What is a competitive salary

When looking through the job descriptions you may notice that some companies do not mention the exact salary, not even a salary range. But what they do offer is a “competitive salary”. What is a competitive salary? What you can count on when applying for a job with a competitive salary? Why don’t recruiters just tell the exact number? Find the answers to these and more questions below.

What does “competitive salary” mean?

The term “competitive salary” means that the salary will be at the standard market rate for jobs in your sphere or industry, or a little bit higher than the average salary on the market.

In this form, the company wants to promote the fact that it offers wages equal to or better than what its competitors offer for similar positions. In other words, competitive wage means the pay offered by a potential employer is reasonable based on your qualifications and the industry.

If you are truly interested in a job, but the salary is not stated, this should not prevent you from applying for the position. First of all, compensation is important for all the candidates and you have the right to know what you can count on. So asking what you can expect in terms of numbers before the interview is a totally reasonable question.

Besides, sometimes companies have their own reasons not to disclose the exact salary but use this vague definition.

Why do companies say “competitive salary” instead of showing a real salary bracket?

Why companies don't disclose salaries

Here are some most popular reasons why:

  • In workplaces where salaries are different for all employees, there is usually a policy to keep them confidential.
  • The salary may depend on the candidate’s experience and skills, so the company does not want to show the range be able to vary it.
  • A company might not want to show their salary levels to their competitors.
  • Some candidates may be interested in the position only in terms of money. Not stating the salary is one of the ways for the recruiter to filter such candidates. As they want to interview only those who are truly interested in the position.

How to understand if the salary is really competitive

The only way to understand if the offered salary is reasonable and fair is to conduct your own market research. You need to know what the market is paying for someone with your credentials and level of experience. Below are the tools you can use to get the information that will help you decide if you offered a competitive salary. It is worth using several methods at once, this will help you come up with more objective data.

  • Talking to recruiters. That means going out and talking to real employers, maybe there are people who hire among your friends or your friends’ friends. Recruiters tend to have the most up to date information and can provide you with valuable input. Besides, you can ask people who you know with the same job titles and level of experience about how much their salary level is, or just ask them if the salary you’ve been offered, can be considered competitive.
  • Using PayScale. This is a salary calculator that provides a free salary report based on information about you. Here is how it works: you will need to answer questions about your job title, education, skills, location, and experience. The survey takes from 5 to 1- minutes., you’ll receive a pay snapshot that shows how your total pay (including things like bonuses, overtime pay, etc.) compares to people in the same job at a similar company with a similar background and cost of living as you.
  • Checking Glassdoor. It has always provided salary numbers directly from Glassdoor users themselves. It is almost like talking to real people and asking them about their salary. Apart from it, they offer the Know your worth tool. Enter your employer, location, job title, years of experience, and current salary, and you’ll receive a custom salary estimate based on your title, company, location, and experience. This tool will show how your salary level would change if you moved to another location or gained more experience.
  • LinkedIn Salary. This is another tool that you may like. Apart from the salary level calculation based on more than 460 million members’ insights, it also offers details such as stock and annual bonuses.

You can also rely on Google and use various job boards to make your analysis. Doing research, have in mind that salaries differ depending on the region and local area. Make sure you check multiple sources and determine an average number of what you can reasonably earn.

When to ask about salary if it’s listed as competitive

As it was mentioned above knowing their future compensation is important for the majority of the candidates. So if you are interested in the position, but have doubts about the salary level, research the market, define how much you would like to get and before going to the interview send an email with your question to the recruiter.

Another option, which is a bit more personal and thus preferable, is asking about the salary figure at the interview. Usually, an HR-specialist or a hiring-manager will mention it naturally during the conversation. But even if they don’t, it is totally ok to bring it about. Every interview has the moment when they wonder if you have any questions left, and this is where you can get the answer.

What if the salary they offer isn’t enough

When salary is not enough

If the number you’ve been offered is lower than you expected and you think you deserve, but the job seems appealing, you can try to negotiate a higher salary. Here are the tips on how to do it:

  • Talk about your value. Bring up evidence that proves why you’re worth what you’re worth. You can help the company to reduced costs or improve profitability, or you’ve been recognized as a strong performer. Make a list of these items ahead of time in your mind. So that when you are in the meeting you clearly explain them one by one. You need to be assertive and tactful when you explain yourself, but at the same time calm and confident.
  • Give a number, not a range. Many people are afraid to offend the employers and give a range of what salary they’d be open to. This is not the way to go. It allows the employer to give you a lower salary. Moreover, it makes you look uncertain about what you want and what you deserve. You need to keep in mind 2 numbers, your ideal salary (the salary you know is more than someone with your experience is truly worth, the number which is slightly higher than you would normally expect) and the salary you are ready to settle down with — is what you truly worth, that you are justified. Better give your ideal number. It will show that you have made your research and the employer won’t go much more off than your number anyway.
  • Go in with leverage. You want to leverage everything you can to enhance your chances of getting an increase in pay. In case you are expecting more job offers or already have them, you can tell the recruiter that you are considering multiple offers. This will enhance the scarcity mentality for the hiring manager. And they will be willing to pay more if they know they may be snatched up by somebody else.
  • Time it appropriately. If you’re in a job offer situation vs. asking for a raise, you need to know the right timing on when to bring up your salary expectations. Try not to bring the salary expectations on your own, cause it may make you look money-hungry, and this is not the impression you want to make.
  • Be humble and polite, yet confident. The salary negotiations are about justifying why you deserve more money, it’s not about being aggressive and greedy. Your positive intentions will help you to have a positive result.


What is a competitive salary for an internship?

The national average salary for an Intern is $38,957 in the United States according to Glassdoor research based on 931 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Intern employees. To get more detailed insights you can filter by location and see intern salaries in your area based on the Glassdoor report.

Why is a competitive salary important?

A competitive salary package is crucial as it helps the employees to do their best for the organization. It promotes employee engagement and encourages loyalty. For the employer having proper salary policies in place is a tangible way to show its commitment to taking care of their people.

What is a competitive hourly pay?

The expression “competitive hourly rate” has the same meaning as the competitive salary. But it can be slightly different for managers and employees. As an employer, offering competitive wages is helpful in attracting and retaining talented workers. As an employee, a competitive wage means the pay offered by a potential employer is reasonable based on your qualifications and experience.

What is a competitive pay check?

Competitive pay package usually includes the following: competitive base salary, health insurance and a retirement plan. These are the must-have benefits necessary to attract and keep talent in a company.

  • Health insurance. Employees strongly appreciate health insurance. It is often the benefit they consider most important. It is a significant decision point for employees when they are considering several opportunities. Offering quality health insurance can identify a company as an employer of choice.
  • Paid time off (PTO). Paid time off from work is a benefit providing hours that employees can use as they need or desire for vacation, sick leave or personal reasons.
  • 401(k) or other retirement plan. A 401(k) is a retirement savings plan. It allows employees to save a part of their salary before taxation. Sometimes companies call it the contribution pension account.

Is competitive salary good?

It is good both for an employer and for an employee. With a competitive pay rate, employees spend more time focusing on their job instead of looking for a better-paid job. This helps to increase productivity. When fewer people leave the company, the overall team mood is better, the company knowledge grows and its culture develops.

One Comment

  1. Aluminium Metale

    Nigdy nie zapominajcie o tym, by brac z zycia jak najwiecej, nie bljcie sie ryzykowac, plakac ani byc szczesliwymi. Najwazniejsze to byc w drodze. Kazdego dnia robic krok do przodu. – Martyna Wojciechowska


Leave your thoughts


Recent Posts

Farfarjob.com — the fastest growing recruitment and career advancement resources website in the Job sector for employers, recruiters, freelancers and job seekers.

Contact Us

FarFarJob Inc.
51/20 West 21st Street, New York, 10011, USA
[email protected]