The Key To Understanding Salary Data

Arm yourself with salary data before you sit down with a future employer to discuss your salary and benefits package. The stakes are high and if you settle for as little as $1,000 less annually than the market rate, over a ten year period this equates to $12,578.

Critical to your salary negotiation is reliable position market comparisons for your job. You want to be sure you are presenting accurate, validated job salary data. This requires some research on your part.

You can establish a baseline sense of salary in your locality with informal discussions with your professional colleagues, blog articles, and local recruiters. You will want to build on this information by reviewing free web salary sources which include private organizations, job boards, and government salary studies. Considerations when validating salary information includes: source of data, sample size, age of data, and how data is normalized based on location, job title, outliers, etc. Here is a summary of the top salary sources.

Glassdoor (www.glassdoor.com/salaries)

Proposal Writer:
$46,000 – $92,000 (Filtered by title and location: Proposal Writer; Washington, D.C)

Proposal Manager:
$67,000 – $138,000 (Filtered by title and location: Proposal Manager, Washington, D.C.)

Proposal Director:
$96,000 – $152,000 (Filtered by title and location: Proposal Director, Washington, D.C.)

Glassdoor can provide salary information about actual jobs within a specific company. You can obtain salary by occupation, industry and company. The information is obtained from employees of companies in exchange for gaining access to Glassdoor’s salary database. Sample size can have a large variance based on job title.

PayScale (www.payscale.com/salary)

Proposal Writer
$55,000 – $86,000 (Filtered by title, location, and 5 years experience: Proposal Writer, Washington, D.C.)

PayScale requires extensive information from professionals to determine targeted salary range by location, education, qualifications and experience. You are compared to job seekers with similar skills and experience. Salary data is updated continuously. To get the most accurate salary range, log into the site and entered details specific to your employment history.

Salary.com (www.salary.com)

Proposal Writer:
$56,000 – $87,000 (Filtered by 2-5 years experience; Proposal Writer, Washington, D.C.)

Proposal Manager:
$60,719 – $105,776 (Filtered by Proposal Manager, Washington, D.C.)

Salary.com obtains information directly from employers and reputable consulting companies. One of the oldest salary sources, Salary.com reports that they have collected data from, “more than 29 million individuals working at more than 16,000 companies.” In addition to salary data, Salary.com provides bonus and benefits information. Job titles are broken down by levels such as Accountant 1, 2 or 3.

Indeed (www.indeed.com/salary)

Proposal Writer:
$83,000 (Indeed does not offer a statistical distribution of salary data. Filtered by title and location: Proposal Writer; Washington, D.C)

Proposal Manager:
$115,000 (Filtered by Proposal Manager; Washington, D.C.)

Indeed averages data across the web including job boards and company websites. It does not offer a statistical distribution of the salary data. Salary data is the median salary of more than 50,000 job postings at a given time.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: (www.bls.gov)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a vast database of salary statistics drawn from its employer surveys. However, job titles often group several occupations under one title. The site includes occupational projections in terms of growth and decline of a profession. The closest reference for Proposal Writers is Technical Writers, Grant Writers or a general category of Writers.

Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP): (www.apmp.org)

APMP completed a 2015 salary survey of Proposal Writers, Proposal Managers and Senior Proposal Managers. The results of the survey are available to members of APMP.

Understanding the Comprehensive Benefits Package

Salary is only one component of total compensation. Total compensation equates to your salary and benefits package. Your contribution towards benefits such as healthcare insurance, can offset a higher salary. Other benefits that add to the monetary value of your compensation package include: vacation time, 401K Plans, education reimbursement, life insurance, short and long term disability, child care and elder care, and wellness programs.

Additional consideration is average hours worked weekly. If your job pays a higher salary than the competitors, but requires a 60 hour work week, than the competitors overall compensation package may be a better offer.

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