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Students - Career Services

Salary Guidance & Assistance


Career Services

Student Success Center
Upper Jewell Bldg, Rm 3344 


KCKCC Career Services offers resources and guidance to help students learn about salary ranges, research and gaining confidence in negotiations.

It’s Okay to Negotiate

Many job seekers are afraid to negotiate when they receive an offer – fear of the offer being rescinded, fear of having an uncomfortable conversation or fear that the answer will be no. Remember, over 80% of recruiters expect you to negotiate! Worst case scenario, they will simply tell you they cannot increase their offer, and that's okay - you never know unless you try. 

Also, remember that there are other things to negotiate than salary. You can also ask to negotiate for remote work options, vacation time/PTO, professional development opportunities, bonuses/commissions for performance, transportation costs, relocation costs or other items. 

Do Your Research, Know Your Value

Research information on the salary range for your position. This will give you a good idea of the pay you should be aiming for based on your:

  1. Experience level (how long have you worked in the field, how much you have accomplished)
  2. Skills and added value in the role (additional skills such as languages or technology expertise or other skills that bring value to the organization)
  3. Market rate/salary range (type of role and location)

Visit for reliable salary information available by state, metro area, city or nationwide averages. Remember, if you are brand new to the field, your starting pay may be on the lower end of the scale, but as you gain experience, you can move into the higher end.

It is important to know your value and decide on the minimum salary you are willing to consider. For a good way to come up with this, do your research on average salaries for the position with your level of skills and experience, pick the minimum range that applies to you and add 10% to that amount. 

Employers Want This to Work

Don't forget that employers put a lot of time and effort into finding and selecting the right person for the job and their organization. The recruiters want to work with candidates and present a desirable offer that will lead to you becoming a long-term, successful member of their team.

Take Your Time

Recruiters understand that you need time to review the offer and benefits and weigh how this decision will affect different aspects of your life, such as financial needs, family, location, etc. It is perfectly acceptable to request time to review the offer (a few days should be fine). Make sure to give recruiters a set deadline/date to give them an answer. Before giving your final answer, ask any questions you may have, negotiate salary, and make your decision.

Consider the Benefits - Total Compensation

If they haven't already provided it, make sure to ask for the benefits information so that you can consider the total compensation package. At this point in the process, it is okay to ask them about health/vision/dental insurance (plan benefits and how much it will cost you), life and/or disability insurance, retirement/pension plans, and other benefits. The cost of health insurance will likely be the benefit that affects your paycheck the most, so don't be afraid to ask.

Advocate for Yourself

No one else is going to do this part for us. Know and be ready to talk about your skills, experience, accomplishments and how you are going to benefit the organization. Know your value and don't be afraid to talk about it or ask for what you deserve! Career Services is happy to practice these conversations with you, help you with wording or talk through specific situations with you!

Kindness Goes a Long Way

Remember, it’s often more about how you say things rather than what you say. When trying to negotiate your salary, respect and kindness is essential. Negotiation is a delicate situation, so getting angry, becoming disrespectful or threatening with other offers could cost you the job offer. Remember to thank recruiters for the offer, let them know you are excited about joining their team, and then ask if it would be okay to discuss salary or other items you would like to negotiate on. You can say something like "Based on my skills and experience (can list the key areas here, years of experience, etc. if needed) and average pay in the area for this type of work, I am looking for starting pay closer to $_______." They will probably say they need to talk with a supervisor/hiring manager and get back to you - that's totally fine. 

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