IT Employment

Dice: More than half of tech pros don't negotiate salary

IT pros seem to have a reluctance to negotiate salary upon getting offered a job.

According to hiring managers and recruiters, more than half of tech professionals fail to negotiate a higher salary when offered a job, accepting the first offer quoted.

Since the national average salary for technology professionals is currently $85,619, that means that in year one, not haggling costs $4,300 on average. In Dice's latest survey, only 18 percent of hiring managers said companies rarely or never change their initial offer. That compares to 33 percent of hiring pros that reported upping the ante is at least a frequent or a very frequent occurrence.

So why the reluctance to ask for more? Fear. After all, we're constantly being told that there are lots of qualified candidates out there for every IT opening. But if you've gotten as far as a job offer, you should be able to negotiate with some confidence. Some people are afraid of a lasting stigma if they ask for more money and it is denied.

But, really, it's not that unusual of a request. And if your counter-office is denied, it's denied. You can always cite another other company-offered benefits as to why you accept a salary, if you're concerned with how it might look.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

18 comments
info
info

It IS fear, although it is unfounded. We ourselves as doing a job that 'any 14 year old should be able to do'. That's not the case, though, and a lot of times the management knows that what they're looking at is a gift. It's always worth it to ask. Usually the answer will be that your performance will be evaluated after several months and they'll reconsider. The other side of the coin was a side conversation heard at a golf course. "How much do you pay your IT guy?" "Only $85k a year. I know, right? I'm getting him for PEANUTS!" Their job is basically to pay us as little as they can, while keeping us with the company if we're doing a good job.

ictburton
ictburton

Most opportunities in the UK have the salary range included in the job ad. In the current economic climate people are gratefully taking what's on offer, knowing that if you don't, the recruiter will simply turn to one of the many other very able candidates who will.

jondix
jondix

In my area (Washington State) there isn't much In the field of customer support / Maintenance available. The jobs I have seen do not even offer enough to pay the fuel costs to get to the customers site. They are offered on a job by job basis and come from out of state support companies. A salaried job, forget it. The last job I interviewed for payed a whopping $14.75 an hour, max 32 hours a week. The requirements for such a wonderful position were: Minimum 5 years experience and 3 certifications. The people who did the Interviewed acted as if I should be honored to even get an interview. WOW, such a deal

maj37
maj37

In the last 33 years I have gotten 3 job offers. The first was right at what I was originally hoping for but much higher then I was expecting after several months of no offers. The next was lower than I hoped for I said so and was told a 20% increase should be enough for anyone, took it. The last was below what I wanted and in fact due to cost of living differences would have actually been a pay cut. I told them so and they said that is all there is, I didn't take it and I guess they found someone that would. One side note though when I asked the guy in #1 to repeat the offer, I guess he thought I was wanting more and so he informed me that at the beginning of the next month all state workers would get 5% raise, that was of course even better.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I'd be in the less than half then. Never take the first offer is rule one. Rule two is if they don't want you to negotiate, they shouldn't call it an offer...

davelevy@work
davelevy@work

I think that the lack of benchmarks available tends to be the reason why IT folks take less. Even though we have access to more info on salary, it's harder to get a real idea of what an appropriate level of compensation is these days. Add to that the large number of people that have been cut adrift due to outsourcing and "rightsizing" and you really do have to decide what it is that you are willing to take in order to stay current. Being out of a tech workforce for more than six months can make a real difference in your viability in some IT sectors and factors like work/life balance can be impossible to achieve when you are concerned about where your next paycheck is coming form. Most people have a floor, and in some cases you can't move to make more (going from the coasts to the interior can be tough if you've been building debt and are afraid of getting stuck somewhere without a network to fall back on.).

mckinnej
mckinnej

I've always been offered more than I expected. Besides, if the advedrtised salary was too low, I wouldn't have applied to begin with. Come to think of it though, I've never been hired because I applied to a job. The jobs always found me.

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

Candidates that are willing to relocate for more money will always find it. Job satisfaction generally isn't about the money; but, if you are being very poorly compensated, you will not be satisfied with your position. I have said it before; and, I am sure I will say it again.

DaveSlash
DaveSlash

In my observation, a prospective tech employee has only one area of "leverage" in salary negotiations ... a higher offer from another company. If an employer offers you a certain salary, but you already have a higher offer, it's much easier to say "You'll have to do better than that".

Regulus
Regulus

It takes a certain type of person to be a 'tech'. Perhaps, where we excel at tech stuff, we are somewhat lacking in social skills more conducive to negotiating salary. And, Yes, I do rather think that we are pretty heavily taken advantage of in this area. (IMHO)

mdbizzarri
mdbizzarri

The worse they can say is no, the best is they say is yes, but it usually is somewhere in between. The way I see it, if they are offering me a job, then I am the winner from all of the other candidates. As long as both of us is willing to come to a comprimise, then we will both be happier in the end. If you only take what they give you, then it is not an environment that is collabrative, and unless I am unemployed, would not want to work there. If they can't or wont budge on money, then vacation is the other area that I try and use for a bargaining chip.

jkameleon
jkameleon

Tech salary is fixed and non-negotiatable. It's equal to the world's lowest salary plus travel expenses to that place, management class.

Gisabun
Gisabun

For me it depends. Salary for a perm job [which lasted 2 years before the US economy tanked in 2008] was a bit low. so I negotiated a larger January pay raise [which would be 6 months "probationary period"]. Another contract was also low. Told the contract would be 3 months with a possible extension. Negotiated a nicedr increase if it went past 3 months. Myself and 3 other contractors were tossed a week before 3 months. If the salary is in my range, I generally don't negotiate.

thebaldguy
thebaldguy

I asked for (let's say) 65,000. My offer was 63,786. I thought that was close enough. ;-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I can undercut his guy by five grand and still make more than I do now...

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

in my niche. Not too many opportunities pop up where my level of experience is required and they are prepared to

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't job hunt much, and haven't seriously done so in almost 20 years. In my incredibly limited experience, I've never seen an advertised salary.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

That's one reason I drive a car until it dies: I hate the negotiations involved when buying a new one. Further, I usually dislike it when someone tries to negotiate something with me. If I tell someone it will take three days and $1500 to meet their request, I hate it when they come back with "How about two days and $1000?" If I could do it under those terms, I would have said so in the first place. The only thing the negotiating accomplishes is to delay my getting started.