How to determine your salary range accurately

Ever wonder what range of salary you should be asking for? You can always ballpark an idea of it, but isn’t it better if you can get an actual set of numbers to work with?

Enter my process for figuring this out!

BASIC STEPS TO FIGURE OUT YOUR SALARY:

  1. Collect the data of all the salaries for job descriptions that match what you do
  2. Get the average of these salaries
  3. Find the range using standard variance

It’s not as hard as it sounds, especially if you have Excel.

COLLECT THE DATA OF ALL THE SALARIES FOR YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION

This one is the most time intensive task of all. You need to go to career sites like Monster, Workopolis and Payscale to get an idea of what your job description would be paid, based on experience and so on.

But you know what is THE best site of all time? GlassDoor.com.

Take what they write with a grain of salt (some people might exaggerate what they make or take other factors into consideration including benefits as part of ‘salary’), but it’s pretty accurate.

This task is pretty difficult because you may not come across any job offers that even give you an idea of what the salary would be!

No matter, ask around, grab as many answers as you can, and put them all into a list.

FIND THE AVERAGE OF THESE SALARIES

Now you can figure out the average of all this salary info.

Add up all the salary figures and divide it by the number of jobs that gave salaries.

Example: You have found 5 jobs at varying salaries.

  • Job 1 — $23,500
  • Job 2 — $22,800
  • Job 3 — $30,000
  • Job 4 — $29,000
  • Job 5 — $20,000

Now for the math:

$23,500 + $22,800 + $30,000 + $29,000 + $20,000

5 <– for the # of jobs

Average Salary Answer: $25,060

But just knowing the average isn’t enough because you have to take into account the gaps between the salaries of each job, otherwise fancily known as variances or ‘standard deviation’.

FIND THE RANGE FOR THESE SALARIES

Now that you have the average salary of $25,060, pop these numbers into Excel (or use OpenOffice.org).

The Excel formula is:

=STDEVP(A1:A5)

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