How often do you receive a wage increase at work, every 6 months, yearly, never? We are in the process of making some changes to our system at work and it got me thinking about my salary and future potential earnings. I plan on continuing to work for many years. I have been working full-time for over 18 years. In that time I have had 4 promotions. With those promotions, I had big increases in salary 10-12% or more. Typical yearly merit increases run in the 3-5% ranges and over the last few years, they have been in the 2-3% range. I took my current salary and assumed a 3% increase over the remaining 15 plus years I expect to work calculating the increase each year and adding it to my base. I was surprised to see the salary I would be earning in the years to come. Hopefully, there will be promotions along the way; I did not add any in. If you asked me if that salary would be enough 2-3 years ago, I would have told you no way. Now being on track to paying off our debt in the next 14 months, my salary seems much better.
1. Claim to respect and praise; excellence; worth.
2. Something that deserves or justifies a reward or commendation; a commendable quality, act, etc.
Here are some random median salaries for random positions within the United States according to Salary.com. How does your annual salary compare to some of these positions?
$36,727 – Administrative Assistant
$67,524 – Staff Nurse RN
$73,410 – Project Manager IT
$40,969 – Plumber
$101,615 – Computer Operations Manager
$55,224 – Teacher High School
Negotiating a Raise
When applying for a new position this is typically a good time to try to negotiate the maximum salary for your self. Maximizing your base salary will benefit you over your career. Consider two employees who are hired at the same time and work for a company for 10 years. Employee one makes $45K a year and employee two negotiates a higher salary at $50k, without factoring any increases, promotions, etc. employee two will make $50,000 more over his career. It’s just that simple. Another negotiating possibility is during the time you received your merit increase. If you can increase you raise above the typically standard this can have a real impact on your quality of life. When thinking is asking for a raise you should also consider the time since you last increase, the average salary for someone performing your job function, your workload, your performance, all of these will factor in maximizing your increase. In my work history, I have very rarely seen this performed, companies that I have been employed by have had a defined guideline for increases with little wiggle room. I’m sure this is not the case in all business, certainly in small or private companies. The fear of repercussion is a real fear and having a conversation about a raise can be an uncomfortable one. A recent survey conducted by Salary.com suggests the likelihood of being fired over asking for a raise is very low.
Your salary is your biggest wealth-building tool. You should take great care in maximizing when you can. Although it has not been my experience negotiating a raise is not uncommon and should not reflect you negatively. Good luck!
Have you ever asked for a raise? How often do you receive merit increases? What’s the longest period of time you went without a raise?