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I'm searching for a new job in Los Angeles, and came across a very high paying job with not "demanding" requirements. I have around 4 yrs of programming experience and I qualified for the job. But to my shock, the salary was $100k.

I'm quite shocked, because someone with 4 yrs experience in LA gets paid from 65k to 75k. Has anyone came across such jobs before? Should they be trusted? They were posted by recruiting agencies, so I could not verify the company.

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    Based on my familiarity with the current salary market across the West Coast, I'd say this salary isn't remarkably out of bounds of the typical range for an employee with 3-5 years experience. The range often varies depending on whether you're talking to a startup, a non-software company, a consulting company, or an established software company. Industry segment often matters, as well. – JasonTrue Sep 9 '12 at 5:07
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    Software developers are in high demand right now; that salary isn't unreasonable at all. In fact, it seems to me that the other salaries you mention are the unreasonable ones. According to GlassDoor the median salary for an entry-level software engineer in LA is $81,000. – aroth Sep 10 '12 at 0:00
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    Teachers in Chicago get 71K (Just heard that in the news because they're on strike.). LA programmer has to be much higher. – user8365 Sep 10 '12 at 15:31
  • @aroth Wow! Not sure about that, I'm currently getting paid $45k and I have 4 yrs of experience...lol...thats why I'm looking for a good job AND 100k sounds too good to be true – harsimranb Sep 10 '12 at 16:56
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    @Pathachiever11: if you are currently in LA getting $45K with four years experience, then I think you are seriously underpaid. If you are getting $45K in West Podunk, then you might want to check out the cost of living differential. – kevin cline Sep 10 '12 at 19:56
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You never know - perhaps it is legitimate. Salary ranges do sometime go very wide...

If this sounds too good to be true, the saying goes that it probably is. If you decide to go ahead, do so with both eyes open and look out for anything out of the ordinary (above and beyond the salary).

Things you need to ask the recruitment agency involved:

  • Is the figure quoted for base salary or does it include a bonus and other benefits?
  • Who is this company? (gives you the chance to do some research yourself)
  • Why the high salary when the requirements seem run of the mill?

Things to watch out for:

  • New company - not been around for long at all
  • Interviews not conducted at the company premises (they might not have any)
  • The process is too quick (hardly any time to get the interview and an almost immediate offer)

It is possible that this is a scam where the "recruitment agency" is selling resume services (i.e. teaching you how to improve you resume - for a fee). Just be aware this is a possibility.

  • THe recruiting firm is legit as far as I know. cybercoders.com. It is very popular in the southern california. – harsimranb Sep 8 '12 at 19:14
  • @Pathachiever11 - I wouldn't know as I am not in the US, but this (assuming they are who they say they are) eliminates one class of worries. You still need to keep an watchful eye out for the company. If anything smells fishy - it probably is. You can always ask during the interview where the discrepancy comes from (though probably not in those terms...). – Oded Sep 8 '12 at 19:16
  • lol....definitely. thanks for the advice, I will definitely keep an eye out for anything fishy. – harsimranb Sep 8 '12 at 19:21
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    Location is another thing to check on. Commuting distances/times can be quite difficult in car heavy cities like LA (and Atlanta where I live). Perhaps they're paying more since their location is pain to get to for most people. Another possibility would be that their office is in a high risk area of town. For example, there are several downtown Atlanta locations I won't consider due to the proximity to high crime areas. That's in spite of a contract rates of $65/hr+ – jfrankcarr Sep 9 '12 at 4:46
  • @jfrankcarr I'm not sure about the location, but there definitely are high risk locations near LA, and don't even mention the 30miles = 1h30m traffic in LA....thanks for the input, I'll keep the "high risk" locations in mind... – harsimranb Sep 10 '12 at 16:57
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Go to the interview.

Short of that, you will never know. Some amazing job opportunities are hidden in surprisingly terrible job postings. This is especially true for startups.

One possible explanation is that they did not do a good enough job of outlining the requirements, and actually expect more than what is in the posting.

  • well that would be the case for my current job, where I'm getting paid low but pretty much doing all the back-end development by myself (some not even stated in the job description). It's a startup, and I'm the only experienced back-end developer. – harsimranb Sep 11 '12 at 18:53
  • @Pathachiever11 Ah, startup. That explains why you're so underpaid. – David Navarre Sep 11 '12 at 19:00
  • +1 Get the job offer first before worrying about the validity of the salary range. – ewwhite Sep 11 '12 at 20:18
  • @DavidNavarre - The author also does not have a degree. – Donald Sep 12 '12 at 14:39

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