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I live in the Netherlands and have received an offer to work for a US company. The offer includes a certain yearly salary figure.

The person recruiting me has said this is the "market rate". So, I went to glassdoor.com (and later to indeed.com), but I couldn't figure out what to compare myself against. The title I would give myself yields no results; some related titles give vastly different, counter-intuitive results which themselves are wide ranges of salaries - below or above what I've been offered; and I can certainly not find a way to reflect the fact that my background is very well fitted to what the company needs, and that I have a Ph.D. and have been researching closely-related subjects. Oh, and there's also the fact that salaries differ between areas in the US.

A couple of friends told me they feel what I was offered was too low. But - how can I base such an argument? Or even, how can I be certain about this just for myself?

Notes:

  • I will be immigrating once I have a visa, working remotely initially.
  • I realize that other factors are significant in addition to the salary itself (e.g. number of paid vacation days per year, health plan) but let's ignore that point for the purposes of this question.
  • 7
    Possible duplicate of How can I determine a reasonable salary to ask for? – Dukeling Sep 26 '17 at 10:25
  • I'd recommend at least creating a budget of your expenses (there are websites for that too) so you can actually get some idea of whether you can afford living there for that salary and how much you'd be saving per month. – Dukeling Sep 26 '17 at 10:29
  • @Dukeling: Related, but a dupe. 1. I'm not from the US, and my ability to investigate and evaluate is influenced by that and 2. My situation precludes many of the suggestions there. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Sep 26 '17 at 10:59
  • @Dukeling: Oh, I can afford living there, we're not talking about starvation wages. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Sep 26 '17 at 11:00
  • @einpoklum The options listed in the linked post are your main/only options. You having already done them or them not being relevant doesn't give you more options. – Dukeling Sep 26 '17 at 11:15
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You need to be careful about this.

In relocating to the US you need to consider location first and foremost because that's going to determine your cost of living. Cost of living varies in the US even more wildly than salaries.

Then you need to look at a website like salary.com to see what the median salary is in that area.

after that, assume about 10% less than what median is for someone that a company is going to sponsor.

Then, you have to do the math to see if it's worth it for you.

3

As time-consuming as it might be, the best way would to look at recruitment articles and other role advertisements to draw yourself a benchmark. It's important to factor in that jobs within a busy city may appear to offer substantially higher salaries based on increased costs of living. Rather than looking at job title specifically, compare jobs with similar responsibilities and requirements; a single 'role' can have potentially thousands of slightly different titles. It will take some effort, but that will definitely put you in a better place to work out if you were undersold.

The friends that said you were being offered too little, are they in the same field as you and are they based in the US? If yes to both, they would be your best points of reference, but I would reach out to others in the US who can give you better ideas on salary ranges. Recruitment agencies can help in this regard too.

Is the company sponsoring a visa for you? That may be a factor in them offering you a lower-than-normal salary as well. The lower salary may also be to downplay the risk of having someone work remotely exclusively (at least initially). Some companies have the impression that remote employees risk losing touch with what is going on in the company and working effectively with their colleagues. The low salary downplays the risk if you don't work out. Once you have gotten the visa and moved over, you can be in a better position to negotiate a raise.

  • What kind of recruitment agencies? US-based? International? – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Sep 26 '17 at 9:39
  • US-based ones ideally; they will be better informed of salary ranges on a more 'local' level. – user34587 Sep 26 '17 at 9:41
  • ... can you link to a few? Or is it single-state-specific? Or industry-specific? – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Sep 26 '17 at 10:03
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    "Once you have gotten the visa and moved over, you can be in a better position to negotiate a raise" - The best position to negotiate from is before you've accepted the job. – Dukeling Sep 26 '17 at 11:10
  • @Dukeling That sentence is for the hypothesis that the lowered salary is due to the risk of working remotely. Of course there is always the possibility to negotiate before accepting the offer if other factors are at work. – user34587 Sep 26 '17 at 11:15

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