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Thread: Salary question

  1. #1
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    Salary question

    I am curious about something.

    I noticed that private firms almost never give salary ranges when posting a position and that government jobs usually do. Usually it is called a salary range or a hiring range. i assume there is a difference because i have seen some posts with both listed. The hiring range makes sense, it is the range in which someone who is hired can expect their starting salary to be, depending on qualifications and negotiation. As for the posts that only give a 'general' salary range, is that the total range for the position, in which case a new hire would almost certainly be closer to the bottom than to the top, whereas someone who has been in the position for a whil would be near the top of that range but cannnot exceed it? How does that work.

    An example: The city or Alexandria just posted a job for a planner II. The general requirement is one year as a planner plus an urban planning course in school. Of course, they would prefer someone with a planning degree. The salary range is $48,324 - $79,961/YR (DOQ).

    Say I am the best qualified, without being overqualifiied. Suppose I have a MUP and two years of experience in municipal planning, should I be trying to negotiate for somewhere in the mid 70's, or as a new hire should I expect to be somewhere closer to mid 50's to 60's. Is $79,961 the salary of the guy that has been a plannerII for five years and hasnt moved to planner III? If I think I am qualified for the higher portion of the salary range does that mean I should be looking for a more advanced position?

    By the way, I live in NJ and am not applying for the job, but this would certainly be helpful to know for the future.

    Someone who has done some hiring and salary negotiations could probably shed some light on this for me.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Only if you are specifically asked what your desired salary is should you aim high. NEVER EVER be the first to disclose this info (any negotiating book will tell you this). I don't know what you did in those two years, but I wouldn't be surprised if you are closer to the lower end of the salary range if you are offered the job. Having two years of work, if it is related work to the job you are applying for will give you more job equity than someone who has no experience or more experience in an un-related planning job. More equity allows you to negotiate more.

    I work in the private sector, jobs as well as salaries are seldom advertised. Because we are private corporations, we don't have an obligation to provide anything if we don't want to. We usually don't post salaries because we are too competitive with each other, and divulging salary info gives too much away about our firm, just like we don't post budgets in proposals to the general public (if the contract is awarded to our firm, the final dollar amount "might" be advertised). About 80% of the visitors to my firm's websites are not local governments or the general public, but actually from competiting firms.

    Hope this helps-

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ha ha ha....good example....

    Quote Originally posted by nyuhokie View post

    An example: The city or Alexandria just posted a job for a planner II. The general requirement is one year as a planner plus an urban planning course in school. Of course, they would prefer someone with a planning degree. The salary range is $48,324 - $79,961/YR (DOQ).

    By the way, I live in NJ and am not applying for the job, but this would certainly be helpful to know for the future.
    I had to laugh when I saw your example hiring city
    Take a look at the end of this thread

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=30079

    You chose a bad example, since it seems obvious to me that no one stays in Alexandria longer than a year or two at MOST

    The hiring range is a good indicator of what a jurisdiction is willing to consider. The salary range is designed to lure you in with the upper figure.....but beware, 9/10 times you won't get an offer above the base or something very close to the base salary Just my two cents......
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    IF the salary range is indicated and it is a goverment job it means that you go through a step raise program where every six months you get a step raise until you top out after 4-5 years (dependent on your deal). Often if you are experience they will start you halfway through the step program.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    It's good to be optimistic, but like I say time and time again, you really need to put in your time in the profession to make a large salary. 2 years ain't enough to make the top of the salary range. Those 2 years of work probably reassuance that you can do the job, at least moreso than someone with no experience, but it is very little experience when you have a bunch of people with more than 2 years of experience competiting for the same position.

    If you are a new hire (just graduated from grad school) you will get the upper forties, not the mid fifties to sixties. Just because you have a masters degree doesnt mean anything until you have the experience. Negotiate for a high salary (IF you are able to negotiate) but keep in mind you will have to start at the bottom and work your way up. The key is to find a community that has a higher base salary which also does not have a high turn-over. Granted this positions will be more competitive than positions paying at or below the industry average.

    Don't forget, old fashioned networking is still the safest way to get your job and move on up (that's how I earned my first position )

  6. #6
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    agreed

    agreed with the above^. networking helps.

    i believe the salary range is too just a lure. i believe they have some room to wiggle, say 1k or max. 5k above the base. but other than that they cannot budge as it is a salary step scale... claims of disrupting "internal equity" of those who did not negioate.

    especially in a large city like alexendria.

  7. #7
         
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    Most job offers for public sector would be in the bottom 1/3 of any pay range. Unless you are very well qualified you should not expect more than that.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plan 9's avatar
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    Don't expect anything above mid-point in the public sector. With only two years of experience I doubt you would get much above the base line, unless they are really desperate...in which, case proceed with caution.

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