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Contact Us

Idaho Commons Room 334

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2534
Moscow, ID 83844-2534

Phone: (208) 885-6121

Fax: (208) 885-2816

Email: careerservices@uidaho.edu

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Salary & Benefit Negotiations

Successfully negotiating a desired salary or benefits package is a useful skill to have. For a variety of reasons, it is something most people struggle to do. Being able to effectively negotiate with an employer could mean an increase of thousands of dollars to you within a few minutes.

There is an appropriate time and place for negotiating a salary. As a potential employee, be prepared to fight for what you want, and also being willing to compromise.

  • Most companies and firms expect negotiations when they make the offer.
  • Future raises are based on your starting salary.
  • Employers tend to have a more favorable impression of employees who negotiate, assuming their approach was professional.
  • Lifetime earnings are significantly higher for those who negotiate.

  • Company ranges/equity issues
  • The lowest offer you will accept
  • Detailed description of your responsibilities
  • Other information such as benefits, who will evaluate you, what training opportunities are available, and what promotion opportunities are like
  • The value you will add — what makes you worth more money?
  • How to anticipate objections (e.g., not enough experience, internal equity issues and budget issues)

Have the right attitude and perspective:

  • Remember, they are interested in you.
  • Be confident in your abilities.
  • Be determined and don’t give up too easily.
  • Stay relaxed, go slowly.
  • Try not to show fear or nervousness when negotiating.

Question: If I really want the job, I should bring up the subject of salary during the interview.
Answer: False. Always wait until there is an offer or they bring it up first.

Question: If the employer brings up the subject of salary during the interview or asks me to address the issue in my cover letter, it’s OK to not answer directly.  
Answer: True. Career Services suggests waiting until there is a job offer and you know all the details of the salary (i.e. benefits, bonuses, vacation and sick leave).

Question: If asked during an interview what my last/current salary is, it is better not to give a specific figure. 
Answer: True. Career Services suggests trying to stick with a range, normally within $5,000 - $10,000.

  • Paid time off (vacation/personal and sick leave)
  • Professional development/conferences
  • Flexible schedules/work from home
  • Review and raise/merit increase in three to six (or 12) months
  • Relocation costs
  • Parking costs
  • Signing bonus
  • Graduate or professional school tuition reimbursement

  • How much does the employee contribute to listed benefits (i.e., medical expenses, co-pays, deductibles, parking)?
  • Can benefit costs be deducted from my paycheck?
  • Is there a time delay before receiving benefits?
  • What medical providers are available and covered under medical, dental, vision and other plans?
  • What medicines/medical services are not covered under medical plans?
  • For internships or co-ops, are any benefits provided?
  • What is the company’s/organization’s rate of hiring interns as part-time or full-time employees?
  • Does the employer offer financial assistance with relocation expenses or annual cost of living increases?
  • How does the employer assist and contribute to employee’s professional development opportunities?

Glassdoor.com Company Salaries – Free company salaries, bonuses and total pay for 250,000+ companies posted anonymously by employees.

Salary.com – Helps users understand the value of what they do and how they can develop their career to reach their potential.

Indeed.com Salary Search – Searches salaries from over 50 million jobs in the past year

Occupational Outlook Handbook – Profiles of hundreds of occupations that describe what they do, work environment, how to get hired, pay, and more.

CareerOneStop – Search salary information for more than 800 different occupations. To start, either search for an occupation by keyword, or select an occupation from the list below.

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Guide to Compensation for Internships and Co-Ops – Sample 2012 salary and benefits data for internships and cop-ops by major and industry.

LinkedIn Salary - is a resource for job salary insights and additional factors that may impact pay for roles in your field. This includes a detailed breakdown of salaries by job title and location among other helpful features. For more information about this resource please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/65947


Salaries

  1. Visit the Idaho Department of Labor »
  2. Select the geographic area closest to you.
  3. Scroll through the list of jobs and find one that most closely represents your position. This report lists the average salary, entry-level salaries, and middle range for each job.
  4. Take the appropriate percentage of the entry-level salary listed.

Example

You find that the entry-level salary for civil engineers in Boise is $24.12/hr. If you want to hire a senior-level student for your CE internship, a competitive salary would be $19.30-$20.50/hr.
(.80 x 24.12 - .85 x 24.12)

  1. Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics »
  2. Select your state and occupational group
  3. Find the occupation that most closely fits your job. This report typically lists the mean or average salary, along with the median (midpoint). By clicking on the actual job link, you can get more salary data. Including the salaries for the bottom percentage of workers and top salaries for that job. 
  4. Assuming that the bottom salaries may be a closer representation of entry-level salaries, you should be able to estimate a competitive salary for that state. Using the percentages listed on the previous page, calculate your internship salary. 

  1. Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics »
  2. Select your geographic area
  3. Scroll through the list of jobs and find one that most closely represents your position. This report lists the average salary, entry-level salaries, and middle range for each job.
  4. Take the appropriate percentage of the entry-level salary listed.

Example

You find that the entry-level salary for civil engineers in Boise is $24.12/hr. If you want to hire a senior-level student for your CE internship, a competitive salary would be $19.30-$20.50/hr.
(.80 x 24.12 - .85 x 24.12)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  1. Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics »
  2. Select the state and town/geographical area closest to the area you are researching. 
  3. Select the occupational group that your job falls and the occupation that most closely matches your job.
  4. This report typically lists the mean or average salary, along with the median (midpoint). However, by clicking on the individual job link, you can find more salary data. Including the salaries for the bottom percentage of workers and top salaries for that job. 
  5. Assuming that the bottom salaries may be a closer representation of entry-level salaries, you should be able to estimate a competitive salary for that state. Using the percentages listed on the previous page, calculate your internship salary.

Questions?

Career Advisors are available to help in all steps of the the career decision-making process. Email Career Services or call (208) 885-6121.

Contact Us

Idaho Commons Room 334

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2534
Moscow, ID 83844-2534

Phone: (208) 885-6121

Fax: (208) 885-2816

Email: careerservices@uidaho.edu

Meet the Team Map