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Why am I paid less than the Salary Wizard says I should be?

Just who is paying market salaries for each job? It's one thing to know a job pays a certain amount according to the Salary Wizard; it's another thing entirely, one reader finds, to land a job with a top-paying employer.

Q. My title is Senior Web Editor at a growing Internet company in New Jersey. With a nearly exact match in responsibilities as indicated for this position in your Salary Wizard, my total compensation falls short of the median by $25,000. I have presented this information to my bosses who assured me they cannot match the Salary Wizard figures and told me I can go elsewhere if I need more money. But my question is, where are these places that are paying $75,000 for my skills? Nobody who I have spoken to in the industry is being paid that well. Are these the companies that are now out of business? As I consider making a vertical career move, what kind of compensation to expect is very puzzling to me.

A. I understand your job title in your company is a senior editor, and you may even be performing the same tasks as listed in the Salary Wizard. However, a senior editor is someone who has had several years of varied experience as a senior editor, and typically leads and directs the work of other professional editors. I am not suggesting that you do not have the same responsibilities as a typical senior editor. However, it is important not to match your job to the job title, but to actually read the survey descriptor to understand fully what the job entails.

Without knowing your background and level of experience, I would suggest you consider looking at other career options that will raise your salary while also affording you the opportunity to do what you feel passionate about. For example, most companies have corporate communications departments that will probably pay you more than your current company but will also allow you to continue to write and edit.

Good luck.

- Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Professional

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