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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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How to negotiate yourself out of a job.

by JamesRL In reply to I'm graduating soon,how m ...

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.


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I think he ment 46K...

by Zen37 In reply to How to negotiate yourself ...

...not 46$ an hour.

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

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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.

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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.


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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.

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by JamesRL In reply to Am I asking for too much ...

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.


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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.

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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.


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$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 :)

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Your Right

by snydera In reply to How to negotiate yourself ...

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.

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