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Average Raise after 6 months?

Ok, some background:

I graduated in May with a CS degree.  I started here right after graduation.  This is my first "real" job.  I never interned at the company.  They offered me a decent starting salary (above average for this area).

I just had my 6 month evaluation (standard procedure).  They said they were pleased with my work, said I had management potential, and gave me a raise.

I'm wondering what the average increase for someone in my position would be.  What is the average salary increase after 6 months?

Myron Semack
Sunday, November 17, 2002

Average raise after six months in the places I've worked is roughly $0. Most places I've worked were pretty informal, though, and didn't do performance reviews.

Troy King
Sunday, November 17, 2002

You haven't told us what are you doing in first place.

Secondly, I'd say try to gain experience before thinking about raise. Frankly I wouldn't offer high salary for people right out of college cause I am sure they're green and I can't expect much.

Computer science it's not just about text books and the projects you have done in the university. Try to get REAL experience and implement what you've learned. You're way too lucky to put your knowledge to work given this economic climate; it's very risky to hire fresh people out of college these days.

Think long term.

Farid
Sunday, November 17, 2002

Let me explain, I didn't ask for the raise.  They gave it to me.  They told me they were impressed with my work, and they gave me what (I think) is a very nice increase.  I'm just wondering if what they gave me was good or not.

Ok, what am I doing?

It's a small embedded systems company (about 30 people, very informal).  I'm the first software person they've hired.  They used to contract out driver and BIOS development.  Now, those things are my responsbility.

A lot of what I'm doing has been updating drivers (adding WindowsXP support, writing Linux versions, etc).  This stuff hasn't been too difficult.  The harder stuff was adding certain features to our BIOS.  I'm no assembly-language expert.

Since I started there, two of our larger customers have asked us to design customized applications.  I finished both of these projects on-time, and the clients were pleased.

I'd like to think I'm doing good work there.  I've still got a lot to learn.  I'm doing a lot of low-level programming.  My CS degree didn't give me much of a hardware background, so I've spent a lot of time outside of work learning about EE stuff.

Myron Semack
Sunday, November 17, 2002

depending on the company, anywhere from 7-20% raise.

Prakash S
Sunday, November 17, 2002

Raises based on the passage of time (i.e 6 months, 1 year) are senseless. These type of raises do not discriminate between the nuff nuffs and the productive people. Everybody is just a 'time server'.

Alberto
Sunday, November 17, 2002

Depends on what you started at honestly.  Are you on the high end of entry level or on the low end for your area.  I was on the low end when I got hired and got a $5,000 raise.  Which is still pretty crappy overall ($35,000) and I got another $3,000 after 1 year.  So I'm at $38,000 after a year and a half's experience.  Is that good?  I don't think it's great (but better than a punch in the face & an unemployment check.) 

I've been told by some people with more experience that the only way to make a real jump in salary is to change employers.  Opinions?

Giorgio Galante
Sunday, November 17, 2002

They increased my salary by about 20%.  The salary increase was not an automatic thing (the review is).  How much my salary was increased by was based on my performance.

Myron Semack
Sunday, November 17, 2002

20% after 6 months is good, specially in the current environment.

You are in a strong situation because you are the only person doing SW at your company.  Therefore there is additional risk associated with your leaving, so your salary could be viewed as artificially inflated.  Of course, it is not really artificial because you are having to work largely independently and are therefore justifying your salary.

Another point in your favour is that your salary can be directly compared with the (probably) enormous outsourcing costs that were previous paid for similar work.

I'd say you have a great opportunity to shine and take full credit for your work, something that many new recruits don't have.

Peter McKenzie
Sunday, November 17, 2002

way to go Myron!

Prakash S
Sunday, November 17, 2002

I recall my first job back in 1993.  I was paid $29k to start.  I got great real-world Unix and C experience.  After a year, I got a 6% raise, I believe.  I was up to $30,800.  At that point I was underpaid.  Once my learning curve flattened out, and I left for a $48k salary with about 1.5 years of experience.  I left for better skills, not money.

All my "real" salary increases were a result of job hopping.  I am unaware of the current market, but contracting was the fastest way to a huge paycheck.

Put your skills and work ethic first, and the money will follow.  Good luck with your career. 

Bella
Sunday, November 17, 2002

"it's very risky to hire fresh people out of college these days."

It isn't that risky if you are only paying $35,000 a year. Yeesh, where are you guys located?

related to the original question: i have never had a raise. but then again, I have never had a job that lasted more than 18 months. YMMV. 20% is pretty good. But, if they started you out at $29,000 a year, that isn't so good. Where I'm at (Minneapolis) you can make $50K as a help desk /sysadmin at the university.  Then again, the money isn't such a big deal if you get to learn cool stuff.

WRZ
Sunday, November 17, 2002

20% is excellent -- possibly too good, actually.  It could be that you're just doing a fabulous job, or it might indicate that the company doesn't know what they're doing.  I once got a 13% raise after about 8 months and thought I was pretty hot stuff... then when I left that job, the person they hired to replace me started at 23% higher than what I made when I left.  That's when I learned I had *really* lowballed them when I was first hired.

But then again, I wouldn't work for that company again even if they paid me $120k, so I guess what's really important is whether you like the job, whether you make enough to save for when the job ends (always save some!), and whether you're getting the experience you want.  Sounds like it's good so far, so you shouldn't be checking other listings more than once every month or two.  ;>

Sam
Sunday, November 17, 2002


I graduated in 1997 and started in September.

The company did raises in December for everyone.

The Company President told me that he was happy with my work, enthusiasm, etc, but I hadn't been there very long - so they gave me 5%.

The next year, I earned a 20% raise.

Then again, the company started me out -VERY- low, and it was telecom in the middle of the telecom boom.

Basically, my $0.02 is to tie your earnings to revenue.  If your revenue/salary ratio is much higher than other folks in the company, a big % raise may be possible. 

As you get more $$, the percentages have to drop.  (Just think exponentially, you'll get it.)  Also, as your salary grows, you can try tying your salary to responsibility instead of earned revenue - many consulting managers don't bill at all, yet get paid far more than coders.

just my $0.02 ...

Matt H.
Monday, November 18, 2002

Its real simple. You said you thought it was a nice raise.

That means its a nice raise.

If you thought it sucked we'd have to dig a bit to decide whether it was you or they who were unrealistic but if it feels good then it is. Would it feel better if someone told you they "only" got 15%? Would it suddenly start to suck if I told you I got 25%?

As for what i'd *expect* after 6 months? Nada... I've never worked at a place that gave me a raise just for sticking the job out 6 months and *pauses for straw poll* don't know anyone else who has.

Robert Moir
Monday, November 18, 2002

> I've been told by some people with more experience that the only way to make a real jump in salary is to change employers.  Opinions?

My salary increased 500% in 10 years working for one employer. I started cheap, because that's what I was worth and what my employer could afford; I ended expensive for similar reasons.

Christopher Wells
Monday, November 18, 2002

Not only does my programmer-analyst-for-the-federal-government position have strictly defined temporal periods for salary increases, but the actual amounts of the increments are fixed as well.

Fortunately, there's more than enough incompetence, office politics, favoritism, nepotism, borderline corruption and general on-the-job frustration to distract me from that infuriating fact.

Dunno Wair
Monday, November 18, 2002

> strictly defined

I've heard a rumor that is true of banks (no doubt other big companies) as well: don't take a job there with the expectation that your salary will increase later.

> Ok, what am I doing?

There's an old adage: "As soon as you find that a programmer is indispensible, then you should find a way to get rid of them as soon as possible".

My guess is that your worth to your company would be higher, and they would be better able to afford to pay you more, if and when:
* A larger and larger portion of their business depends on  and comes from firmware
* Furthermore, they need to augment what you do, by hiring other software people ... who you train and eventually lead

A 20% increase after 6 months isn't a bad beginning (depending on what you were expecting) ... if you keep that up, if it increases 20% every 6 months for 10 years, that would be a 40-fold increase over 10 years. :)

Christopher Wells
Monday, November 18, 2002

My first job told me to "have a Coke and a smile" for a raise, so at 20% you are probably doing pretty good in this job market.

Granted, if you're making like $8.00/hour then it ain't so good, but I'm guessing your salary is competitive.

Mark Hoffman
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

There is no industry-wide standard salary increase per time period.  I’m surprised anyone would ask about such a thing.  There may be such a thing within certain software development organizations, but I imagine those are subject to change based on job market conditions and the organization’s financial success.     

The salaries I’ve garnered have increased almost 100% in about 4 years (starting with my first full-time programming job in mid ’98).  For me, this did not occur in gradual increments at all.  I once received a raise of over 40%.  This was not just because of excellent job performance, but because other top programmers within the company were quitting. 

Other programmers I talk to had received their biggest salary increases as a result of switching jobs, not because of job performance at a particular company.  Employers will pay employees as little as they possibly can, while employees will seek to make as much as they possibly can.   

If you are chasing $$$, I’m not sure you’ve chosen the right profession.  It may have been the right profession a few short years ago, but not so much in this job market climate. 

Unless you feel you are genuinely being cheated (it sure doesn’t sound like it), it might be wise to focus more on personal happiness, job satisfaction, skill development, and less on $$$.   

Nick B.
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Bella:

How long did it take you to get that 1st job?

Prakash S
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

After college, I tried calling alumni, etc.  that was fruitless.  (Thank god, b/c most were just JCL/COBOL/APL dinosaurs working for DEC anyways.)

Then sometime near the end of summer, I opened up a newspaper and called a few headhunters.  I had a job by the end of the week.  (All the IDIOT career counsellors all said one thing, NEVER look for a job in a newspaper.  Go figure)

Bella
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

How does a "headhunter" ad look like?
never seen one in a newspaper.

Do they just say:
"Looking for a job? Contact us" ??


Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Bella, thanks.

Prakash S
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

6 months? Try one year!!At my company, an immigration law firm, there is no standard procedure review after 6 months. THe policy is a review after ONE YEAR ( no exceptions.) So I'd say you went into the right field, my friend! Consider yourself one of the lucky few!!!

amanda rough
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

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