How to know what salary to ask for

Discussion in 'Career Advising' started by jaydnul, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. jaydnul

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 2, 2015
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    In some places I find the entry level salary for an electronics engineer (including the salaries for the particular company I'm looking at) as 90k-115k, which seems way high. Other places tell me the average is 65k. I don't want to be too specific about where I might be working, but what is the most sure way to figure out what salary you should ask for?

    I have a bachelor's degree, 2 courses into my masters degree and have <1 year of work experience. It is an entry level position.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
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    It depends on the locatioin -housing costs are a big factor, the company, and how much you are worth on the market. Large companies try to rank their engineers to minimize large skills vs pay disparities and you will be ranked according to your performance, experience, and education. If you can find them, ask people with your level of experience and education about salaries at their respective companies. You can also look for salary surveys and online articles on the subject.

    As a last resort (just kidding) you can ask a head hunter working in your field for advice.
     
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  3. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    As Dick mentioned, it depends on location, company, degree specialization, etc. Even in high cost areas, the geographical differential is sometimes only 5%. Being able to buy a house in a high cost area would require multiple (good) salaries in a household.

    In general, no inexperienced BSEE is going to get $100k; it will be closer to $50k.
     
  4. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Seems criminal. Better to go to trade school. Auto mechanics make more.
     
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  5. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    Does your CV include any published papers in IEEE? How about tutoring underclassmen? How about running labs? Sometimes it's the little things that separates the potential employees. Everything counts towards "experience," well except maybe the time one has claimed the beer drinking contest or other non-ee related contests.

    It's a supply and demand scenario. The more the supply, the less they can demand. They can undercut each other.
     
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  6. BR-549

    Distinguished Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    Before trying to compare salaries.......what do you like about electrical engineering? What's your schtick? There are so many different types of work and sub-fields now............you will have to specialize to start with. You need to find your tickle. Then you can research salary. If you let salary find your tickle.......find a new profession. You need a real interest....to compete.
     
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  7. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    In the job interview process, he who names a salary first (usually) loses.
     
  8. RamaD

    Active Member

    Dec 4, 2009
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    glassdoor seems to be reasonable.
     
  9. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    True. I knew a guy in California who made $26k as a production line monkey...placing ball bearings in shock absorbers all day. The housing market was so high they laughed me out of the Real Estate office when I offered $10,000 for a down payment.

    I moved to Florida, bought a house for $3,000 down, and qualified with the highest test score ever accomplished for a QC/calibration/repair tech at a Mil Spec radio manufacturer...for the same wages as a California production line monkey.
     
  10. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
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    Thank you @tracecom . Sounds like sound advice for me to keep in mind during upcoming buy-out negotiations.
     
  11. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    Yeah, and your paid no income tax, in addition to the lesser living expenses. It's all relative. In the early 70s, a studio apt in Manhattan was about a grand a month. Your 26k wouldn't last long up there. I lived in a two bedroom apt in a gated community on Coney Island for about 300 per month in the mid 70s.
     
  12. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    I was paying $700/mo for a 2 bedroom apartment in Mountain View, CA in the mid 70's.
     
  13. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Why do you feel a need to justify the difference between California and Florida?
     
  14. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    Comparing salaries around the country is worthless unless you compare everything else. Your 26k in FL was worth more than the 26k in CA. You kept more of the 26k in FL.

    Compare the whole picture, not just the selective portions. A six figure salary will go further in FL than in NYC.
     
  15. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I stated the facts. You can justify the differences all you want, but don't aim it at me. I didn't ask because I already know.

    I lived that experience. I made the choices. You, as an observer, wish to explain my own personal experience to me. Not necessary. I was there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
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