How to negotiate salary

It is difficult to ask for more money at your job. It is important to practice and know the right time to ask. Learn how to negotiate salary when you start a new job. Find out how to ask for a raise.

Before you can start a new job, you and your employer will agree how much you will be paid and what benefits you will receive. For some jobs, you can negotiate your salary. Negotiations are discussions that lead to an agreement. If you learn how to negotiate salary and benefits, you may earn more when you start a job. 

Later, when you are in a job and doing well, you can negotiate an increase in your salary, which is called a raise.

What should I think about when I negotiate my salary?

When you are negotiating a salary, you should think about more than just money. There are other benefits you can negotiate for to make a smaller salary worth more.


Many jobs offer benefits, such as health insurance, vacation time, and a retirement plan. A job that pays $25,000 a year but gives you $10,000 more in benefits is better than a job that pays $30,00 a year with no benefits.


Where you live changes how much you get paid. Some places are much more expensive to live than others. In those places, employers have to offer more money for the same job.


Your experience, education, and qualifications all improve your skills. Employers will pay more for good skills and experience.


Are you applying for a job that is hard to fill? The employer may pay more if he is having a hard time finding qualified workers.


Some jobs offer bonuses at the end of the year. These may be target-based. This means if you do well, you will earn more. At others, you might get more money for the holidays (Christmas and New Year) or when you start the job.

How to negotiate salary when you get a job offer

When the employer sends you an offer letter, thank them for the offer and say you would like to think about it. Ask when they need your response. Do some research and find out if the salary offered fits with the average salary for the job and location. If you meet all of the requirements and have prior job experience, consider if you should ask for a higher salary.

Before the deadline, call or email the employer. Tell them why you think you should earn more and suggest a higher amount. Talk about your skills and experience. It is best to ask for 5% to 10% more than the employer offered you. If health benefits, bonuses, or vacation time are more important to you, negotiate for those instead.

Employers may take a few days to decide. Usually, they will increase their offer to a figure somewhere between the first amount and the one you asked for. Sometimes, you will not get any increase. But asking does not hurt. It also shows the employer you are confident about your skills.

At unskilled jobs, employers are less likely to negotiate. They have set amounts per hour or per week that they will pay. But if you have extra experience or skills, you can try negotiating. You can also negotiate if there are not enough good workers for the job. 

If you decide to ask through email, you can use this salary negotiation email template.

Watch a video with more tips about how to negotiate your salary


How to negotiate salary raises 

Negotiating a raise is like negotiating a starting salary. You want to show why you are worth more than you are being paid. So once again:

  • Talk about your skills and experience.
  • Do your research: what are other people are being paid at your level and for similar jobs?
  • Request a specific amount to open negotiations.

To ask for a raise, you can also talk about the things you have done at work. If you have done a good job, point it out to your boss. Maybe you have made the company a lot of money. Maybe you helped make a positive change at the company. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Companies want to keep good employees, even if they have to pay a bit more. Here are some other things to remember when you are asking for a raise:

Focus on the job, not on your personal needs

For example, point out extra responsibilities you have taken on, not how high your car payments are.

Use good timing

Don’t ask for a raise when the company is losing money or has many bills to pay. Ask when the company (or you) have been successful.

Be professional

Ask for a time you can talk. Your employer will be more likely to listen if they have set aside the time.

Be positive

Ask in a positive way. Don’t say you will leave if you don’t get what you want – unless you mean it! Be prepared to compromise.

We aim to offer easy to understand information that is updated regularly. This information is not legal advice.