What Does "Starting Salary" Mean?

by Jack Ori; Updated September 26, 2017

Job seekers must consider an employer's starting salary when deciding whether to accept a job offer. Some employers offer varying salaries based on experience while others offer the same starting salary to all job seekers. In any case, if the offered salary is too low, the job seeker may want to look elsewhere if he can afford to turn down the job offer so that he will not end up leaving for a better-paying job soon after being hired.

Definition

The starting salary is the amount of money your employer will compensate you during your first days, weeks or months of employment. There is no law regarding how soon after you begin employment that your employer must give you a raise. Some employers consider the first 90 days of employment a trial period and offer employees a raise if they are satisfied with their work after this period while other employers offer raises to qualified employees once a year or give raises based on merit on an irregular basis.

Competitive Salary

Some employers advertise that they offer a "competitive salary." This means that they offer a starting salary that is comparable to what other employers in the field offer for the same position. The starting salary does not have to be exactly the same as what the employers' competitors offer as competitive; it just has to be similar. Always research the expected started salary in your field so that you have an idea of what to expect from an employer offering competitive salaries.

Salary Range

Many employers list a starting salary range in their job descriptions rather than one salary. These employers will offer more pay to a candidate who has greater experience or skills than one who has lesser experience or skills but is still a strong enough candidate to be hired. The salary range refers to the minimum or maximum an employer is willing to pay an employee.

Salary Requirements

Some employers ask applicants to provide their salary requirements when applying for a job. If the employee's desired salary is far higher than the employer intends to pay, the employer will likely not consider that candidate for the position. Many job seekers use sites such as Payscale.com to help them determine appropriate salary ranges before listing their salary requirements on their job applications.

About the Author

Jack Ori has been a writer since 2009. He has worked with clients in the legal, financial and nonprofit industries, as well as contributed self-help articles to various publications.