Horror stories of low-ball offers abound on the Dice message boards, though we have to admit we think some smack of embellished truths. But after some investigation we found that, indeed, there are some jobs out there with pay scales that are stunningly low.
Typically, they’re for entry level help-desk and tech support positions, not for someone like a seasoned software developer. Another factor in the equation is the job’s location. In Huntsville, Ala., for example, one company’s seeking a technology aide for $12 an hour.
“Help desk Tier 1 support and PC tech support pays about $25,000 on average in rural locations,” says David Knapp, San Francisco Metro Market Manager of Robert Half Technology. In non-rural areas, of course, the rate is higher.
For software developers, the RHT sees the average national salary in 2013 as running between $74,500 and $118,250. Here’s its Salary Guide’s comparison this year’s and next year’s pay:
However, “if an employer hires a help desk professional at $12 an hour and later wants them to do some updates to their website, they are asking for additional skill sets,” says Knapp. “You should negotiate a pay increase because your responsibilities have increased.”
A Web developer, by the way, makes substantially more than someone on the help desk. The national average for them ranges between $65,750 to $106,500, according to the salary guide’s 2013 figures. Realistically, of course, it will be hard to get an employer to jump from the roughly $31,750 Tier 1 help desk salary to a Web designer’s pay scale, but the situation could give you a talking point to open a salary discussion.
What’s your experience with pay rates today? Tell us your experiences in the comments below.