In a recent survey with Iowa job seekers, we heard a common theme:
“We wish employers would post salary information in job listings.”
“It’s frustrating to not be able to see how much a position pays before applying for a job.”
Why don’t all employers post their salaries? Sometimes sharing a salary puts employers in a bind due to the fact that salary is only one component of wages. Benefits and what is known as ‘Total Compensation’ are what employees cost their employer, not just that number on the paycheck. Posting the range may turn off candidates from even considering that position versus a competitor. Plus, Iowa employers might not appeal to candidates from other states if the salary range isn’t what they are used to, even though our cost of living is most likely much lower.
Yet here’s some good news. The data supports employers in posting at least a salary range as one of the most important things an employer can do to get job applications. It makes sense, in a tight labor market (or even when jobs are not plentiful), one of the biggest motivators to move from your current desk is more money.
Am I Making What I’m Worth?
The age old question: Are you making the salary you should be? Or is your employer taking you for granted? Often, it isn’t the employer that takes your salary for granted, it’s you. If you don’t negotiate, and show the reasons why that is the case, how can you expect an employer to do it? For women and people of color, there is always the stress of the constant news feed that says that they are statistically paid less than their white male counterparts. With that pay gap around 20%, it helps to take in the most current statistics in your local region to see how you fare against others. The 2018 wage ranges for Iowa are listed in the table below.
Do I Know What I Want to Make?
The second part of the conversation has to be you coming to terms with what you want. Sometimes our conversations with job seekers at career fairs surface a lack of thought around this topic. Do you know what you want? Or are you waiting for someone to tell you what you want? Trust us, you shouldn’t hold your breath. And if you’ve started at a position and took less than what you wanted to take, chances are you will be better off finding a new position with better pay, than negotiating for more at your current position.
Tips for Putting it Together
- Decide what you want to make, and research if that wage is realistic based on your experience and market.
- Identify how your work experience is poised to show potential employers (including your own) how you have produced results that support the wage you are looking for
- Research salary negotiation tactics, even women-specific salary negotiation tactics
- Practice your negotiation conversation with a mirror and a friend
- Practice in how you talk about money, and how you talk about yourself and your accomplishments until you feel comfortable with both
- Put a timeline on it – set your own goals for having a conversation, job searching or the next logical steps
Iowa Salary Ranges to Get You Started
Below is the current table of data from Iowa Workforce to show you what some occupations are paying as well as allows you to search by job title or region. Corridor Careers mostly focuses on IWD Region 10. You can add additional regions if needed.