I am an entry level web developer for a small company in the US. I do full stack web development and lead my own medium sized projects. I have moved from intern to contractor and now recently to full time employee status.

I was very eager to accept the full time salaried offer of roughly ~45k(healthcare stipend included). Before I became salaried I was making 20$ hourly. I do not get any 401k or other benefits aside from vacation. Reflecting on this past year as I start to gather all of my tax info, I feel like I am actually making less money for more work, which is much more involved.

I get along great with my coworkers and feel like I am a key part of the team and also think I have surprised everyone with my work thus far. I was told I would get my salary adjusted in 6 months after my start date, but I almost feel like I am being taken advantage of as a junior/entry level developer. I am making fast progress and want to be compensated for my hard work.

How do I go about renegotiating? Should I wait until the 6months is up and try to negotiate then? Would going back to hourly be worth it? I do not have any other offers at this moment. From some research it seems the US entry level salary is around 65-70k for similar positions.

Location: North Central, KY

  • 4
    What city and state? Compensation is often tied to cost of living. A 40k offer is low in San Francisco. But might be high for well... somewhere else.
    – Bluebird
    Jan 5, 2018 at 1:16
  • 1
    If you aren't happy with the salary you accepted, you shouldn't have accepted it. Attempting to negotiate for more money before your performance review will almost certainly end poorly. Keep working hard and when it's time for your performance review, go in prepared with 3-4 examples of your finest work and explain, in no uncertain terms, the value you've added. If you don't get a sufficient raise, you can quit after a year. Jan 5, 2018 at 1:24
  • Perhaps this is a better duplicate: Negotiating salary after joining Job. Related: Is 6 months too early to negotiate a payrise at a new job? Jan 5, 2018 at 7:25
  • How exactly did you get your data? I don't know much about Kentucky but I would imagine tech jobs there pay far below the national average for many reasons. Jan 5, 2018 at 14:32
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    $70k is way high for a starting web dev, esp in KY, esp w/ benefits. i'm a webdev, and we move up quick, so don't worry about starting "behind". Your experience here will increase your worth later, and you have health care meanwhile; not a bad gig.
    – dandavis
    Jan 5, 2018 at 20:58

3 Answers 3


Face the facts, you accepted the offer. Now would not be the time for you to renegotiate an accepted offer, a 6 month review might be a little early, but it is certainly a time to do so if you believe you have made considerable work, a 1 year might be better given the circumstances.

On that note, comparing salary levels nationally to KY would not be reasonable given the state's lower cost of living. Look for local positions that are hiring in your field and experience for a better gauge of market wages.

In the meantime, the best ROI would be for you to ask if you can have your company pay for certifications and/or training to increase your knowledge and value.


It is a bit early to renegotiate after 6 months - but you can still do something.

After your trial period is over (if there is one) you should make a 1-1 appointment with your manager where you ask about a fair appraisal of your performance. Now, grouping the responses to this into 3

1. Your performance is appraised as worse than you expected. - Ask for direct deliverables and or measurables and get to work improving. The earlier after this meeting you can check off any of the performance targets you should. Then repeat and goto 2.

2. Your performance has - in your words "surprised them" - Yea, you have a good chance of getting a raise as long as you remain cool and collected about trying to have a salary that is on par with the performance. Be prepared - know what salary range you want, and name a range not a fixed price. (so as you can repeat this process in the future easier) I'd probably say something to the tune of "I have been working real hard to prove that I am worth more than the junior/entry level salary" - maybe you also can find something you can improve either with yourself or the work situation or environment and volunteer it as a measurable you can leverage your salary bid with. It can even be ridiculous stuff, I have a colleague who got a raise (partly) because he volunteered to do all the organizing for this years christmas party - because he knew the manager hated to have anything to do with it. Be on the offensive, but don't be - you know - offensive or aggressive.

*3. If your performance is even better than you expected - they should volunteer to bump the pay grade themselves, if this does not happen, it is a red flag for how performance is being valued with salary in the company - and I would not put staying at the company in my 3 year plan if I were you... Otherwise, do as pt 2.

  • Why give a range? They will obviously pick the lowest part of the range to calculate their offer.
    – Adam Smith
    Jan 7, 2018 at 23:59
  • @AdamSmith Certainly. But then you have something to work with next time you have this discussion. Ideally you should keep having these until you are at where you want to be. That is the only way to keep a fair price for your efforts and contributions - as far as it can go for the specific company.
    – Stian
    Jan 8, 2018 at 9:42

Performance and productivity put aside, it is going to depend a great deal on the general policy of your company regarding salaries. Do you know anything about how your coworkers fare in that department ? I don't suggest you ask directly as this is often a touchy subject as best, but if you know ballpark figures, you might be able to handle the situation better.

It could be that your company generally pays well below market level, which would mean you might want to look for something else in a relatively short-term basis. Sure, if you really love the work and all, you can stay, but a low salary is likely to impact your salary evolution throughout your career. I'm not sure going back to hourly is an option : it seems like switching to full employee status is a step forward status-wise, and trying to take that away might be perceived negatively (as in "I don't like it that much here", or worse, "I don't know what I want", or even worse, both). In that case, maybe you should have kept to hourly, but there might have been other incentives to switch I am not aware of.

Maybe it's just company policy to offer a low starting salary, and reevaluate after some time to assess the value of new employees. In that case, just buckle up and show what you're capable of, which you are apparently already doing. This seems to be the most plausible scenario to me, considering your company already mentioned a reevaluation after 6 months. Since you are entry-level, you might not be aware of this, but know that 6 months is a pretty short time in the workplace : "proving yourself" is more a matter of a couple years at least. I wouldn't advise reminding them of their "engagement" to adjust your salary immediately after 6 months have passed, in fact, you can very well wait for a whole year, but that's more opinion-based. What seems sure to me is that if your company doesn't come back to you after 6 months, you shouldn't it back up immediately, or you risk being seen as greedy. You don't have to wait for a year, but don't make it look like you're only interested in the money.

Remember : if you're not satisfied, nothing keeps you from mentioning it, or finding somewhere else to work. But unless you really perceive your situation as unacceptable, I strongly suggest you take it slow. This is the kind of "issue" that can be resolved with patience and correct decision-making.

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