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Salary negotiation for student jobs

Whether you have a job or are looking for one, it is a good idea to consider whether you are getting a salary that fits your qualifications.

Salary negotiation

As a rule, your salary depends on your level of education.  This means that a master's student will likely earn more than a bachelor's student, as the master's student is more highly educated and therefore has more competencies to bring to the job. The salary of your student job also depends on whether the job is relevant to your studies.

Another thing that your salary may be affected by is which subject area /industry you work in. Some industries will pay more.

How can you negotiate a salary offer

A good question is: How to discuss the salary in an interview?

If you work under the Salaried Employees Act, you have the right to negotiate wages at any time. An obvious time to negotiate a salary could be when you go from a bachelor's student to a graduate student.

Whether you provide a payroll proposal at the job interview or want a payroll interview after you have been at your workplace for a long time, it is a good idea to keep track of how high your hourly wage could actually be. You can do this based on salary statistics for students, which you can find on the internet - typically many unions provide salary statistics. Here you can get an overview of what you should approximately earn, based on what the average is for your industry and your level of education. Of course, there may be other factors that come into play, for example, it is also worth considering whether you have any qualified work experience that can put you in a stronger than average position.

How to ask about a salary in an interview

When you have to give a salary proposal, you should try to give an ambitious but realistic proposal. As previously mentioned, it may be a good idea to have a look at the salary statistics, so you know what the minimum should be. When this is discussed, there is room for negotiation. Your employer will try to negotiate your pay down and you can expect to land at a more predictable pay level, this figure you can be already aware of based on your research of salary statistics.

If your first salary suggestion is too low, or the employer asks you to come up with a fair salary suggestion, you are most likely starting in a defensive position.
As a result of this you will have to fight/push for a higher salary. 
Therefore, start at a higher salary level and let the employer be in the position to argue why you should have a lower salary. 
Taking this approach, you are switching the negotiating roles to your advantage. 

You should also think about what is the minimum salary you will accept and aim to not go below this.

Money is not everything

Finally, you not only have to negotiate your base salary, you can also easily negotiate a lot of other things. One thing could be retirement, but if it's a little too dusty and far into the future for you, you can also negotiate  flexi time, paid lunch break, time off, holidays, etc.

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