First paycheckAre you being paid fairly for the work that you do? Before you head blindly into a salary negotiation with your boss, it’s a very good idea to do some research online to determine your payscale. This way, you can arm yourself with real data that can then help to maximize your salary.

Keep in mind that there are many factors that go into determining what is a fair salary or wage for any given job. Different companies can have different payscales and the salary ranges can vary considerably from region to region. You also have to realize that job titles are really just titles; not all “business analysts” or “assistant managers” can expect to make the same amount of money. That said, there are several resources on the Internet that can get you started.

Vault.com

The good news is that the salary reports from Vault.com are incredibly comprehensive and can offer you a lot of very specific information. They give you the ability to compare salary and compensation packages not just for certain professions, but even within specific companies and firms in your industry. The bad news is that these reports aren’t free. A one-year subscription to the Vault.com “gold” membership costs $9.95 per month.

PayScale

PayScale Instant Salary Report

Instant Salary Report from PayScale

Well, that makes sense. PayScale is a website where you can get payscale information about your job. An instant salary report is available; all you have to do is provide the job title, location, and years of experience. If you fill out the survey, you will then be provided with a fuller salary report that can contain several other tidbits of useful information.

Salary.com

On Salary.com, you can look up payscale information in one of two ways: you can search based on job title and location or you can browse based on either category or income level. The basic salary wizard provides you with a bell curve for the national averages, as well as a job description and a number of alternate job titles. You can then enter your zip code to use the Advanced Salary Calculator for information more specific to your locale.

Homefair Salary Calculator

Powered by Move.com, the Salary Calculator on Homefair.com allows you to measure your compensation package against the closest match in the job database. You can compare over a thousand job descriptions in over 300 US cities, looking up both the base pay and the total cash compensation based on job title and metro area.

Paywizard.org

Paywizard.org

Paywizard Salary Calculator

Ignoring the celebrity pay rates on the sidebar (did you know George Clooney effectively earns $76,000 each day?), you can use the Paywizard.org salary calculator to compare your salary against people in the same occupation. The advantage here is that you get a graph based on length of tenure, as well as other interesting stats like average age, job satisfaction, gender breakdown, and typical number of employees.

Indeed.com Salary Search

Even though the salary search on Indeed.com looks very simple, it actually provides some rather robust information. Yes, you get the average salary for jobs that match your title search in your metropolitan area, but you also get a line graph with the national salary trend, as well as the average salary of jobs with related titles.

Glassdoor

Last but not least in our list of payscale resources is Glassdoor.com. The website contains company reviews and ratings, as well as the salaries for positions within each company. You learn about the typical pay rate for a job, to be sure, but you can filter by location and years of experience too. The employee reviews, with pros and cons, are a good way to gauge job satisfaction levels as well.

GovLoop Government Salary Calculator

If you’re thinking about work for the federal government, it has a whole system for determining pay based on experience, job category, locale, and other factors. GovLoop offers a handy tool for calculating your government salary.

Image credit: bigburpsx3 / Flickr

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