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Tips for negotiating your salary in the tech industry

Tips for negotiating your salary in the tech industry

Even though negotiating your salary can be awkward, the benefits can last as long as your career. After you negotiate your salary at one job, the higher pay may follow you as you move to the next one and so on.

Along with a good salary, you should also know how to get the best benefits and any available shares of the company tied into your compensation package. Read on to get tips on negotiating your salary in tech industry and learn about how benefits and stock can pay off just as well as cash.

Why are benefits important?

Benefits can help you take care of things that would otherwise require personal investments of time, money, and energy — so, often, they're worth their weight in gold. Common benefits include:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement savings
  • Paid sick time
  • Paid time off
  • Paid medical leave

Considering the costs of paying for health and dental insurance out of pocket, it may even be worth taking slightly less pay if it means you have these benefits covered. With other benefits, like a retirement savings plan, the company may even match a portion of your savings. As time goes on, this can add up to a significant chunk of your nest egg.

The good news is, many companies include the benefits listed above in their compensation packages. During your interviews, make sure you ask about benefits so you can compare offers between companies.

Should you ask for shares of company stock?

In most situations, you should happily accept shares of company stock. The one exception would be if they offer to replace a significant portion of your salary in exchange for shares. This could be a red flag indicating they're low on cash and not as fiscally sound as they appear on the surface.

Companies often offer shares on top of a regular salary because they give an employee a certain amount of "skin in the game," aligning company success with the value of their stock portfolio. Accept shares whenever possible, even if they come with limitations on when you can sell them. As the company grows, your stock will grow along with it.

Because you can eventually sell them, shares of the company are essentially free money. If the company has not offered shares, you should include them in your list of things to negotiate for.

How to negotiate your salary in the tech industry

Before negotiating your salary, make a list of the things you want, including a specific pay range and any of the benefits listed above. Make sure your list includes specific figures. Armed with this, you're ready to start negotiating.

Know your worth

While it's easy to simply Google, "How much do Front-End Developers make?" you shouldn't stop here. The numbers you get online will give you a starting point, but it's best to reach out to real people, such as:

  • Friends in the tech industry
  • Recruiters familiar with your sector
  • People who've been working in tech for a long time
  • Teachers and classmates in courses you've completed or are currently taking
  • Company executives
  • IT managers

You may learn that the numbers you saw online are spot on, but if they're different, you should adjust your expectations. It's also important to check the salary ranges in your location — even if you'll be working remotely.

If you're interested in becoming a developer, our courses can help you get the experience and skills you'll need to back up your requests for more money and benefits. A developer's tech stack is a huge factor in their salary expectations, so increase your marketability by learning how to use programming languages like:

Negotiate early

It's both to your advantage and considerate to the company to start negotiating early. You can broach the subject by respectfully saying something along these lines:

"I'm really excited about this opportunity. I'd like to give you an idea of what I'm looking for as far as compensation, so we're on the same page."

Starting negotiations early will help you see if the company can provide what you're looking for, and it also gives them some figures to work with as they come up with an offer. In many cases, your interviewer will share your salary expectations with HR and other decision-makers.

Nailing the interview process will make negotiations easier for you and more comfortable for the employer. To prepare for your upcoming interviews, check out the interview prep courses below:

Negotiate with the right attitude and wording

Negotiating your salary isn't a negative in the eyes of a company, but you don't want to come off as demanding. Instead of saying, "I will accept nothing less than X," try saying something along the lines of:

"Given the following industry averages, [show salaries that align with the position and your experience] I was hoping for something in the range of X."
"I currently earn X, and my goal is to move forward from that."

Don't bank on promises of higher pay

If the company presents an offer that's well below what you're looking for but then follows with, "…but in a few years, you can probably make 15% more," don't consider that a part of their official "package."

Unless it's in writing, the company can reverse it as quickly as they brought it up. You can counter with something like, "That sounds great, thank you. Would X% higher right now be a possibility?"

With these tips, you can secure the pay you deserve. Still, adding new skills to your skillset is a great way to increase your salary expectations. If you're looking to brush up on your technical skills, check out our catalog of programming courses.

Our courses provide you with the knowledge, skills, and experience you'll need to show employers you bring value to the table — a value they can feel comfortable paying for. To learn more about how our courses can boost your worth, sign up today for free.

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Adam Carpenter

Adam Carpenter

Adam Carpenter is a tech, fintech, and business innovations writer. Passionate about user safety, Adam writes about cybersecurity solutions, software, and innovations.

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Tips for negotiating your salary in the tech industry
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