There’s no shame in wanting to know how much your potential future job pays. Last time we checked, this is the age of information.
Still, many of us live under the assumption that it’s rude to ask The Question. So, we want to leave you with a few tools and techniques to use in case you don’t want to ask, don’t know how to ask, or just plain forgot to ask The Question in an interview.
Pro: UW students submit information on Coop Salaries because they want to help their fellow classmates (you!). These salaries specifically relate to the context of UW coop students (ex. the tax breaks employers get for hiring coops, the UW brand that we carry, etc). It’s completely free to use.
Con: Not all positions are accounted for. Some people misread the submission form and answer inaccurately, so you also have to use your head when reading the info here.
Pro: These are a huge databases of professional as well as some intern positions and their salaries, interview questions, and company reviews.
Con: Not all coop-specific positions are accounted for. Salaries listed may also not precisely apply to a coop context, so you’ll have to do some educated guessing as to what the actual salary may be. Some submissions may also be inaccurate (a risk with every crowd-sourced dataset).
Pro: Interns submit their reviews of companies anonymously, and they have a couple hundred positions listed.
Con: As with the previous group, the data here doesn’t seem to be UW coop-specific, and tends to mostly salary info for tech positions.
Asking Past Employees
Search for the previous person in your position using LinkedIn and Facebook, and ask them. This person has little to lose for sharing salary info with you, and their judgements of you aren’t likely to affect your employment status (since they probably have little sway over who gets hired).
Send them a direct message asking if you can get their input on their experience at Company XYZ, and if they’re up for it, ask them as much about their position as they’ll answer.
Example: Write a message like this to somebody. In our experience, as you can see, people are pretty helpful.
Taking An Educated Guess
Use the tools mentioned above to find a similar position at a similar company to the one you’ve applied for, and create a guesstimate based on the differences of your context and that of the tool.
Look at the industry and department you’re applying for, the size of the company, your experience level, and a few other factors, and you can at least figure out a ballpark you can expect will be the salary.
For example: If you see a marketing coop position on Coop Salaries at Google, in New York City, but there’s a new position with a similar title in Toronto they’re hiring for, just bump your salary expectations down by a notch cause it’s Canada.
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