How to Know If You're Being Paid Fairly

By Brittany Hawes on April 6, 2018

If you’re doing a good job, you want to know for sure that you’re being paid fairly for your work. Money is a very important thing to a college student. I got my first job when I was in college, to help cover the costs of textbooks and gas to get to class. It was of utmost importance to me that I was being paid fairly because my money was being put directly towards my future. If there was a doubt in my mind that I was being underpaid for the job I was doing, I would like to know.

But how do you find out if you’re being paid fairly for the job you’re doing? You could ask your coworkers and see if your paychecks line up. However, that could lead to gossip in the workplace and unreliable data. Plus, everyone might not be comfortable sharing with you how much money they’re making. Information like that can be a sensitive subject to many, and some people might not want their income being common knowledge among their peers.

Instead of asking coworkers, here are some easy steps you can take to make sure you’re being paid fairly by the company that hired you.

being paid fairly

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Know Your Worth Tool by Glassdoor website

This tool is extremely useful in finding out if you’re being paid fairly or not. All you have to do is create an account with Glassdoor by entering a valid email address. Next, the website will ask for the name of your employer, your current job position, and your current salary. After verifying your email address, you’ll be able to see if you’re being paid fairly by going over the graphs that will appear on your screen.

The tool will let you know what the average pay of workers with your experience is and how much you’re being paid. If you’re being underpaid (or overpaid), the Know Your Worth tool will let you know exactly by how much.

Everything is based on pay estimates from job postings on their website, especially of positions that are close to the location you entered.

Ask Your Employer Directly

If you don’t feel like dealing with technology, you could ask your employer directly about your pay. Catch them at an opportune time and politely ask how you’ve been doing at your job. Ask if you’re doing a better job than the last employee and if that employee was being paid as much as you are now. If the timing is right, and you know you’re being underpaid, you can ask for a raise.

Be sure to list out the reasons why you know you deserve a raise from the company. If you’re a hard worker and have brought numerous positive changes to the company, don’t be afraid to let them know it. If you know that someone with your education and years of experience would be getting paid more elsewhere, let them know this precisely. If you have the evidence to prove it, you can directly confront not being paid fairly and work together with your employer to remedy the situation.

Keep an Eye on the Job Market

Even if you’re currently employed, you should always keep your eye on the job market, particularly on jobs that are similar to your own. If you see posts for entry-level jobs offering to pay new hires more than you’re making now, there might be an issue with how much you’re being paid. This is especially true if you see an abundance of job postings that list their pay a being far more (or even a few dollars more) than what you’re making now.

Consider Your Job Performance

Are you an excellent worker? Are you praised constantly by your employer and customers for the great service you give? Do you feel like you accomplish a lot every day at your job? If so, you’re most likely a wonderful asset to the company.  If you’re doing a great job and still notice that you don’t seem to be making as much money as you should be, then you are being paid unfairly. Speak with your boss and kindly voice your concerns.

On the other hand, if you’re slacking at work and not putting all of your skills on the table, your employer might not feel inclined to pay you as much as others in your same position. Make sure you are doing the best you can at your job so you know that you have earned every dollar you receive.

If you’ve been looking at the job market and noticed that your salary isn’t adding up, it could be a sign that you’re being paid unfairly. After following these steps through, carefully consider your next options. Your best option might be to move to a job that will pay you fairly.

Hi there! My name's Britt and I'm a senior majoring in English major at Florida State University. I have these crazy, big dreams of traveling the entire world and writing novels in my spare time. I love music, food, and the Japanese culture. I plan on teaching English in Japan upon graduation from Florida State. My first YA novel, Twisted, was published by Deep Sea Publishing Company in 2014. It won a Readers' Favorite Book Award that same year. Alongside schoolwork, I'm working hard on the second book in the Twisted series as well as a number of other novels.

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