Considering Factors that Affect Job Pay

One fact of life is that job pay for any particular job isn't consistent across the country. Several factors influence what you earn. A first step toward being shown the money is discovering what the market will pay someone with your qualifications. Other factors that affect the size of your paycheck include the timing of the offer and the size of the company.

Some interviewers see your negotiation attempts at improving your compensation as a desirable trait — yet another indicator that they’ve made the right choice. Their reasoning: If you can look after your own best interests, you can look after ours.

Other factors that influence the size of pay offers include the following:

  • Supply and demand: In employee-driven markets, salary offers tend to rise; in employer-driven markets, salary offers don’t rise and may even fall.

  • Special skills: Skills in short supply may merit premium pay.

  • Urgency: A company losing revenue because a job goes unfilled may offer higher pay.

  • Recruiting fatigue: A company weary of failure in filling a position may ease salary limits.

  • Salary compression: Concern that paying you a higher wage may lead to revolt by current employees can cause a company to stick rigidly to a certain salary.

Although large companies typically pay more, small companies without formal pay structures are easier to negotiate with than corporate titans. But even at huge companies where pay scales are cut-and-dried, your potential boss may have the latitude to cut you a better deal.

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