Whether you’re starting a new job or preparing to ask for a pay rise, understanding your true market worth as a professional can be tricky. Factors like your role, industry, years of experience, particular skills, and the company you work for, all come into play in determining the salary you deserve – and can realistically secure.

That said, with good preparation, you can go into any job interview or salary negotiation with a confident estimate of how much you’re worth. Here’s a step-by-step guide to conducting a thorough salary check for your role and sector.

Research average salaries for your role and industry

One of the best ways to work out a reasonable salary is by comparing your income to others in similar roles as you. Start by visiting our salary comparison tool, where you can see average Australian salaries across key job titles and industries.

Note that typical salaries can vary significantly based on where the job is located. So it’s always best to check out average wages in your city or local region rather than count on country-wide or global averages.

Once you have this information, you can craft your pitch and go into any salary negotiation process knowing that your expectations are realistic – and you’ll be able to back up your request with market data.

Consider your level of experience and key skills

While average salaries are a great benchmark, remember that more experience and specialised skills can often translate to a higher salary. With that in mind, if you have more in-depth skills or experience than the average person in your role, it’s reasonable to ask for a salary that’s at the higher end of the average range.

Take a look at our salary benchmark guide, which highlights salary expectations, plus deep-dives into Australia’s Customer Service, Finance & Accounting, Logistics and Office Support sectors. It includes an overview for different positions particularly those in high demand, so you can assess where your role sits against the average salary that best applies to your situation.

Use a take-home salary calculator

When you’ve completed your research on the salary check and decided on fair salary expectations for your circumstances, use a take-home salary calculator to see what your net income would be after a pay rise or starting a new job.

This will give you a clear picture of how much you can expect to land in your bank account on payday after income tax has been taken out – and also how much superannuation your employer is required to pay on top of your base salary.

RELATED: Free templates for salary negotiation emails

Prepare to negotiate your salary

You’ve researched average salaries in your industry and found out what your new paycheck will look like – now there’s one important step left.

Write down all the skills, experience and achievements you can talk about during the salary negotiation process and make a note of those average salaries you looked up earlier so that you have market research to back you up. Refer to our thorough guide for more in-depth preparation for negotiating your new salary.

Ready for a new job with a better salary? Explore our open roles or talk to one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.

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