What salary do I ask for?

Posted by Patra Frame

Q. I am transitioning military to civilian and have no idea what salary to ask for. How do I find out?

A: As a part of the research you do to figure out what jobs interest you, you should be looking at pay ranges. There are some websites that provide basic data to get you started — check out and, for instance. Some job postings on job boards and some on company sites will include possible ranges too, so they are worth researching. But many factors go into the pay issue so do not just take this generic data and use it. Ask about pay ranges when you are networking. Check for salary data provided by the professional associations in your field; many do annual salary surveys and members can get access to the info. Ask recruiters for pay range information and what you might expect.

Pay is also influenced by:

  • size of company
  • a company’s location
  • how critical the position is to the company’s core business
  • a company’s philosophy about workers
  • … and a range of other factors

So do not be surprised to discover a wide range of possible pay for any one job. And remember that salary is only one part of the compensation equation.  You will need to look at the potential for performance bonuses, benefits, and merit pay programs as well.

When you do learn out what the possible salaries are, then you need to look at your value to the employer and come up with a pay range to give rather than a single number.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 09, 2009 2:46 pm

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