Photo of a review of Payscale as a salary comparison tool

Payscale as a Salary Comparison Tool

Check out this article to learn about Payscale and how to use the platform for salary comparisons.

Updated in 2023

What does Payscale do?

Utilizing big data and matching algorithms, Payscale helps employers and employees understand the right compensation for every position. Mainly, they work with businesses to ensure that they pay their employees according to market value so they can maintain equality and retention.

Job-seekers and employees can also make use of the data on Payscale to do research on average salaries for their role and background. They can compare offers and plan their negotiations. On the platform, users can compare salaries by company, industry, role, school, or degree. To personalize, they can enter a job title, years of experience, and location. Users can also add technologies, certifications, school, degree, and other demographic information. Then, they get a personal pay snapshot where they see their market value and variable options.

Once candidates receive an offer, they can enter the information into the platform calculator to see if it fits market rate. This helps them figure out where they should focus their negotiations, based on where the average compensation for that role falls. The platform also includes information on your market rate over time. So, you can keep that mind as you move through your career. For more guidance on how to negotiate, check out our article.

Example of payscale platform as a user

If you are just looking for more information on average salaries by role and location, Payscale breaks it down to show the bonus and profit sharing expected as well. You can add experience level and location to make the information more accurate.

Finally, they provide resources for candidates and employees who are looking to negotiate as well as to help people with their job search. Some of these resources include a “best job for you” personality quiz, cost of living calculator, and a job board powered by ZipRecruiter.

Who is Payscale for?

There are 2 main audiences for Payscale: companies and people who are looking to negotiate. Both candidates and current employees can gain helpful information from the platform that will help them increase their offers or current salaries.

What does Payscale cost? How much work is involved?

For users, Payscale is free. They make their money from the companies that use their data and platform to inform their compensation decisions. Some of the information can be seen without creating an account. But, for those who want to personalize their experience, they can create an account using Facebook

Ratings and reviews

The main reviews of Payscale online are about the accuracy of their compensation data. Many people feel that the salaries on Payscale lower than the average. This makes it look like they are being paid way above average even if they are not. This can be especially frustrating when the company is a Payscale customer. That’s because the HR department is using those numbers to set the compensation. People recommend using this platform alongside additional salary estimation sites in order to come to a round conclusion.

Alternatives to Payscale

  • Glassdoor is probably the most well known alternative platform for people looking to make informed decisions on their compensation. They have a salary calculator that gives users a breakdown of the average compensation for each role based on the location. Users can also enter their own information for a personalized calculator.
  • Similarly, Paysa is an online tool that helps people determine their worth. It can be used when negotiating salaries at new positions or raises in their current roles. Users can search for average salaries across companies, roles, and locations and then analyze their offers based on that market data.

How does Payscale compare to Pathrise?

Payscale provides compensation data for job-seekers and employees to use for their negotiation, which is very important for successful negotiation. 

Pathrise works with job-seekers throughout their entire search, from resume optimization through interviewing, and concluding with negotiation. We make use of the average salary data from Payscale and other online sources as we guide our candidates through successful negotiations. On average, fellows negotiate 10-20% increases in their salaries and make $12,600 above industry standards.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, our fellows have seen a 10-20% lift in salary through negotiation alone.

If you want to work with any of our mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your negotiations or any other aspect of the job search, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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Alex MacPherson

Hi I'm Alex! Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2019, I have worked on the growth team for Pathrise helping job seekers hone their skills to land their dream role through curated content on interview prep, resume building and more.

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