With the Internet, Job Boards, Job Postings on Web Sites and Social Media, it is easier than ever to research salary levels. If a company posts a salary range, they normally want to pay somewhere in the middle of the range. The offer is also based on the actual interview.

If an employer interviews someone who has 100% of the credentials needed and will hit the ground running, the salary will go higher. If they feel they need to train someone or the experience or skills are lower than desired, the salary level can decrease.

When you are contemplating a particular industry or profession, conduct research through the Trade Publications and Professional Associations that represent your target. They often publish salary surveys and information as part of the service they provide to their members. If you are interviewing with a specific company, go to the employment pages on their website and research salary levels posted.

If salary is not posted, you can connect with people through Social Media sites who have worked for this particular employer. They can provide inside information on salaries as well as the benefit package and costs. You don’t want to eliminate yourself from competition by quoting your salary too high, however you also don’t want to leave money on the table by quoting a salary requirement that is too low. This is the primary reason for conducting your research prior to an interview.

There are also many websites that provide salary information and surveys. You can Google your profession with the words salary ranges and often industry or profession specific sites will be provided.

Other more general sites include: www.salary.com, www.salaryexpert.com and www.erieri.com

It is also important that you consider the cost of living if you are contemplating a job in a different city or state. If the cost of living is lower where you will be employed, you could accept a lower offer and still experience a better quality of life because your expenses would be lower.

There is a site which helps you compare your current location to one you may consider for a new job. Go to www.bestplaces.net/col

Salary research is an important step in the preparation stage for an interview. You want to be the most prepared, you want to have the best information and you want to interview best – so you end up receiving the job offer. There are many other sites you can research as well…just make sure you take the time to conduct your research before you find yourself sitting in front of a hiring authority and you can’t answer the question, “So what salary are you looking for?”