If you’re wondering whether you’re being underpaid, there’s no reason you can’t find out now. Statistics on average new grad jobs and salaries are easy to find at the Bureau of Labor Statistics online, but can vary from one geographic region to another. Here are a few criteria you need to assess to figure out if you’re being underpaid.
Your Industry Standards
Some industries just don’t pay as well as others. You might be working as a technician at a local nonprofit and expect to make peanuts compared to someone who is working as a technician at a global telecommunications firm. Your degree may even be the same, but they get paid more because their industry is different. If you get hired in a "hot" industry, expect to be paid more.
Your Job Description
A title doesn’t really tell you a whole lot about the actual fresh graduate job duties. If you’re an administrative assistant for an IT firm, you might make more than one that works for a university department. Why? You may need specialized knowledge of the industry and your duties might include supporting technical people writing very complex papers. If you need specific skills, like being conversant in multiple languages, you may expect to get paid more than industry standards, in some cases.
Your Local Area
Some poor rural areas can get away with paying people less because it’s cheaper to live there and there are fewer jobs available. Big cities tend to pay more because they are competing for a limited labor pool and the cost of living is high. If your local area is a mecca for software engineers, like San Francisco, you can expect prices to skyrocket for those professions because demand increases.
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