Salary Range for Employers and Job Applicants

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What's a salary range?  For an individual, a salary range includes the parameters of the compensation the person wants to earn. For a company, it's the amount that the organization has available to pay a new employee, and what current employees can expect to earn in a specific position.

What's Included in a Salary Range

A salary range includes a low, mid-point and maximum salary. For example:

  • $30,000 (bottom of range)
  • $35,000 (median)
  • $40,000 (maximum)
  • Range: $30,000 - $40,000

Job Applicant Salary Ranges

From a job seeker perspective, a salary range is the amount of compensation a candidate would accept for a position. A salary range, rather than a flat amount, is often provided when a company asks for salary requirements. For example, if a job posting asks for salary requirements, a candidate could say in the $25,000 - $35,000 range.

Giving a range provides for flexibility both in being considered for the job and in negotiating salary.

When you set a salary range, be sure that the lowest end of the spectrum will cover all your expenses.  You don’t want to accept a job at the very low end of your salary range only to discover that you can’t pay your bills.

Also be sure that the salary is a match for the type of job you're seeking. You don't want to price yourself out of the job market or undersell yourself and get paid too little.

Review these tips to find out how much you are worth.

Employer Salary Ranges

From an employer perspective, the salary range is the amount of compensation paid for a specific position. For example, if the starting pay for a job is $20,000 and the maximum salary for the position, after merit increases and tenure on the job, is $30,000, the salary range for the job is $20,000 - $30,000.

Employers typically have some flexibility in hiring. A super qualified candidate can expect a job offer that's at the higher end of the salary range for the job than a candidate with the minimum qualifications for the job.

Read More: How to Set a Salary Range

Salary Information and Advice