Searching for a new engineering job is an exciting time. You’re probably very eager to see what the next chapter of your career has in store, but first, you have to get hired.
Along with search for a position that ignites your passion, you also need to be sure the salary will allow you to maintain your current standard of living. Money isn’t everything to you, but your bills won’t pay themselves.
Salary discussions can rattle the nerves of even the most confident candidates, but they’re a crucial part of the interview process. Find out how to get the number you really want.
4 Tips to Negotiate the Engineering Salary You Deserve
Time it Right
During the hiring process, there’s a time and place to discuss money, and the first interview isn’t it. Unless you’re specifically asked about your salary requirements, leave this topic to a later round. Mentioning money too early sends the impression that you’re only interested in the job for the paycheck, which certainly won’t impress the hiring manager.
Do Your Research
Some employers are more than willing to pay what you’re worth, but others need an extra push. You probably won’t know what you’re dealing with until the discussion begins, so conduct research ahead of time to give your skills and experience a dollar value. Use the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the average salary for your engineering field in the area where the job is located. Tweak this number as needed to reflect your unique offerings.
There’s a good chance the company will negotiate salary with you, so don’t offer up your real number during the first round. Instead, ask for more than you actually need to feel valued, so you don’t end up selling yourself short. If the best-case scenario does occur and you get the higher salary, more power to you.
Know When to Walk Away
It’s always frustrating to find a great engineering opportunity, only to learn the salary is much lower than you expected. If you’re really interested in the position, you might be tempted to take a pay cut, but that’s not wise. When the newness of the job wears off, you’ll likely feel stressed about being cash-strapped and quickly grow to resent your employer. The right job — and salary — will come along, so just be patient until you find it.
Taking the next step in your engineering career is a life-changing decision, so allow MAC Incorporated to guide your search. Our niche-based staffing and recruiting firm wants to help you succeed, so contact us today to find out what you have to gain from a partnership with us!