Fixation on Histology

Salary Negotiations…The Dance Begins

Salary negotiation is a sensitive topic for both the employer and the job seeker. For example, say the pay range for a given position is $20-30 per hour. Most job seekers are hearing the job pays $30 per hour and the employer is thinking we are paying $20 per hour. So, the dance begins…
How do you, as a job seeker, handle the question: So, what are your salary expectations? It is not as tricky as you would think. 

Here is some simple straightforward advice to help you get a great offer.
Analyze Your Current Situation:
1. Are you being paid a fair wage?
2. Are you being under paid?
3. Are you getting a really good salary, aka better than people doing a similar job with
similar credentials and experience living in your area?

Do your research so you know where you stand. 
Use a salary analyzer to determine how your compensation lines up with others in your profession, in the area your job is located in. 
You can google salary comparison or cost of living calculator.  A good one can be found at Now you know where you stand compared to your peers. 
In the example of considering a new position, generally speaking, unless you are getting paid a better than average wage, you can expect about a 5-10% raise in your base salary relative to the cost of living in the area.
**If salary is only one of the factors driving your job change then once you have this knowledge you have an approximate number.**

Lets use from the original example outlined above:
Say you are making $30 per hour in your current position and that is average for the area. It would be fair to expect a 5-10% raise (. AKA $31-33 per hour). Most larger organizations have a compensation analyst on staff that uses a formula to calculate your offer. They consider the same factors I have given you. 

So, what you want to say when asked about compensation is “I am really interested in the opportunity, I have done some research and based on my current compensation I am looking at a range of $31-33 per hour. Of course, money is not the only factor I consider, so I am interested in hearing your offer.”

Say you are making $30 per hour in an area that has a lower-than-average cost of living, and you are moving to an area where the cost of living is 30% higher. The salary range should be close to 30% higher or $40-45 per hour. It would be fair to expect a cost-of-living adjustment to $40-45 per hour plus the salary increase of 5%-10% would put your pay range at $42-49.50 per hour.

“I am really interested in the opportunity, I have done some research and based on my current compensation, and adjustments for cost of living in this area, I am looking at a range of $42-45 per hour. Of course, money is not the only factor I consider, so I am interested in hearing your offer.”
**I emphatically discourage making a job change solely for money.** 
In 25 plus years as a recruiter, I can tell you that most people who are changing jobs solely for money often find out that the money wasn’t the only thing driving the decision to make a job change and by making the job change solely for money they have found themselves out of the frying pan and in the fire; Making more money but still unsatisfied with their job situation.

There is a myriad of other reasons to make a job change among them are:
• Schedule –hours/shift
• Benefits
• Opportunity for Advancement
• Quality of living in the area
• Actual duties of the new position
If you are the exception and have determined that you are only making a job change for the money, do your cost-of-living calculation, and determine the dollar amount that would make it worth your while and tell them:
 “I am really interested in the opportunity, I have done some research and based on my current compensation, I need a pay rate of 65K, and I am interested in hearing your best offer.”
The moral of the story is that there are no smoke and mirrors to salary negotiation. Research and open communication are the keys to getting a great offer the next time you are interviewing for a job.
Written By: Pam Barker, RELIA Solutions for Histology Professionals


1 comment



06-30-2023 17:23

Hi Pam,

Thanks for writing about this. It’s not always easy negotiating. 

I recall I once negotiated what I was offered by a prospective employer by saying, “This is what I am making now, and I cannot accept this position making less.”

In that situation the employer offered me what I was already making. 

Sometimes we find an employer that is close to home and has a decent schedule but we say no because of the salary.

Or sometimes the employer did not hire because they think the prospective employee is asking for too much.

It can be tough both on the employee and the employer. The employer needs a tech asap but rejects a tech because of the asking pay. Meanwhile, the employee would love to work there but cannot afford to accept the offered pay. 

It would be better for all involved if the employer would do its own research about the pay and cost of living expenses to avoid this kind of lose/lose situation.

As a tech, I don’t think an employer would be interested in my research of how much I should be paid. I think they just look at their budget or look at how much they are paying their current techs and make decisions that way. 

During the start of the Covid19 pandemic I had to hire a babysitter for my child. I offered $17 per hour to someone who said $15 was her asking pay. I offered $17 because she didn’t live close by. 

About a month later the babysitter told me $17 was too low. She said she couldn’t continue working for me unless I paid her $20 an hour because another family was paying her $20 an hour. 

I was furious and I didn’t give in. I went on and all the babysitters were asking for $20 or more an hour. It seemed ridiculous to me but I was forced to pay $20 an hour.  I only gave in when I saw for myself how much people were being paid in my area. If I needed a sitter, I had to pay what everyone else was being paid - unfortunately.