5 Tips for Negotiating a Higher Salary

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Employees want to be paid a salary that reflects their worth. Whether a job is salaried or hourly, it is natural that wages should increase over time. Earnings should reflect an employee’s growth and gained skills and experience. Discussing money can be an intimidating idea, but if better compensation is feasible, overcome fear to make a convincing case. To approach the conversation with confidence and better the chances for success, follow these five tips for negotiating a higher salary.

Highlight Achievements and Skills

Employers want to see that employees can deliver results. They want ambition and a willingness to hone existing skills and develop new ones. The more education and training an employee has, the stronger the foundation for negotiating a higher salary. Emphasize the value that specific skills have and show how these skills and knowledge can help grow a business.

An employee needs to be able to show how they have grown within a position. Be able to discuss business achievements and show how experience is valuable. Bring up positive performance reviews and remind the boss of the attractive skills and qualities that led to being hired in the first place.

Aim High and Be Confident

Be ambitious and aim for a high outcome. Know what the industry average for a particular position is and ask for a salary that is slightly higher to leave room for negotiation. Keep selling professional value and worth throughout the conversation.

Walk into the conversation feeling valuable as an employee. Be confident, professional, and direct. Dress for the part and exude confident body language. An employer will not want to lose a valuable employee to a competitor. Salary is a great bargaining tool if an employer is intent on keeping an employee.


Cover all bases during a negotiation. Sometimes salary negotiations don’t always go as planned, so be prepared for any outcome. With salary comes employee benefits, so take the time to evaluate a benefits package. If a higher salary is denied, try to get some additional benefits perks to make up for not getting a raise.

Hearing bad news is disappointing but it shouldn’t be defeating. Treat the conversation as a chance to be open and honest and be willing to find an outcome that satisfies both parties. Try to see achievements and negotiations through the boss’s eyes.

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Tactful Timing

Wait for the appropriate time to ask for a raise. Think about the big picture and be aware of how the company is doing. If the company is going through a transition, experiencing layoffs, or undergoing any kind of scandal, be patient and wait on bringing up the conversation. Don’t feel pressured to accept an offer on the spot. Money negotiations are high-pressure exchanges, so ask for a few days to consider an offer.

Be Prepared

Some factors in a negotiation can’t be controlled, but being prepared with research can help. Take the time to become familiarized with the market – find out how current pay compares to the market value, know the company’s compensation philosophy, and see how performance measures up to peers. Know how the company values gained skills and qualifications that are important to the current position. Look up what other companies are paying for an equivalent position and use this information as a base for knowing if the desired raise is reasonable.