Kai Dickerson
Community Specialist
Community Specialist
Negotiate a higher hourly wage
Last updated: July 2, 2022
Kai Dickerson
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Negotiate a higher hourly wage

How to ask for a higher rate of pay than is offered

Negotiate a better hourly rate by following these guidelines.

1. Know what your time is worth and use that to start the conversation

The more work experience you have, the less training you’ll likely need in a new job. Make a list of the accomplishments, competencies, and skills that you've acquired at previous jobs to assess the value of your time, and what you're ready to bring to the hiring company (or position).

Sample language to begin negotiating the wage:

“As you can see from my application or resume, I have five years of experience in a warehouse. I’m confident I can meet quotas before my probationary period is over. Can we discuss starting at a higher hourly rate?”

2. Do your research on compensation

Search online sites like Glassdoor and PayScale to get a sense of pay ranges for similar jobs at the company where you are applying, competitors in the same industry, and in the area where you live. Note that wages for the same job can be dramatically different depending on where the job is located. Talking about the market research you've done shows the employer that you are proactive and understand the competition.

Sample language to incorporate your market research into the discussion:

“In my research, I have found that {insert name of local competitor} is offering entry level workers $15 an hour. Workers with five years of experience there usually earn $21 an hour. Would you be willing to match the rate of $21 per hour?"

3. Point to your research and work experience rather than details of your financial situation

Explain to the hiring manager how you determined the rate of pay you’re asking for: outline your market research for the position and your work experience. While you may be tempted to react to an offer that is outside of the range that you have in mind, keep the discussion on the job itself, and how you are the most qualified and valuable person to do it, rather than the impact of the offer on your personal finances.

Sample language to focus on your skills and the 'extra' value you're bringing to the job

“In addition to having all the skills listed in the job description, I also have experience managing inventory. In fact, in my last position, I developed a system in the warehouse that saved the company 100 hours a year in labor. Is that a responsibility I can take on as well, with a higher wage?”

4. Gather wage information from the hiring manager first– then start high

Begin by asking what the salary offer is. If it’s below expectations, politely counter with another amount – and explain why. Start your negotiation at the higher end of the range you’ve researched; that gives the employer some wiggle room to land somewhere in the middle. If the company says $15 an hour, and you think something around $17 is more in line with the job and your skills, ask for an hourly rate of $20.

Sample language to talk numbers:

“What is the wage for this position?... I had estimated more like $20 an hour, based on my research of the competition and my solid experience. Can we discuss that?”

5. Don’t be afraid of “no”

Think of the word “no” as the beginning of another conversation. Be aware that some employers do not have the flexibility to negotiate pay. Wages are an important piece of your compensation, but there may be other benefits that they can provide instead. Free parking? A bus or subway pass? The ability to start health insurance coverage sooner?

You may want to also leave the "door open" to future wage negotiations by asking if you can be considered for a raise after passing a probationary period, or upon completing certain tasks or employment milestones.

Sample language to negotiate non-wage compensation:

“I understand that you’re locked in at that pay rate. Can we explore some other forms of compensation, like a free parking space or monthly public transportation pass?”

Negotiating a better pay rate is an expected part of the hiring process - don't miss the opportunity to earn more!


Did you find this helpful? Or do you have other tips on negotiating an hourly wage? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Kai Dickerson
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Irene Marano

Yes, I definitely needed that advice.I'm old school and think my work will speak for itself.That being said it doesn't get you in the door.You definitely have to know how to sell yourself without being too boastful.!!!

Yes, I definitely needed that advice.I'm old school and think my work will speak for itself.That being said it doesn't get you in the door.You definitely have to know how to sell yourself without being too boastful.!!!

49w
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