For personal reasons I am looking to make a transfer to an office in a different state. Currently I am a Level 3 engineer, whose definition includes:
Degree and typical experience in engineering classification: Bachelor's and 5 or more years' experience, Master's degree with 3 or more years' experience or PhD degree with experience.
I currently have 3 years of experience and a Master's degree. I was only recently promoted to Level 3 based on my performance in that time.
The position I'm considering to transfer to is a Level 2 position:
Degree and typical experience in engineering classification: Bachelor's and 2 or more years' experience or a Master's degree with experience.
Based on my discussions with the hiring manager, they do not have budget for a Level 3 position, only a Level 2. Based on my research of salaries for the position, my current salary is on the high end for a Level 2 in the new office (and kind of low if I were to go as a Level 3). From my understanding, an offer is imminent. My guess is they will offer me my current salary (which is really a pay cut due to the cost of living increase).
To be fair, the Level 2 position I'm considering is more aligned with my career goals AND I don't have industry experience in that subfield yet. My Master's degree was focused on this subfield, so what I would be doing is not brand new to me.
I do worry about the compensation but more importantly I'm concerned about how "demoting" to take this position would impact my career.