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Can You Negotiate a Teacher's Salary?

By Barb Nefer

I want to do this! What's This?
You may be able to negotiate a much higher salary.

A job offer brings elation, especially if you have been seeking employment for a long time. Don't let the excitement get in the way of negotiating the best possible compensation package, including your pay and things such as insurance and vacation time. Jack Chapman, author of "Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute," warns that accepting a company's first offer is a common mistake. Negotiating rather than saying "yes" can pay off in big dividends.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

  1. Calculate your bottom-line salary based on the specific position and current employment and economic conditions in your geographic area. Rose Curtis, a writer for the Dice technical recruiting website, states there are many free salary calculation tools available online. You can also get this information from professional recruiters based on what their client companies are currently offering.
  2. Make a list of additional compensation items that are most important to you. For example, you may want good medical and life insurance if you have a family. Vacation time might be more important if you are single and travel frequently. Stock options may be a good way to add some long-term financial security if you are young and have time to wait for their value to grow.
  3. Let the company make an initial offer before you lay out what you are seeking, Curtis advises. The offer may be acceptable, and it will give you an idea of where the company stands if it is not.
  4. Make your counter-proposal, and reinforce your interest to reduce the chance that the company will refuse and rescind its employment offer. Explain why you believe you deserve the compensation package you are requesting and emphasize the value you can bring to the position. This may lead the company improving its initial offer even if it will not meet your exact request.
  5. Get the offer in writing once you negotiate an acceptable compensation package with the company. This will eliminate any possible misunderstandings that can result from a verbal agreement.




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