Entry-Level Salaries – What You Need to Know
If you are just getting started in your career, one of your first questions may center on what you can expect to earn. Entry-level salaries can differ dramatically in different professions; some people with advanced degrees make six figures right out of professional school while people who have graduated from high school and jumped right into the workforce often starting at minimum wage.
You need to know what to expect when it comes to starting salaries in your field so you can be prepared to budget appropriately and know if a salary offer is fair or not. A staffing service can help you to make informed choices and find positions that have reasonable entry level salaries, so working with staffing professionals can be helpful. Regardless of what approach to take, it is helpful to know how entry level salaries are determined. For example, entry level salaries could be set by:
- Minimum wage: Minimum wage is the minimum amount an employer is allowed to pay – no exceptions. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, according to the Department of Labor. However, there are many different states and even local municipalities which have passed higher minimum wage amounts. For example, the minimum wage in Washington State is $9.47 per hour – which means employers throughout Washington State must pay at least that amount. There is also a concerted nationwide effort to increase the minimum wage nationwide to $15, but it remains unclear whether this effort will be met with success.
- Union contracts: Some jobs are union jobs, where unions have contracts with employers setting standards for wages. If you take a job with a union contract in place, the contract may specify a higher entry-level wage than the minimum.
- Industry custom: In many skilled professions, the entry-level wage is far higher than the minimum wage. You should carefully research the particular jobs you are searching for to find entry-level and median wages for that particular field.
SmartTalent helps many job seekers find positions with reasonable entry-level salaries in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynnwood, Everett and surrounding areas. If you want to start your career in a position that pays you fairly for your time and effort, give us a call so we can help.