I'm a post-doc in some research institute outside of my country of origin. I've already worked in industry before - but in my own country, not where I'm doing research now, nor elsewhere in the world; and salary differences between countries can be quite significant as we all know.
I'm currently in a job search, which - fortunately or unfortunately - has kind of a wide scope. I've gotten a sort of a pre-offer to work for some company, which has relevant sites in two other countries; the pre-offer - made verbally - included the sentence "you'll need to tell me where you'd like to be located physically and what your salary range/expectations are" (I'm not sure whether it was "range" or "expectations" or "requirements" etc.) with two potential locations (never mind exactly where, but it's in the US and Canada).
I'll also mention that this company is in a part of the hi-tech industry in which I've not worked before as an employee. And what do I know about salaries in places X and Y? Especially for researchers with a unique area of expertise who are to have (hopefully) a lot of leeway in their activities? Also, I don't even know if I should be thinking about a single, global, salary range or different ranges for the two different locations.
I'm not particularly worried about asking a little too much or too little compared to what my soliciting company is expecting, but I'm frankly a bit scared of asking 50% of what they were thinking of paying, and also of asking 200% of that.
So, what do I do?
- How should I find out what the relevant salary could be?
- Is there some public data, official or unofficial about this?
- Also, even suppose I knew how much the lowest and highest paid person in some relevant set of positions is paid; how would I go about picking a number?
- What could be a relevant rule of thumb?
If you need more specific details for an answer, do ask in the comments.