So when I started at this company, I had no experience in this industry. That being said, I was hired in at a pretty good rate as a level 1 Engineer. I knew my skills would latch on to the work being done and I would take off. And that is exactly what happened. Within 3 months I got a $5/hr raise to Level 2 (yes i know its a big raise). So I continue busting it for another calendar year. I choose to step into a leadership role as a QA, and get take the pay raise of $7 more an hour (a HUGE increase). I felt very appreciated by management and continued busting it since then.
Another calendar year went by, and I decided to have a polite conversation about the next step. There is 1 more raise offered, its $3 more an hour up to $35/hr to become a Sr. QA that is on par with the Sr. Engineer in pay. I know it exists, several people I have come to know closely have it. Now my manager tells me I will never get that raise. I asked why and was told that it was just an experience thing. I only had the 2 years and they came in with near 10. Honestly to me I was convinced by it and thanked my boss and went back to work. I KNOW Im compensated well, I KNOW I'm coming across as not grateful by asking, but i felt i needed to.
Now lets jump ahead a couple more months. I had a little bit of downtime and started pulling up numbers from when I was production vs being a QA. I calculate out the amount of money I have made for the company (i know the production pay rates per mile). And as an engineer, NOT QA i made the company tons of money and was put in what were considered the untouchable, hairiest projects we had to work on. As a QA i have been involved with twice as much money, but have a team of 10 engineers. So I alone could produce as much as 5 people on my team that is in the top 3 of production out of the teams in office.
Doing a little more digging i pulled up the production done by other engineers with the higher paygrade. And even though I had not done production for over a calendar year, I STILL made more money than them by a large margin. I am still in the top 15 in production of 120 people despite not having done any in over a year. So having made that much money, on top of having a top tier team as a QA, AND being the Go-To team for new or difficult jobs, I have provided tremendous value to this company.
So with all that in mind, how can I approach management about asking for that next and last step? I feel like I can make the case with my numbers, but I don't know how to handle it in a way that doesn't seem ungrateful. I feel like I'm being one of those people since I technically haven't put in the years of work.