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What is a fair salary?

 
Mike Vincent
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Hi, I finished college this June with a BS in computer science. I have been offered a developer level 1 position which will consist of java programming under the UNIX environment. I would like to know what is a fair salary for a position such as this? The company is located in Los Angeles and I have 0 years experience with a BS in CS. While we are on the topic of salary what is an average raise amount/time frame for this position?
Thank you,
 
Jeroen Wenting
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I've no clue as to US salaries, but over here the going rate is about �2500 a month (before taxes, add pensionfund and health insurance) for someone with 5 years experience.
That's down �500 a month (plus a company car) from 2 years ago.
 
Stephen Pride
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You can go to places like http://www.salary.com to get a rough estimate as to what your salary should be, but there are a lot of factors that could sway the end result. For instance ...
What benefits does the company offer? If your company has bare or no benefits, your salary could possibly be higher than expected. Conversely, if the company offers a very attractive benefits package (medical/dental/vision, 401(k), vacation, and so on), your salary could presumably be less.
What's the size of the company? Is it a very small company with not a lot of capital/revenue? Or, is it a well established company that is heavily traded on the stock exchange? Or, is it something in-between?
How critical your job is to the company's business model? Do you have those skills the company needs and cannot find elsewhere? Or, is your position such that they can pick-n-choose people at whim?
Regards,
Stephen
 
Mark Ju
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I'd agree with what Stephen said. You really have to consider a lot of things, such as:
- benefits (match 401k? stock options? dental/health/vision/family insurance?)
- training (paid classes? How many days per year? Free books?)
- vacation (how many paid vacation days per year?)
- job title (arguably, this is most important as they usually try to hit the "average" for your specific job title).
I'd suggest you find out your job title first and good take a look at salary.com to get an idea of the average entry level salary in LA.
 
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