Engineers: Should You Consider A Pay Rise And How To Ask For One

Do you feel like you’re being underpaid? Do you believe you deserve a higher salary?

If you’re an engineer, these are essential questions to consider.

According to the Australian Labour Market Insights, engineers earn a median salary of $2,211 weekly, which is 38.79% higher than the median pay of $1,593.

In this blog, we’ll discuss when engineers should start thinking about asking for a salary increase, how you can prepare for a meeting with their managers to ask for a pay rise, and some tips on what to say (and what not to say) during that meeting.

1. Do Your Research

Before you even start thinking about asking for a pay rise, it’s essential to do your research. First, you need to understand what other engineers in your field are earning. This will give you a better idea of whether you’re underpaid or not.

There are several approaches to this research, such as talking to friends or colleagues in similar roles, researching the job market, and salary benchmarking websites like Payscale or Glassdoor.

Whichever method you use, it’ll help you build your case and identify why you deserve to receive a higher salary. 

2. Build Your Case

You can’t just walk into a meeting with HR or your boss and say, “I want a raise.” If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be able to justify your raise. Let’s look at the common reasons for asking for a raise and see if you have the right reasons.

Bad Reasons for Asking for A Raise

  1. Your colleague received a raise - This shouldn’t be the only reason you’re asking for one. Your company might have given your coworker a raise for exceptional performance, a longer tenure, or even reasons that might not be visible to you.

  2. You need more money to cover your expenses - If you’re struggling to make ends meet with your current salary, this isn’t the right time to ask for a raise. Instead, you should focus on cutting back on your expenses, or taking other options that your company offers such as a salary loan.

  3. You “deserve” it - Unfortunately, simply saying this isn’t a good enough reason. You need to have evidence that shows why you deserve a raise.

Good Reasons for Asking for A Raise

  1. You’ve taken on more responsibility - If you’ve taken on additional tasks and responsibilities at work, such as leading a team or taking on a new project, then it’s worth asking for one.

  2. You have evidence that you’re underpaid - If you’ve done your research and have proof that you’re receiving a lower salary than other engineers with similar experience, this is a strong case for asking for a raise.

  3. You’ve received positive feedback from your manager - If your performance reviews have been positive and your manager has singled you out for praise, this is another good reason to ask for a raise.

3. Prepare For Your Meeting

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to ask for a pay rise, it’s time to start preparing for your meeting with your manager.

Remember, this is a business meeting, so you need to treat it as such. This means being prepared and professional. Here are 3 tips on how you can prepare:

#1 Make A List of Your Achievements

Before the meeting, take some time to write down all your recent accomplishments. This could be things like leading a successful project or hitting your targets. Ensure that your current performance level at work can justify your request. Having this list will help build your case and show your value to the company.

#2 Do Your Research

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to do your research before asking for a salary raise. This means knowing what other engineers in your field are earning, which can help you negotiate a fair salary. Plus, it helps you arrive at a reasonable figure to ask for during the meeting.

#3 Practice What You’re Going to Say

Once you’ve prepared your case, it’s time to start practising what you’ll say. This will help you stay calm and focused during the meeting. Also, it helps ensure that you’re reasonable and have all the evidence you’ll need when presenting your case.

You also have to prepare for responses when your boss raises objections. You can answer some of the most common objections by repeating your best reasons and asking what you can do to get the management’s approval.

4. Set the Meeting

When you’re ready, it’s time to set up a meeting with your manager. You can do this via email or in person.

When requesting the meeting, ensure to state the purpose of the meeting upfront. Doing so helps your manager prepare for the discussion.

Remember, timing is everything. The ideal time to ask is when your company announces record sales and profits or after you complete a challenging project. When choosing a day for a salary negotiation, avoid Mondays and Fridays, as these are typically the busiest days for most people.

5. Be Strategic During the Meeting

Now that you’ve prepared for the meeting, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re actually going to say—as well as what not to say as it can ruin your chances. Here are 3 tips for getting a payraise:

#1 Keep it Professional

Always keep in mind that this is a business meeting, so you need to act professionally at all times. This means avoiding any personal attacks or criticisms. Instead, stick to the facts and stay calm throughout the discussion.

#2 Be Clear About What You Want

When asking for a pay rise, it’s important to be clear about what you want. This means stating a specific amount that you’re looking for. For example, during the discussion, when your reason is that you’re underpaid, talk about how much you’re underpaid in terms of dollars per month. Then, describe the raise you want to receive in percentage as it seems smaller and easier for managers to accept.

# Prepare to Negotiate

In many cases, your manager is going to counter your offer. This is why it’s critical that you’re prepared to negotiate. Have a range in mind that you’re willing to accept, as this can help you reach a fair agreement for both sides.

6. How to Handle A Rejection

If, after all of your preparation, you’re still rejected, then don’t despair. It’s important to remember that not every request will be successful.

Here are 3 tips on how to deal with rejection:

  1. Don’t take it personally: Try not to take the rejection personally. Instead, view it as a business decision. Avoid responding with anger or threats because you will still have to work with your boss afterwards. Plus, putting up walls and having resentment won’t help your cause.

  2. Ask for feedback: If possible, ask for reasons to understand better why they rejected your request. For example, if they say the rejection was because of your poor performance at work, then ask how you can improve to qualify for a pay raise next time. If they say it’s because they don’t have a budget for raises, you may renegotiate to receive more perks, like more vacation days or job flexibility.

  3. Try again later: If the answer is no, don’t give up just yet, especially if you truly believe you deserve a raise. It often takes more than one meeting to successfully negotiate a pay rise. You can schedule another appointment after you’ve completed a significant project or hit your targets. By showing that you’re performing well, you may be more likely to receive a raise next time.

Earn the Salary You Deserve

Asking for a pay rise is never easy, but you have nothing to lose by trying. It’s your right as an employee to ask for a raise, so don’t be afraid to ask for it, especially when you deserve it. After all, waiting for your company to reward your performance will be like walking toward a dead end.

If you follow the tips above, you can increase your chances of successfully negotiating a raise. So, do your research, practice your script, and be clear about what you want to get the salary you deserve.

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