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  • #2257986

    I’m graduating soon,how much should I negotiate my salary from my employer?


    by yab ·

    Hello all,

    I’m in a similar situation by the discussion posted by “Beachhead”:

    I’ve been working for my employer for about a year (a real estate agency) in the IT department. At first, I was getting paid $10.00 an hour and 8 months later, my pay was increased to $12.00. I am in my final semester of DeVry obtaining my Bachelor of Science degree in Network and Communications Management.

    My duties are assisting company agents and employees with computer and networking issues of at least 1500 users. Create/manage email user accounts, repair and maintain computers on a daily basis (locking down windows through MMC & other programs). Structure and monitor asset tags of computers, printers, and monitors at 6 different locations as well as documentation of the network equipment. Work on projects such as rewiring (punch down) and running Cat-5e (at least 4,000ft of it) for better cable management, T1?s, and a couple for access points.

    I?ve done searches through and I?ve seen LAN Support 1 & 2, Network Admin 1 & 2 descriptions that have salaries of $46+, which is basically what I?m doing just not getting paid that salary. My question is, after my graduation, how do I approach to my manager and negotiate my salary?

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    • #3203123

      How to negotiate yourself out of a job.

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to I’m graduating soon,how much should I negotiate my salary from my employer?

      This might be a lose lose scenario.

      Don’t even think of going to the boss with an expectation of meeting the $46 an hour (which is more than I’m making with 20 years experience and a position of manager of a team of 9 senior techies).

      Having a degree is no guarentee of getting more money out of your employer. It may mean that if there are opportunities for better positions within your company, you are better positioned to apply for them. At my level many people take MBAs, but you don’t get a raise just for getting one – but it can help your mobility.

      Your employer pays you to do a job, unless your job performance increases, or the employer recognizes you are underpaid and wants to make sure they don’t lose you, getting a degree wont pay in the short term(it does in the long run).

      Your best bet is to look for another employer. One that pays better.


      • #3203056

        I think he ment 46K…

        by zen37 ·

        In reply to How to negotiate yourself out of a job.

        …not 46$ an hour.

        I would LOVE to meet whoever is paying a level 1 tech 46$ an hour.

        • #3203036

          I’m a senior level IT pro (10+ yrs) and I have a hard time making $60/hr

          by why me worry? ·

          In reply to I think he ment 46K…

          I did also think that he meant $46,000 a year, not $46/hr, which would be over $95,000 a year gross income. My hat goes off to any 1st level tech who can make $46/hr, but I doubt I will ever find one.

        • #3203023

          The Good old days

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to I think he ment 46K…

          Once upon a time in the late 80s, I was an independant consultant, and yes I billed out at the staggering rate of 75 an Hour. I had to eat all my transport time and costs etc, so realistically I could bill no more than 20-30 hours a week – if they pay $75 an hour, they want your full attention and they don’t want you to nickel and dime them to death.

          More recently, I worked at a Top 3 bank in Canada, on a team full of contractors – most of whom were MBAs (I was enrolled in an MBA program myself at the time). We were paid $40 an hour, but for 40 hours a week steady.

          But the point in the original, is that its hard to go back to your employer and ask for more money based on achieving an educational milestone. More than once I’ve gone to HR discussing tuition reimbursement for myself or a staff member and its always reinforced to me that you shouldn’t expect a raise simply because you get a degree. But the whole point of getting a degree and the company paying for it is because it makes your potential for advancement better.

          I have seen recent MBA grads go from a manager to a director, but thats because they competed with others for the job and the MBA gave them an edge.


        • #3203010

          Am I asking for too much then?

          by yab ·

          In reply to The Good old days

          I agree with you with the educational milestone, but the type of work that I’m doing now for the company wasn’t stated when I was hired. I think I do have the experience and I think I’m being underpaid. If I’m wrong about my intentions, please let me know!

          As far as the $46,000 a year salary, what should I be asking for? Are the IT duties that I stated not worth $18-$20 an hour? I do plan getting a second job for leverage (loans and such). Your comments are greatly appreciated.

        • #3202994


          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Am I asking for too much then?

          Its not a question of whether you are adequately paid – I would think not, but I don’t know the going rate in your area.

          As a manager, I know what it would take to get nearly doubling in salary – an act of god. If they don’t already know you are underpaid, and grossly so, it would be a real fight to convince them of that. In my company it would have to be approved by the President (of a billion dollar company with 5000 employees).

          Now asking for another $2 an hour might be reasonable based on being underpaid(not on getting a certificate). But only you can answer if thats sufficient.

          I still think your best course of action is to look for another position in another firm. Thats the best way to ensure you get what you are worth. Unless working for your current firm has other hidden advantages, I’d be looking.


        • #3226437


          by yab ·

          In reply to Options

          …comments are greatly appreciated. So, it wouldn’t matter, if my classmate (manager of IT department, grandson of the owner/president) is doing the same type of work as me for our employer, and he’s getting paid at least $20 hour (I?m sure of it, not to mention he will get a raise after diploma)?

          I’m starting to think my employer won’t increase my pay at all.

        • #3204517

          Strictly speaking

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Thanks…

          The time to negotiate a good base rate is when you start the job. In most jobs, if you do a good, but not excellent job, you will get an annual raise of inflation plus a percent or two, provided you stay in the same position. If I exceed the base raise rate +3% I have to get approvals all the way up the ladder – almost impossible.

          I’m sure your manager will not take kindly to throwing someone else’s salry in their face. A) They are a manager, and that adds something at least on paper to their responsibilities and B) I presume they have been there longer.

          If he does get a raise for the diploma, is it company policy? You have much more of a case if its a written policy. But in most companies it is not.

          I would reiterate, it would be easier for you to get the salary you deserve by finding a new job.


        • #3203018

          $46K that is…

          by yab ·

          In reply to I think he ment 46K…

          …I apologize about that, yes, I did mean 46K. Sorry for that typo. I wouldn’t have expected to get $46 an hour, but it would have been really awesome 🙂

      • #3204639

        Your Right

        by snydera ·

        In reply to How to negotiate yourself out of a job.

        I have to agree with you in this, I use to work at the state level and got tired of people that know much less then me getting hired and paid more then me just because they had a degree and I did not. So I went to school and got my degrees but, did not yet see an increase in pay. Since moving on to a different job I have had offers for some contract jobs in the high 80k to low 90K per year based on that fact that I have degrees and the experience to back it.

    • #3203061

      Have you considered getting some sort of IT certification?

      by why me worry? ·

      In reply to I’m graduating soon,how much should I negotiate my salary from my employer?

      Personally, I am not all that hung up on the IT certifications (MCSE, CCNA, A+, etc) but many high paying employers require them and feel more confident about hiring someone with certification than without. Getting certified won’t magically make you a super expert in the subject matter, but it will give you a better sense and understanting of the technology because the exams require real world knowlegde and experience to pass. Also, you have to take into account your age, professional work experience, and years in the industry. Don’t get too hung up on sites like, because those figures don’t reflect different markets depending on location. Someone living and working in NYC will definitely earn more than say someone living and working in the midwest. With a B.S. degree and little professional experience in IT (under 5 years), you should expect to make anywhere from the low $30K to $40K a year. The fact that you know all these technologies and have skills really doesn’t mean much to employers or recruiters when you don’t have enough professional working experience in the field. I know it sucks, but we’ve all been there and found ways to excel our careers by learning new things and looking for bigger and better things. Consider working with some good technical recruiters (if you can find them…there is a whole other topic about crappy recruiters on here) and maybe you will get lucky and find a better paying job.

      Good luck.

      • #3226633

        No certs, and also…

        by yab ·

        In reply to Have you considered getting some sort of IT certification?

        ..I do plan on acquiring certs such as MCSE and CCNA for the most part. As far as anywhere from $30K to $40K I think would be a great start. I just used as just reference and I wanted to see what any of you think.

        Originally, I thought at least $38K would be good to start after I graduate. Some of my classmates say the duties that I’m doing is a lot for $12 an hour and I should ask for at least $40K.

        I think I should also mention that the business is a family owned company that grew quickly (California, Nevada, and throughout Arizona). The manager of the IT department (the grandson of the Owner/President and my classmate…) started out at least $18 an hour when he started 2 years ago.

        Am I just asking for too much still???

        • #3226603

          You’re not asking for too much..but they may not be able to offer that much

          by why me worry? ·

          In reply to No certs, and also…

          and also depends on how knowledgable your boss is in regards to what you do and his/her perception of what you are worth. If this person is one of those old school managers who doesn’t know a mouse from a keyboard, then you are pretty much out of luck in negotiating a higher salary. Concentrate on getting your certifications and start looking for greener pastures, because based on what I hear, you certainly won’t progress in your career where you are currently.

        • #3226429

          Manager is knowledageable

          by yab ·

          In reply to You’re not asking for too much..but they may not be able to offer that much

          My manager is greatly involved with the type of work that we do. The manager is there at the meetings and asks questions about our current technology and new technology as well. She has a very good understanding of our computers and networks.

          I guess I should start looking for a second job.

        • #3226434

          The reason for the $18/hour…

          by crispycritter ·

          In reply to No certs, and also…

          is because of the relationship to his grandfather, not due to any education, experience, or certifications.

          The d00d could barely pass the ‘foggy mirror’ test and make that much plus bonuses, incentives, promotions, raises, convention trips, etc…

          You, on the other hand, may be given a $1.00 or $1.25 from your current employer and be satisfied with that – anything more, change employers.

        • #3226422

          Maybe you’re right

          by yab ·

          In reply to The reason for the $18/hour…

          I like working for the company and they are very flexible. As far as the $18/hour, maybe I should just ask for that? Then again, from reading the answers from all of you, it could be difficult to negotiate. Thanks crispyCritter.

    • #3226568

      Hold your horses

      by local support ·

      In reply to I’m graduating soon,how much should I negotiate my salary from my employer?

      settle for $20 an hour and that it can be renegotiated after six months. That would be a substantial raise for you, and also for your employer.

      After that you should be paid per month. Also you and your employer should arrange for social security insurance. If there is a union for the likes of you, you might join it.

      Don’t get on any high horses in the beginning:
      A fresh graduate is only a fresh graduate, a youngster is just a youngster.

      The knowledge and experience you gather in your current situation is worth much more than a couple of bucks extra.

      It will also look better in your CV, if you hang on one more year.

      \Local support

      • #3226419

        I’ll keep in mind of that

        by yab ·

        In reply to Hold your horses

        About how you stated, “?knowledge and experience you gather in your current situation is worth much more than a couple of bucks extra”. I’ll have to keep searching more of how to approach my employer negotiating my salary.

      • #3226413

        Sticking it out

        by spankylogic9000 ·

        In reply to Hold your horses

        I agree with holding your horses, sticking it out.. I managed to get my degree and get in the field with little experience at a help desk level. 2 years later I’m a Sr. Tech Analyst making above the 46K. I think sitting that year and a half on the help desk at a starting wage of 14.00 an hour, and putting in the time showing that its not the money as my motivation more of the like for the work I’m doing paid off.

    • #3226527

      Various factors to consider

      by maevinn ·

      In reply to I’m graduating soon,how much should I negotiate my salary from my employer?

      Is your current employer aware that you were attending schooling with the intent of improving your salary? A previous employer of mine paid for substantial training for me, with the understanding that my position would be upgraded once I’d completed the program. I was taking other classes on my own dollar, and didn’t expect or recieve compensation for those courses–not part of the agreement. A co-worker was angry because she was taking the same classes but didn’t get a promotion out of it–she was taking classes to get a better job, not to do her current job better, no agreement with the business, etc.

      If you choose to get a degree or training, yes, it increases your value–but maybe not to your current employer. I’d raise the issue with them, see where they stand, and be prepared to look for a new job elsewhere.

      • #3226415

        Good point…

        by yab ·

        In reply to Various factors to consider

        …my employer is aware that I am going to DeVry for Netcom and is also aware that I have the same classes with the IT Manager. I will mention that subject with them and see where they stand about that. As for searching another employer, a lot of you have suggested that…I actually started looking through

    • #3226520

      Why Now??

      by jgarcia102066 ·

      In reply to I’m graduating soon,how much should I negotiate my salary from my employer?

      Your initial negotiation was for $10/hour for the first 8 months of your job and then you have been at $12/hour for the last four since you have been working with your employer for about a year.

      What have you done and what do you continue to do to justify, let’s say a 20% increase in pay (assuming 30K/year)? If you feel you have been working well below market value then your negotiations should have already been taking place, degree or no degree.

      A huge misconception is to think that a degree, certification or training entitiles you to a certain salary range. In the real world, it doesn’t. The salary that you negotiate with your employer is an agreement that your compensation is equitable for the work and knowledge you are providing. If at any point, you or your employer feel that things are no longer equitable then it’s time to get to the negotiation table.

      If this timeline is accurate, you just received a 20% increase in your pay four months ago. Do you think that you can request another 20-25% increase in pay, now?

      This would be tough for any employer to swallow. Unless your employer is very understanding, your best bet to get to the salary you desire would be to find another job. If you play your cards right and you feel you can let your employer know that you are looking for another job (without repurcussions) then your employer might open the negotiation table for you.

      My two cents. Good Luck.

      • #3226411

        People have suggested…

        by yab ·

        In reply to Why Now??

        …to use the “other employers that I’ve been looking into has told me my salary base pay will at least $42K”. I do agree with you about the misconception of achieving a degree and certification will bump you up to a certain salary range. As a lot of the people in this world mention that “a bachelor?s degree is overrated”. Which I do agree…but it’s a start on anything. Thanks for your input Joe.

        • #3204541

          Thinking some more…

          by jgarcia102066 ·

          In reply to People have suggested…

          I was actually thinking about this some more after my post, yesterday.

          One of the possible things that you can do is to document the value of everything that you do to save the company money and ask for only a portion of that in the form of a raise.

          I will give you how I would do this in my situation. Since I am a software developer my statement would be different than yours but you can extrapolate based on what you do.

          “I have identified an area of needed improvement and developed an application in the first 6 months of this year that has allowed our media department to double their productivity with existing staff. As a result, we now won’t have to hire an additional 20 media employees at an average of $40K/year (including benefits). This is a gross savings of $800K/year. All I’m asking for is a raise equivalent to 1% (8K/year) of that total savings.”

          The message that you are really trying to get across is that you are paying for your own raises because of the work that you continue to do.

        • #3205156

          Lay it on the table with lunch

          by zaferus ·

          In reply to Thinking some more…

          Take your employer out for lunch. Now you are outside of the office and hopefully any distractions. After some small talk lay it on the table after you’ve ordered.

          Let them know you like the company, you like your job, and feel you have a good relationship with both your co-workers and your boss.

          Let him/her know you’ve been working hard to improve yourself and with your combined education and experience you’re under the average salary that’s around town and pull out some printed pages of what you’re been researching to back this up.

          Tell your boss that you wanted to bring this out for an open conversation and want to see where his/her thoughts are on your short and long term fit in the organization.

          Then, sit and be attentive and let them do at least 90% of the talking. This is where you will find out exactly where you stand with the company both today and tomorrow from your bosses eyes. If they say that they can’t boost you to this ask if there are alternative positions, or benefits/bonuses that could narrow the gap.

          Your employer may have a lot of hesitation – or could show a lot of interest in working with you to close the gap over time. Pay attention to body language and expressions as much as what is said. What you get out of the conversation should be well worth the price of lunch.

          If you don’t have the type of boss you can do this with – go find a boss you can. Having a good employer relationship is just as important as having a job that interests and challenges you.

        • #3205106


          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Thinking some more…

          If its part of your well defined job, you can’t really make that argument.

          I saved my company $250,000 one year by making a special purchase of PCs before a big OS/Office upgrade. I went to my supplier and found a model that they had excess inventory on, but would still work with out standard images (tested them). But as a manager, thats part of my job.

          You can and should track and point out the things that you have done that helped the company above and beyond your normal job – thats how you justify a raise/promotion.


        • #3205086

          You’re absolutely correct.

          by jgarcia102066 ·

          In reply to Depends……

          I was using a quickly thought up example to illustrate how to go about putting some supporting documentation in front of your boss.

    • #3226407

      You’re asking the wrong person

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to I’m graduating soon,how much should I negotiate my salary from my employer?

      You need to ask yourself that question, and you need to provide your own answer. You need to have good reasons for your answer, and you need to justify the answer and the reasons to yourself. I don’t say this in an attempt to be cute or evasive. I actually say it in an attempt to be both helpful and realistic. After all, if you can’t answer the question yourself, and give yourself the correct reasons and justification, how can you possibly answer it when a potential employer is considering the same question?

      You might be worth a million dollars a year, for all we know, and you would be if you could earn an employer ten times that. And guess what? If you can show that you are and can, they’d pay it!

      Don’t ask any potential employer to give you anything. (Why should anyone “give” anybody a job?) Instead, offer your services and show how you can provide what they need, and provide it at a price that’s beneficial to them. If you can earn them (or save them) a certain amount of money, any percentage of that is open to negotiation. This is not to suggest that you’ll make a million dollars a year, but you have to know your own worth (in every sense of the word) and be able to discuss it.

      Consider this. If a person went up to Donald Trump and asked him for a job at whatever salary he offered, Trump probably wouldn’t give him the time of day. But if a person approached Mr. Trump and said that he could earn a million dollars a year working at the Trump organization, Trump would probably be all ears.

      It’s all in the approach.

    • #3204516


      by ericl_w199 ·

      In reply to I’m graduating soon,how much should I negotiate my salary from my employer?

      getting a degree is great.but dont even think for a minute that a degree entitles you to a pay increase.i once worked for compusa while i was getting my degree.I was soon to get mine and asked if i could work in the tech department.the first question was do you have a+ cert?no. well no you cant.well i didnt want to work for them anyway so i looked for another job and i worked for a credit union for 2.5 years doing server and desktop admin for way more then compusa pays.

    • #3205224


      by spuddy_m3 ·

      In reply to I’m graduating soon,how much should I negotiate my salary from my employer?

      As much as ya can! You deserve every penny. More so for getting the degree. Much more than all these selfers out there. You go!

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