4 Main Sources to Get Wage Data

I hope to see you at #SHRM19 next week!  If you are attending, stop by and see me at 10:45 am on Tuesday in Westgate Ballroom A for my session – “Do You Need to Raise Your Wages:  A Step-by-Step Guide for Evaluating Your Wage Practices”.  

If you can’t make it, one of the most important steps in this process is to get good market data.  Where do you find this? 

First: Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Development Entity and see if they do a local or regional wage survey that you can participate in and/or purchase.  Most communities do something like this, and some don’t charge you anything if you participate by providing your own data. 

Second: Identify online sources (both free and that may cost you money) that can provide you with data you need. I’ve found that using BLS, Onetonline.com Payscale.com and Salary.com provide good aggregate data that gives a general picture of salaries by position across the country and in specific regions.   I never use one of these sources alone.  I pull them all together and aggregate the numbers in order to even out any skewed data.  

Third:  Identify trade or professional associations you may be a member of or want to join to access data for specific positions, industries, and/or geographic regions.  For example, when looking for recent college grad salaries across geographies and position titles, we use NACE.    

Fourth: Contract with third-party consulting and compensation firms to provide you with off-the-shelf surveys they do at regular intervals or ask them to provide a customized wage analysis for you.  Most of the time, a customized analysis isn’t cheap but for highly specialized and competitive positions, the investment can be worth it.  

Where do you find the best data to decide if your wages are in line with the market?  


Mary Ila Ward

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