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General Salary Surveys

General Surveys
Cost of Living
California Surveys
Guides to Printed Surveys
Salary Issues
New Graduates
Negotiation Strategies

[Take me to Profession Specific Salary Surveys]


Occupational Outlook Handbook
Online version from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Earnings" information is given for each of 250 occupations in addition to training, outlook, work setting and related occupations.


Are You Keeping Up with Inflation?
Consumer Price Index - San Francisco - Oakland - San Jose
Consumer Price Index - Los Angeles - Riverside - Orange County
Consumer Price Index - San Diego
Updated bi-monthly or monthly - the CPI is a measure of inflation and frequently cited as "the cost of living" index. Have your wages kept up?

What is Your Local Buying Power?
These sites compare buying power from city to city. For example, if you make $40,000 in the Bay Area, your paycheck (even if you'll make $35,000) will go farther in Dayton, Ohio. If you're moving TO California from Dayton you are, most likely, in for a shock.

Cost of Living Comparison Calculator breaks down the comparison to show rent, energy costs, food, dry cleaning, etc.

Relocation Salary Calculator
From HomeFair: calculate differences in cost of living between hundreds of U.S. cities as well as international comparisons.

Mercer International Cost of Living Survey Highlights
Annual ranking of cost of living for 50 international cities.


Average Weekly Wages in California
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report on average pay in California metro areas.

California Occupational Guide.
Get the California angle on hundreds of occupations (including Wages, Hours and Benefits.)

National Compensation Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Reports of weekly earnings (mean, median & middle range) for a wide range of occupations and industry settings in the geographic area covered. Note the dates on each report: government information takes a long time to collect & process.
[NOTE: The links below are to large .pdf files and can be slow to download.]
A full listing of current & past reports is available.


Berkeley Business Guide No. 13: Wage and Salary Surveys
A bibliography of salary surveys in the collection at UC Berkeley's Business Library.


The Minimum Wage
US Department of Labor site on new minimum wage legislation. Includes timeline, frequently asked questions, state minimum wage laws, employee's rights and "what employers need to know."

Employers expect to give pay raises next year
Geographic Salary Differentials study from Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Stock Options, Phantom Stock, and other Non-ESOP Equity Incentive Plans
From the National Center for Employee Ownership: a guide to incentive options: requirements, tax implications.

Ask the Experts: How to Negotiate a Signing Bonus
The Candidate has been Selected, Now it's time to Negotiate Heyman Associates offers an interesting perspective on the use of the signing bonus from the perspective of the employer and recruiter.

Top Things to Know about Employee Stock Options
From's Money 101 guide.

Finally! A clearinghouse for stock option information--to read articles and FAQS you must register (free.)

HR Employment Law's guide to the legal basics of hiring employees, independent contractors, compensation, time off, firing/resignation and more.

Highlights of Women's Earnings
U.S. Dept. of Labor study of women's wages, income and earnings.


What are your options when it comes to negotiating healthcare and retirement benefits? These articles will give you some ideas:
  • Benefits Overview
    Enter industry and base salary for an estimate of time off, healthcare, retirement, insurance and more.

  • Evaluating a Job Offer
    Bureau of Labor Statistics guide to weighing salary, benefits, job prospects and making a decision.


Starting Salary & Job Market Information
JobWeb's guide to salary surveys and employment outlook for new graduates.

The Hiring Forecast
JobWeb's article on employers' projection on degrees that will be in most demand.

Average Starting Salary to Class of 2011 Up 3.5 Percent
Summary of the quarterly NACE [National Association of Colleges and Employers] Report on graduating student salaries.

Business Schools - The Payback
Forbes Magazine feature surveys 99 MBA programs for pre-MBA earnings and earnings five years after degree.

USC Marshall - MBA Employment Report
Starting salaries for graduates of USC's Marshall School of Business; includes industry, location and internship salaries.