I am a full stack webdev less than a year out of school. That said, I do know what I am doing and have shown this at work. Now, according to several sites (glassdoor is the only name I remember atm), I am getting paid ⅔ of the average in my city when I search for entry level webdev. I am not familiar enough with this industry to know if the fact I am not too far out from school means that this is acceptable and the norm. I got this job right out of school. It was the only option at the time and I didn’t know what I was doing and totally flunked the salary negotiations.

Since it pays the bills, I’m not overly active in looking for a new job. I recently got my 6 month performance review (a month late I might add, though that could mean nothing), with it a (I’m told company standard) 5% raise (which amounts to pittance and does nothing to help match city average), and a promise of another review at 1 year (and I assume another standard raise). I’m afraid if I push the issue that I’ll lose the job, and that's not something I can afford at the moment. IDK if another company will pay more to someone with my skill level.

I suppose it should be noted that I tend to be overly cautious about things especially when I don’t have all the information (hence my not pushing the issue here at work).

I know “average” means there will be some below the mark, and some above. But is it reasonable for me to accept a salary this low below the mark? Am I getting shorted (either by intention or happenstance) because I was overly eager to just get a job at the beginning (or any other reason)? If you are a webdev yourself, I would be very interested to hear your opinion on the matter since you’ve walked this path before.

Thanks in advance.

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    see also How can I determine a reasonable salary to ask for? – gnat May 17 '16 at 18:20
  • Unfortunately you can't really "push" to get a higher wage. All you can do is either hope you talk well enough to negotiate or find a new job. It's not all about skills, either. It's a sure bet if you looked at others who started at the same time probably managed to get that average or better. – Dan May 17 '16 at 18:56
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    I have heard many times that the only/best way to get a decent increment is to change jobs. I know this doesn't answer our question (hence leaving as a comment) but keep it in mind for the future. – Peter M May 17 '16 at 19:25
  • I like the whole talk to a recruiter option. Unfortunately in this industry you increase your salary by jumping around. Float a couple of resumes, and see what happens. The market is pretty hot right now. I bet you will find a nice raise, and you can look next year for another. Its the reality. – Pete B. May 17 '16 at 19:42
  • I think 5% is good without switching jobs. The highest raise I have gotten staying in the same job was 7%. – Amy Blankenship May 17 '16 at 21:38

You're worth what someone is willing to pay you. Quite often when building your career from the start it's best to just take what you can get without making waves (so long as it's liveable). Build experience and then go for better money when you have something decent on your CV.

Staying with your current company in the future will probably see you consistently paid below the average, so it's a judgement call on when you leave, and it's a judgement call on whether the experience makes up for it. But it's not a good look if your first job was a short one, and this has been less than a year.

My advice (and I don''t know your full circumstances) would be to soldier on for at least a year and then start looking around.

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    You think that 2 years is enough experience to find alternate work? – zfrisch May 17 '16 at 19:19
  • 2 years is much better, but anything over 1 year is ok, under a year is when it looks bad... to me anyway (shows no commitment). Two years is good experience. – Kilisi May 17 '16 at 19:22

Talk to local recruitment agents. They'll have a much better handle on the local opportunities, and if they agree that you're underpaid, they'll quickly get you something (it's how they make their money).


Start applying for other jobs. This will help you:

  1. Get an understanding what is available in your market.
  2. Determine if you have the necessary skills.
  3. Feel much more confident when asking for a raise.

If you discover that your are marketable at a higher salary, you need to ask for a raise, but you should focus on what you've been accomplishing in your job for your company. Not all companies have the same budget for their web developer(s), so they may not be in a position to pay you. There's nothing you can do about that except ask for some other benefits that may not cost the employer as much (flex time, days off, etc.).

If you're lacking in skills, maybe you can find time to work on them in your current position or do some self study. Sometimes a company can pay for training since they don't have other employment tax expenses and can often write it off as an expense.

Doing a little of your own research combined with what you're able to find online will give you a better understanding of your local market and where you fit.

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