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Home  > Article

Now that I have some experience, should I ask for the median?

Salary.com

Pay and proficiency usually go hand in hand. For the first few years at a new level, employees typically earn less than the median. Then, as skills and proficiency improve, pay typically follows.

Q. I am the IT manager at the local newspaper. I had no experience and settled for a lower wage than the position should have paid. I now have been here two years and am wondering whether I should ask for the salary your site and others say I am worth. I have a two-year degree in information management, and an A+ certification, and I'm working on my net+. I am the network administrator and implement and troubleshoot all their software systems. It's much more work than they first described. To get me to the average in our area they would need to give me a $20,000 increase.

A. Even after two years, you still have little experience as an IT manager, so I wouldn't advise you to match your current job responsibilities to those of a fully proficient IT manager. Instead I would recommend you review other job descriptions that accurately depict your job responsibilities and level of competence in your current role.

Once you have determined the appropriate match from the Salary Wizard, target your salary between the 25th and 50th percentiles of the market range. The 25th and 50th percentiles typically show the level of pay appropriate for employees who are still becoming proficient in a given position. Incumbents who are paid at the 50th percentile are normally fully proficiently in their job.

Since you have two years of experience in IT, you should expect to be paid somewhere between the 25th and 50th percentiles. So before you ask your supervisor for a $20,000 increase, review your salary within the context of level of proficiency, then ask for an increase that makes sense in that context.

Good luck.

- Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Consultant


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