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Entry Mech Eng salary lower than expected?

  1. May 11, 2012 #1
    I have been going on interviews lately and the salaries offered seem to be way lower than what I've researched from salary.com and other websites. according to these sites im supposed to get between 50k-60k for Entry Level engineer
    but the reality is more like 20k-40k from what i've seen so far.

    why is this? I just graduated recently and my only experience is internships. would i see the 50k-60k salary if i had 1-2 years experience?

    i live in nj by the way.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2012 #2
    I am not from the U.S but my reasoning will be the employers know there is a surplus of graduates for a small amount of jobs.
  4. May 11, 2012 #3
    I would say you might be getting lowballed a little bit, but from my personal experience 50k is pretty close to what entry level BS engineers are going for these days. salary.com might be a bit skewed. It also depends a lot on the industry.

    Keep in mind that a salary offer is the opening of a negotiation. If you're a good candidate, the companies will be flexible. Particularly if you go at them with facts like the salary survey.

    Good luck!
  5. May 11, 2012 #4
    Anything below 40k is definately low. MEs start at low to mid 40s on average in my area and it is a much cheaper place to live than NJ.

    I will say that usually the starting salary listed on most sites is usually a little on the high side which I think is generally because those making higher are more likely to report their salaries.
  6. May 11, 2012 #5
    I would contact a recruiter. They may be able to help get you set up with companies that will not publicly advertise, but the can tell you if the money is right for your desired location, education, experience, licensure, etc.
  7. May 17, 2012 #6
    Remember not to overly discuss Salary before you confirm that you have the job. If they are telling you the salary mid-interview, defer! Say "Lets focus on whether this is a good fit first before talking about money."

    If they press the issue, tell them it won't matter what the salary is if the company isn't right for you. Discuss everything else, obviously come with questions of your own, then ask them if they think you would fit well in the job position if an agreement can be made on wages. If they say yes, this means you've essentially got the job, and even if you are a terrible negotiator, you won't walk away with any less.

    Remember to be somewhat assertive. Like the above poster said, if they offer 20k a year, show or at least reference those wage statisics. Be sure to also reference how your experience makes you valuable to them. If you can give them a reason you will make them an extra hundred thousand, another five thousand on your salary looks like a great deal.

    If it's close but not quite where you want and they won't budge because of a budget or something, ask for an extra week vacation. If you've already got them to admit that they WOULD give you the extra money but blah blah blah, an extra week instead looks like a fair compromise.

    A good negotiator is someone they'll want on their team. Just controlling the situation to your advantage will make the other person feel like they've made a good hire, and that you were worth whatever extra they threw on. Just remember that whatever number they say can be magnitudes lower then what you end up getting, and it all depends on those 45 minutes in a conference room. So practice your interviewing skills and see if it makes a difference in your final offers
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