How to Determine Your Salary Requirement - Bridgegap Careers

How to Determine Your Salary Requirement


Have you ever filled out a job application that asked for your salary history and salary requirement? Or has a hiring manager ever asked you how much you expect to earn during a job interview?

In these situations, you might feel a bit uncomfortable giving a number. In fact, you might even be unsure as to what amount to the state. But the truth is, your experience and expertise come at a price and knowing what you’re worth will stand you in good stead during any salary negotiation. As a potential new employee, it is up to you to determine your salary requirements. Some positions have set salaries; these salaries might be negotiable or fixed. Other jobs have salaries based on experience and reputation. Employers typically want to know what you expect to earn so they can determine whether you are too expensive in which case you’ll be out of the running or a viable candidate who’s happy with the salary range they are looking to pay.  If your salary expectations are lower than they had in mind, they can also adjust the sum they had in mind down.  Here’s an overview of some important factors:

  • Consider your experience at the position for which you are applying. If you’re applying for a job that requires a master’s degree, it should pay more than one that requires an associate or bachelor’s degree. Keep in mind that if you’re applying for a job for which you’re overqualified, you need to be realistic and look at the qualifications the position requires instead of your highest degree.
  • Examine your current earnings and personal finances. In most cases, your salary requirements should exceed your current compensation. You do not want to leave a job and accept a new job that pays less unless you have a strong passion for the new job or company or really want to get out of your current position.
  • Determine an acceptable salary range. When your potential new employer asks about salary requirements, give a realistic number that is higher than your minimum requirement. Salaries are often negotiable, so it indicates that is too high, suggests something lower if you want the job, or stand firm if you can take or leave the position.
  • Discuss and negotiate benefits. For example, if the salary offered is lower than your minimum requirement, you can make up for that by negotiating more paid time off, better benefits or more stock options.


Note that you should never state your salary requirement unless a potential employer requests it. Nevertheless, it’s wise to be aware of your worth so that when asked, you can answer with a realistic number that works for both you and your potential employer. If you’re still at a loss as to how much you want to earn, it’s advisable to research average salaries for the job title you are applying for based on the data you see, you can come up with a range.

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