Some companies will not talk about pay until they have decided to hire you. In order to know if their offer is reasonable, you need a rough estimate of what the job should pay. You may have to go to several sources for this information. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Ask a family, friend, or acquaintances who may have recently been hired in a similar job.
  2. Ask your teachers and the staff in placement offices about starting pay for graduates with your qualifications.
  3. Help-wanted ads in newspapers sometimes give salary ranges for similar positions.
  4. Check the library for salary surveys such as those conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers or various professional associations.
  5. If you are considering the salary and benefits for a job in another geographic area, make allowances for differences in the cost of living, which may be significantly higher in a large metropolitan area than in a smaller city, town, or rural area.
  6. Learn the organization’s policy regarding overtime. Depending on the job, you may or may not be exempt from laws requiring the employer to compensate you for overtime.
  7. Find out how many hours you will be expected to work each week and whether you receive overtime pay or compensatory time off for working more than the specified number of hours in a week.
  8. Take into account that the starting salary is just that—the start. Your salary should be reviewed on a regular basis; many organizations do it every year.
  9. Are there bonuses to consider?
  10. Benefits also can add a lot to your base pay, but they vary widely. Find out exactly what the benefit package includes and how much of the cost you must bear.