Using the Want Ads for Salary Data

The quickest and easiest way to find out what the going rate is for a particular kind of work is to see what others are offering. To find out in a hurry, check the classified ads in your local newspapers. See if you can find similar jobs or positions that entail the same kinds of work.

Many classified ads will include an approximate pay range. If you're lucky, they'll state the exact starting salary. If you find that not enough of the ads include a pay range, you can always call the number listed in some of them and ask!

When you're looking, or calling about jobs listed in the classifieds, be sure to note things like the duties that the job requires, the geographical area that the job is in, and any benefits that may be offered. If the job's duties are the same as the one you will be offering, that's helpful. If your job's more or less demanding, plan on adjusting pay accordingly.

Note the geographic location. If the jobs are in your geographical area, you'll have a good basis for comparison. If they are not, then they may not provide as accurate a comparison. The best information will be from jobs in your immediate area because those are the strongest competition.