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Know your worth: 5 best salary comparison tools

salary comparison

Are you making less than your coworkers? Undercharging clients? Bummed out by wage gap statistics.

Well, you’re definitely not alone.

But making changes requires some research into market rates, experience, and preparing for negotiation.

It literally pays to arm yourself with information, otherwise, you could be leaving some serious cash on the table.

Setting on a number and making the case for it, however, is no easy feat. With that in mind, we’ve put together our shortlist of the best salary comparison tools that provide more insight into how much you should be getting paid for your hard work. Let’s take a look.

5 best salary comparison tools online



Payscale is a salary calculator that offers a free salary report in exchange for some information from you. The tool will ask you some questions about your background — location, skills, education, title, function, and information about extras like benefits, bonuses, and stock options.

The nice thing about Payscale is, it gives you a snapshot of how you stack up against your peers. There’s a gender breakdown, cost of living calculator, location comparison, and more. What we liked about this tool is — it’s free, yet still provides a lot of useful information about the factors that affect your pay.

LinkedIn Salary

Linked in salary tool

LinkedIn’s salary tool is relatively new, but it provides a long list of salary insights free of charge. Like Payscale, LinkedIn’s tool shows the base salary alongside stock options and bonuses.

The tool can be adjusted to reflect your experience, education, type of company you’re working for, industry, location, and more. According to LinkedIn, their tool is a bit different than the competition, because it provides more context into the why behind salary differences for similar roles.

What’s more, LinkedIn’s aim is to help professionals maximize earning potential by highlighting some of the steps they can take to increase their perceived worth. So, the tool might show that the biggest salary increases come by earning an MBA or taking a similar role in a different industry.


salary.com research tool

Salary.com is one of the most popular salary sites. The tool lists every position within a field and includes information beyond the cold hard numbers. You can review salaries by industry, career level, and region. The site is one of the older options and doesn’t have the polish you’ll find with some of the other tools.

Still, age is an advantage when it comes to data. The tool is ideal for learning more about similar positions in your area — i.e. how you compare with your peers, but a personalized report will cost you $29.95+. While you’ll get some useful info in that paid report, it’s probably not worth the cash — as LinkedIn and Payscale offer similar insights free of charge.



Glassdoor is one of the best-known options on the web. The site hosts a comprehensive collection of company reviews and employee feedback, which prove invaluable for job hunters looking for red flags before the interview process is underway.

The platform also provides a solid look at salaries, though it’s a bit different than some of the competitors. Where Payscale and LinkedIn look at salary comparisons by region, field, and other factors, Glassdoor provides specific data for specific companies. What’s more, employees can share information about benefits, interview questions, and what the company culture is like.


SalaryList home

SalaryList gets its data from official company reporting or through the United States Department of Labor, so there’s no question of accuracy here. The site breaks salary info down into a variety of lists: which companies pay most, which roles come with the highest salary, and so on. You can enter your salary to see how it ranks nationally and enter a few more details for a free report.

Wrapping up

It’s a daunting task to determine what your time is worth. And that’s before negotiations and interview awkwardness come into play. Still, doing your research can serve you well. Instead of starting negotiations with an uninformed “I should be paid this much” approach, you’ll have data on your side.

And, when a company comes at you with a low offer, it’s smart to point back at one of the reports generated from any of the apps above. Once you know your worth, that’s where the work begins: perfecting that negotiation game.

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