How Much Should You Expect to Earn in Your First Salary?

When you start your first job, you may be wondering how much you should expect to earn in terms of salary or wage. Depending on the type of job and the industry, your salary or wage may vary widely. Knowing what to expect can help you plan for your future and decide if the job you are considering is right for you. In this blog post, we’ll explore how much you can expect to earn in your first salary or wage.

Do your research

When considering your first salary, it’s important to do some research. Knowing what is the minimum wage in your state or country and understanding the prevailing wage for the job you’re applying for are key pieces of information. The federal minimum wage in the US is currently $7.25 an hour, while the minimum wage in California is currently $13 an hour. It’s also important to consider what the minimum wage will be in 2022 and 2023, as many states are already planning to raise their minimum wage levels in those years. In the UK, the national living wage is currently £8.72 an hour.
It may also be helpful to use a wage calculator to compare salaries for different positions and job titles in order to get a better idea of the wages typically offered for a particular job. Additionally, researching the company you’re applying to can provide useful insights into their pay rates. Knowing the size of the organization, its history and its mission can help you understand what kind of salary you may expect.

Consider your experience

When determining your expected salary, it’s important to consider your experience. Employers generally pay more for workers with more experience. This is why many people end up making more money in the same job as they gain experience and expertise. For example, someone who has been working at a company for five years will typically make more than a new hire.
It’s also important to note that the minimum wage for the particular area where you are employed may impact the amount of money you receive in your first salary. For example, if you are working in California, the minimum wage is currently $14 an hour. In 2022, it is set to increase to $15 an hour. Additionally, each state sets its own minimum wage rate, so be sure to check the minimum wage in your area before beginning negotiations for a salary. Similarly, it’s important to check the living wage for your area to get an idea of what is considered a livable salary. You can use a wage calculator or national minimum wage calculator to compare wages in different parts of the country or world.

Consider your location

When it comes to salary, the location where you work can make a big difference. Different states and countries have different laws when it comes to minimum wages. Make sure to do your research and find out what the minimum wage is in your area. In the US, the federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 per hour, although some states may have higher or lower rates. In the UK, the national minimum wage is set at £8.21 for those aged 25 and over.
Location can also affect prevailing wages for certain industries. Depending on where you live, wages for the same job can differ significantly. To get an accurate picture of what you should expect to earn, use a wage calculator like Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth to compare salaries by location. This tool can help you gain insight into what you should be making based on your experience and qualifications.

Consider the company’s size

The size of the company you’re working for can be a major factor when it comes to determining how much salary you should expect in your first job. A large company is likely to offer more competitive wages, while smaller companies may not be able to match that level.
Some larger companies may pay minimum wage or close to it, while others may offer a living wage or pay well above the national average. It is important to research the company and its history before deciding on a salary. Look into previous salaries paid to employees, look at reviews from current and former employees, and ask questions about the company’s policies regarding wages.
It’s also worth considering what the minimum wage is for the area where the company is located. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, but some states and cities have their own minimum wages which are higher than this. You can check with your state labor department or use an online wage calculator to determine what the minimum wage is in your area.


Negotiating your salary is an important part of securing a higher wage. When it comes to negotiation, it is important to remember that employers often have a range of salaries in mind for any given position. This means that you should always start by making a higher offer than the minimum wage for your position.
It is also important to consider the current market rate for the type of job you are applying for. Researching the average wage for the job you are applying for can help you to know the right amount to negotiate for. Consider researching the national minimum wage, living wage, and prevailing wage in your area to get a better idea of what is considered fair.
When negotiating, it is important to be prepared and to know your worth. Make sure to research the company’s policies on salary negotiation and if possible, talk to someone who has held the same job as you before. That way, you can be sure that you are asking for a fair and reasonable salary that reflects your skills and experience. Be polite, but confident when negotiating, and don’t be afraid to stand your ground if necessary.
In the end, negotiating your salary is an important part of getting paid what you deserve for the job you are doing. It is important to do your research, consider your experience and location, consider the company’s size, and most importantly, negotiate.