What Is the Meaning of Expected Income?

by Mary Jane; Updated September 26, 2017

A potential employer may ask you about your expected income on a job positing or in an interview. The employer wants to know how much you expect to be paid for working the job position in question. When he asks you to name your expected income, do not simply throw out a figure that suits you. Do your homework and use your experience to build up a case, so you can argue your way to your desired income based on your skills and experience.

Meaning of Expected Income

An employer can ask you to share your expected income for a given job position. Before you answer on the job application or during the interview, take some time to learn about the average pay in the position. You do not want to undersell yourself by sharing a low wage in hopes of being flexible and more appealing to the employer, but you do not want to provide a high salary that does not reflect your experience and knowledge.

Expected Salary for Position

Complete some research to find out what the average or common salary is for the job position you are interviewing for. This can be done by using online payment resources, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale or Salary.com. You can also compare these figures to similar job postings in newspaper or on online job boards. Use the figure as your starting point. Knowing what the common or average income is can help you reach an acceptable income value.

Education and Experience

Create a list of your previous education, work experience, skill set, qualifications and achievements that set you apart from another employment candidate. If you have an extensive work history or more education that the original job positing requires, you can use your experience to increase your expected income. Be prepared to defend your expected income figure and to negotiate it with the employer.

When to Share

Do not share your expected income or salary with an employer unless you're prompted to. Some employers use the expected income information as a method of browsing through applicants. Having an expected salary on a job application can turn off an employer, as it shows you are more focused on the pay rather than the job tasks themselves, even though it may not be the case. Do not give the employer a reason to judge you before actually meeting you. Avoid mentioning anything about income or salary expectations unless asked to do so.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.