Use This Legal Loophole to Figure Out How Much a Job Should Pay

To effectively negotiate wages, you first need to know what constitutes a reasonable wage for a given job. But this information is not always available, either for confidentiality reasons or because most companies choose not to list salaries in their job postings. Fortunately, there is a workaround that can come in handy: Colorado law requires salaries to be included in all job listings, which means you can find reliably accurate salary information for your profession. Here’s a look at how you can make this work for you, even if you don’t live in Colorado.

How to find accurate salary information at work

While you can use payroll search sites like Indeed , Glassdoor, or PayScale to get an idea of ​​how much a job is worth, they can be quite broad in terms of salary range and job description. Also, as is often the case with job sites, you may need to create an account before you can see the results.

Instead, the LifeProTips subreddit offers an alternative way to check salaries for a given role: just check ads for similar jobs in Colorado. Unlike sites that rely on self-reported data, these salary figures are direct from the employer, so you also know they are up to date and accurate.

For example, when I check Linkedin or Indeed for “project manager” job postings, I see that some of them include salaries and many do not. But if I am looking for the same job in Colorado, the vast majority list salaries to comply with state labor laws. This information can be very helpful even if you do not live in Colorado.

For example, a Linkedin job posting for the position of “Account Manager” on Wix.com in Florida does not include any salary information. But the position in the same position in Colorado does include a salary range ($ 55,000- $ 78,000). Even if a Florida job seeker does not necessarily need to look for a job in Colorado, he can still use this information to improve his salary negotiations for a job in Florida.

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of living

Since companies usually offer compensation based on the local living wage, you should keep that in mind when comparing salaries across states, especially since the cost of living in Colorado is higher than in most of the country.

As a commenter on the LifeProTips thread suggests , you can include a Colorado salary in the cost of living calculator to estimate how much the same job can be paid in the state where you currently reside.

Again, this is intended to provide more of an approximate amount of what you deserve, rather than an exact formula for determining how much a company is actually willing to pay. As always, the guessing game continues to favor the employer in wage negotiations over the job seeker. But at least you will have more information to help you negotiate salaries with confidence without leaving money on the table.

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