the Attractors feature to signal attributes and perks that are important to them. 

At the end of the day, determining your target salary is a very personal experience. You should take into account your goals, experience, and other factors that are important to you. Use the above tips as a guide for determining what salary range is a good fit for your skillset. And remember that your salary range is not set in stone. It’s a starting point for negotiation, so there is always room for a conversation.

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