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Searching for salary information

( -- How do you find out whether your salary is at market value for your profession, position, and location? You can turn to your friends, but they may embellish their salaries, so reliability is suspect. Your dad's input as to what people make may be outdated. Finding good sources is not easy, but here are some tips for assembling information that might lead you to the answer.

1. Check out job sites that list salary information with jobs postings. Search within a profession, for titles at your level, and for specific areas of the country. You'll begin to get a good sense for current salary ranges by dimensions such as region and type of company (large or small).

2. Association sites for a particular profession might be one of the most reliable sources of salary information. Some sites do not have salary surveys listed among their menus, but a call or email to the site administrator might reveal how that information can be obtained.

3. Search sites that provide links to surveys done by various organizations and publications. For example, on, you'll find links to surveys for technology professionals, including an Infoworld salary guide for technologists and an AS/400 managers salary survey done by Midrange Computing.

4. Trade publications often run their own salary surveys, so search their web sites. For example, Ad Age features salary information that is fairly detailed, although data for the current year was not immediately visible.

5. Ad hoc searches on search engines can sometimes direct you to fruitful results. A search on Yahoo! for "salary information" and "salary guides" can lead down various paths, but it might also lead to commercial sites such as PSR, which advertised a "2003 MIS Compensation Survey." Even better is to narrow the search by profession, say, to "accounting salaries" or "accounting salary guides."

© 2003

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