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Maybe this is a naive question, but honestly I'm curious about raises and the process. I read online that many raises are somewhat adjustment-types, i.e US inflation kicks up so firms give 1.5% or 2.9% raises, etc.

When I hear about raises, I often think that they're usually between 2% and 5% in general.

So what about CHUNKY raises? Do people ever experience 25% or 50% raises? How rare is that?

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    I think country and line of work constitutes a BIG part in the percentage of raises. For ex., a software developer in an off shore branch (Asia) of my firm was given 35% increment. – happybuddha Jun 27 '13 at 21:21
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I have never heard of an employee getting a 25% or 50% raise, it probably happens but I have never seen it or heard of it. (excluding jobs with a sales commission, special bonus etc.)

If a raise goes as high as 10% I would consider that a large raise.

Many companies have policy that limits the amount of raise a person can receive even if they change positions within the company. I would not agree with these policies but often times they are set by the board or CEO etc.

If you look at it from a company perspective they hired a person for x amount of dollars to do job y. Job y is still job y and even though person's responsibilities have increased so they don't see the value in a large wage increase.

On the employee side it is very possible to acquire skills that are worth much more than the raise your company is willing to give and sometimes you can get higher than a 10% raise by changing companies.

I am speaking of the normal situations I have seen and experienced, of course there are companies out there that will give you raises larger than 10% or multiple raises in a year.

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  • I have personally received a 25% raise, though that had some odd circumstances. It was at a startup that was going from "a few people in a room" to "we're going to need a bigger building". Plus I was hired on at a below market rate because I hadn't done the job before. So combine my proving I could do the job with a general bump to everyone to reward sticking around during the lean times (and prevent brain drain when we needed to train up new people) led to the significant raise. – Telastyn Jun 28 '13 at 0:51
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"Annual" raises are dependent on many things your performance, the performance of your part of the company, the company in general, and the forecast for the next year. They can also be linked to inflation rate.

Sometimes an employee only gets a raise when their are external forces: The government increases the minimum wage, or when a contract specifies the salary range for the people on the contract. This generally is related to a government contract.

Promotions will usually result in much larger raises. There is an increase in responsibility and a consummate increase in compensation. These increases can be 2 or more times the normal increase.

Frequently an employee moving form one company to another expects an increase equal to a promotion. This is to reduce the pain and suffering involved in switching companies. Of course that can depend on the hiring market, and how desperate the employee is to get that next job.

The ranges of normal annual increases changes from year to year. What was normal x years ago, is not relevant today.

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