Salary guides | Negotiating pay | Youth Central

Salary guides let you compare your salary with other people doing similar work.

If you’re in a permanent full-time or part-time job, you’ll probably be paid a salary. This means you’ll generally work a fixed number of hours each week, and you’ll be paid a fixed amount that’s worked out on a 12-month period.

Salary guides are mostly for professional jobs, like engineering, accounting or law, although you will also find information on industries like hospitality and construction.

Find out what salary you should be getting paid

Before you negotiate your pay with your employer, do some research to find out what salary you should be getting paid.

Our page on minimum wages has some basic information about Australia’s minimum wage. The Australian Government's Job Outlook website also has general information about salaries in their career profiles section.

Salary guide websites

You can also look up your job on a salary guide to see the range of salaries paid for similar positions.

These guides are generally provided by for-profit companies. The information they give you is very useful, but you should be aware that they’re using these guides as a way to market their services.

  • Hays is an international recruitment company that lets you compare your salary with other jobs in a similar field and location. You can use the ‘Check your salary’ button to find your job and where your salary fits in the range paid for that type of job.
  • Hudson is another recruitment company that produces salary guides and industry overviews. Hudson’s guides include fewer industries than Hays, but they have a salary calculator where you can type in your position title and find out the average salary for that role.
  • PayScale is an international salary research centre that also operates in Australia. You can look up average salaries for different jobs.

When to negotiate salary

The best time to negotiate pay is when you start a new job. Find out the salary for similar positions. If you already know what you should be getting before you negotiate, you’ll be in a much stronger position.

Make sure you stick up for what you’re worth. Don’t accept anything less than the minimum pay or salary for your situation.

Another time to talk about your pay is when you have a performance review. A performance review is a six or 12-monthly meeting where you talk to your boss or supervisor about your work. This might be a formal meeting, or it might just be an informal chat with your boss.

Our how to negotiate for what you want at work page has information on how to bring up the topic of pay with your boss.

Asking for a pay rise

If you think that you deserve a pay rise, you have the right to ask for one.

Before asking your boss, prepare your argument for why you should be given a pay rise. Put together some proof to support your argument.

Examples of things that you can use to make your case include:

  • working lots of overtime
  • doing work that's outside your job description
  • successful management of an important project.

When negotiating a pay rise be honest, candid and professional. Don't threaten or beg.

Know what you’re worth

Knowing what people get paid for similar jobs can help you decide whether you’re being paid right.

The salary guides on this page are one way to find that out.

You can also look at job search websites to find similar jobs. Look for the salaries that other employers are paying.

If you know what you’re worth, you’ll be in a better position to ask for more pay.

You might also decide that it’s time to look for another job that can pay you more.