What's It Worth?

Don't guess at important stuff like salaries. Go to a reliable source.
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This story appears in the March 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Are you paying your staff too much--or not enough? Do you know how to peg the salary to suit a new position? Don't guess, surf, because nowadays the Internet is crammed with rich sites filled with salary info. Such as?

  • JobStar (http://www.jobsmart.org/tools/salary/sal-prof.htm) offers links to more than 300 salary surveys, covering everything from accounting to the wood and paper industry. For instance, are you paying your PR staffer enough? A click on "Public Relations" produces links to surveys that tell you the average salaries by region and specialty.

Want to know what you should pay yourself? Click "Executives," and you find links to surveys of executive compensation in everything from high-tech start-ups to casinos.

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/compub.htm) offers data that covers most occupations and is organized regionally. That's important because a typist in San Francisco makes a very different wage from one in Texarkana.

Useful related info: At http://www.bls.gov/ebshome.htm, you can find out what benefits are most common in which businesses. Although the information hasn't been updated in a while--the survey dates from 1996--benefits information probably hasn't changed that much and baselines are useful when negotiating with new hires.

To contact Robert McGarvey, e-mail him at rjm@mcgarvey.net.

Edition: July 2017

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