I understand this question is similar:

Should I negotiate a higher salary when transitioning from intern to full-time employee?

However I am currently a 40 hr/week software intern as sort of a probationary period for several months at a small company. There is an assumed salaried with benefits position open if all is OK. So far I have completed all my projects ahead of deadlines given to me. During code reviews I've only received praise and minor styling suggestions.

I would like to stay working there but their offer feels low for Southern California - 60k/yr. I am considering asking for more as I don't want to just take their first offer and I think I am valuable even though this is my first job. I think I would be happier long term earning in the 65-70k range.

I don't want to seem like not a team player, arrogant or greedy.

How would I go about this professionally, or should I even bother?

  • Same as negotiating for any job application. See other answers here for more specific advice.
    – keshlam
    Mar 27, 2015 at 2:22
  • @keshlam, where's the link?
    – Zaenille
    Mar 27, 2015 at 7:44
  • 1
    @Zaenille He didn't provide one - but I found a linked topic. Top answer sounds right. Mar 27, 2015 at 8:06
  • 1
    Remember that it's your first job, there's a reason an average is an average: there are outliers, some people will earn more due to higher seniority, you should expect to earn less as you're new to the field. You can still negotiate, but aim for the 65k part of the range, not the 70k part.
    – Cronax
    Mar 27, 2015 at 10:00
  • In the past i would have said "look at the Related questions along the right side of the screen" -- but the Android app doesn't seem to have Related.
    – keshlam
    Mar 27, 2015 at 12:35

2 Answers 2


I've got in the exact same situation, except not in california (salary are kind of huge there) What I did was the following

  • First, a few month earlier I started looking for another job and I've got a very good offer (well the job was awful but the salary was high) and I've continued the porcess until I've got a contract that I needed to sign.
  • I've asked to take the contract home to study it
  • In the same time at my job, I've managed to start a new project with me playing an essential role in it.
  • When my company made me an offer, I told them I really like the company and I would love to keep working with them, but I had a student loan and some other company made me a better offer. You can even show the contract as proof (but I didn't)

This way, my company made me another offer, with a higher salary. It wasn't as high as I expected but it was high enough for me.

  • 1
    You don't need to provide "proof". Honestly that doesn't really do anything when negotiating except give you the knowledge you can go elsewhere. Just tell them what you want. If they aren't willing to meet it and you aren't willing to accept their offer then move on; it's really not that hard.
    – NotMe
    Apr 20, 2015 at 23:16

I work in software and deal with a lot of our recruiting, in turn I see this happen a lot (we are hiring our interns now since they are graduating soon). There are a few ways this can play out and I will offer some advice and reasons to why what happens happens.

First off it is perfectly normal for you to negotiate your salary. This has nothing to do with coming on from an internship or applying to a new company its just business as usual the way I see it. You can do so by simply saying something like "The offer does not meet my needs/cost of living in the area" I did this with a lot of jobs that I was offered out of college, generally the offers in cities went up significantly (but they were kind of low to begin with). These companies are trying to get a deal on you as much as you are trying to get a raise from them (don't forget that).

From my point of view you will not seem arrogant or a "not a team player" at all. The fact of life is you have expenses, rent, food, and potentially college loans which people carry in varying degrees. Your personal case may require that you make more money simply to have the job (forgetting about fun activities). Some people have the luxury of living at home after college and saving on rent, potentially not having student loans or car payments etc. These people can accept a decrease in pay as they simply don't need as much money to go about their daily life.

If you do go about it, you may get a hard No, this is nothing to worry about its just the way it is. As for why, this depends on the company. From what I have found...

Smaller companies tend to have more wiggle room in their budget as your job is often just a job in the company. The salary is not really set as much as they budget a chunk for you when they decide to make you an offer and they can often more easily move things around to offer you more (if they want you). With larger companies the jobs with in the company off fall in "Bands" or "Brackets" or what ever you like to call it. Generally these bands have salary ranges and as an entry level employee you will be hired in the lowest or second lowest level. That being said you are stuck in the salary range in that level until you get a promotion. So if you ask for more they may not be able to bump you as much as they like or at all if you are at the top of a band. This is an issue that I see all the time at the company I work for now. We are a very large company and we hire all our software engineers (entry level) in the second lowest band. The problem is that the salary range there is small (generally that band includes entry business and marketing jobs as well). Thus we cant offer the competitive tech style salaries we need to to get good talent with out hiring everyone as a manager (which we cant do)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .