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Does Salary Level Determine Success?

At what salary level would you consider yourself successful? Have you already hit that target? If not, don’t worry. You’re in good company. A new survey found that the majority of workers (71 per cent) say they do not currently make their desired salary.


Satisfaction Factors

The survey found that men are more likely than women to be satisfied with their annual take-home pay. Thirty-one per cent of men reported they currently make their desired salary, compared to 28 per cent of women.

Additionally, older workers are more likely to have reached their desired salaries, though most still feel that they fall short. Twenty-two per cent of workers ages 18-34 say they earn their desired salaries, compared to 29 per cent of those ages 35-44, 30 per cent of 45-54 year olds, and 37 per cent of workers ages 55 and up.

Fifty thousand dollars a year may be a tipping point when it comes to salary satisfaction. Twenty-two per cent of workers who currently make less than $50,000 a year say they currently earn their desired salary, compared to 42 per cent of those making $50,000 a year or more.

Desired Salary

So how much are employees hoping to earn? When asked what salary level they feel they need in order to be successful, employees said:

  • Under $30,000 – 5 per cent
  • $30,000-$39,999 – 10 per cent
  • $40,000-$49,999 – 15 per cent
  • $50,000-$59,999 – 16 per cent
  • $60,000-$69,999 – 15 per cent
  • $70,000-$79,999 – 10 per cent
  • $80,000-$89,999 – 7 per cent
  • $90,000-$99,999 – 5 per cent
  • $100,000-$149,999 – 11 per cent
  • $150,000-$199,999 – 2 per cent
  • $200,000 or more – 4 per cent

Getting the Raise

One way employees move themselves closer to their desired take-home is by asking the boss for a raise. While less than half (45 per cent) of workers have ever asked for a raise, three in five (61 per cent) of those who have say they received the raise.

Openly Disclosing Salaries

The survey also suggests that employers have taken to the idea of openly disclosing salaries more quickly than employees have. While 43 per cent of workers say they would want their company to openly disclose the salaries of all workers in the firm, 65 per cent of employers say they view disclosing salaries as a positive thing.

Employers who view disclosing salaries as a positive thing say it can help ensure pay equality (60 per cent), dispel wrong assumptions and rumors (51 per cent), and ensure better pay (45 per cent).

Learn more about the survey here.

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