Salary negotiation at job change: 8 tips for more money

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Anyone who is dissatisfied with their own income should not wait but negotiate. Even a job change can help. We show what salary factors matter: 8 tips on how employees and job seekers can increase their income.

Best of HR –®

Here writes for you:


Dr. Philip Bierbach Best of HR –®Dr. Philip Bierbach is Managing Director GmbH.


1. Complexity of the job determines the salary level

The more demanding and the more specific the requirements for the position, the higher the salary usually is.

Among other things, the following questions are important:

  1. For which tasks is the employee responsible in this position?
  2. How much personal or financial responsibility is borne?
  3. What training is at least necessary for the job?
  4. What are the requirements for social interaction?
  5. How much work experience is needed to accomplish the tasks?

This is just an excerpt from the Compensation Partner question pool that we provide daily with different Company and employees. This questionnaire can be used to evaluate a job and determine the salary level. All answers together add value, for which we can provide actual salary figures.

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Applicants should therefore scrutinize the requirements in a job description and not be afraid of new challenges. If you are unsure, you can contact the HR department and ask questions about the specific activities.

2. Education and training pay off - for employees and companies

Employers benefit from the additional skills of their employees and are usually willing to provide training.

In general, academics receive a higher salary than employees with completed vocational training. Here is a concrete example of our most recent calculations: While academics earn a gross annual salary of around 52.800 Euro, employees without a university degree receive around 36.300 Euro. An academic title therefore makes a difference of around 45 percent.

By means of a distance or evening study, working people can catch up on their university degree and thus deepen their knowledge even further. Higher qualifications will also enable additional career paths, for example in leadership positions.

3. The size of the company has a strong influence on the remuneration

More employees in a company generally mean a higher income for employees.

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For a small business with the highest five employees, the salary may be up to 85 percent lower than a large company - even if the job is the same. One reason for this is that large companies are often collectively organized.

The salary levels depend not only on the region and sector, but also on the economic situation of the company. You will find information about this, for example, through research in the net or at the stock exchange. The company's press section or social media platforms may also be useful. Ideally, you have personal contacts with employees to learn about the working atmosphere.

4. Some industries are more capital-rich than others

With Compensation Partner, we identify each year the so-called industry Index, This evaluation shows in which sectors salaries are particularly high or low. Traditionally we find the mechanical engineering, the software as well as the pharmaceutical industry in the front places. Here, the merit of doing the same job is up to 25 percent higher than the cross-industry average. However, this does not apply to specialists such as chief physicians or robotics engineers, as these are not active in all sectors.

If you are planning to change your business, you should be very interested in the employer of your choice. Wanting to change to a particular industry just for a higher salary is in most cases not enough - personal interest and the motivation to acquire new knowledge should also be there.

5. Regional salary differences

Deviations are not only present between East and West Germany, but also between North and South. In Germany, the south-west dominates with Frankfurt am Main, Stuttgart and Munich most salary rankings. Above all, large companies from attractive sectors influence the salary level here.

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For example, the automotive industry in the south of the country has a strong influence. In East German cities, such as Schwerin or Dresden, however, salaries are lower. But even in northern Schleswig-Holstein, the level is relatively low, since it is a very rural region. The strongest influence has the state capital Kiel. Hamburg in turn is considered a city state and is valued separately.

It is important that employees consider the respective cost of living before a job-related move. in the Atlas content By you find the income structures broken down by region.

It is therefore less the question of the national border, but much more the economic structural strength of a region that influences the wage level. These include attractive locations for companies with a suitable infrastructure, a range of skilled workers through cities and their attraction to employees.

6. Supply and demand determine the labor market

In general, companies are providing higher wages to those in jobs that are in urgent need and difficult to find in the job market.

In IT, for example, there is a strong shortage of specialists, which means that some incomes are also very lucrative when starting a career. In the hairdressing or cosmetics industry, on the other hand, there are far fewer vacancies, which means that wages do not have to be raised additionally in order to obtain skilled workers. It is therefore always advisable to observe your own market and to read industry reports on a regular basis.

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7. The professional experience also increases the salary

Those with more work experience can do their job faster and more safely. Accordingly, the income should be higher. The professional experience can be determined on the basis of qualifications, but also of years of employment. The collected empirical values ​​should of course be relevant for the respective activity.

8. Soft skills can also help boost income

Negotiating skills and a confident demeanor can already pay off in the job interview. In addition, the following applies: The greater the potential of an applicant appears, the more attractive he or she is for the employer. In that case, the company is willing to pay more.

Here factors such as posture, clothing and the interpersonal relationship play a role. So if you bring a great deal of motivation, shows potential for further development and thus creates ideal conditions for a good salary negotiation.

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