Starting Salaries: How Long after Being Hired Do You Get a Raise?

Starting salaries, unless otherwise stated, begin at the bottom of the scale. The salary structure is usually based on an incremental set of stages.

Understanding salary structures

There are a several forms of salary structure:

Incremental: This is the most common, usually a division over a period of years within a salary bandwidth for a position. For example, a salary of 25,000 to 31,000 may have three tiers of $2000 per year increments to reach maximum salary for the position.

Age based: The transition from youth wages to adult wages is set by the national labor laws, and varies between nations.

Salary plus bonus: This may be a bandwidth with special allowances for bonus payments within the terms of employment. Please note this is an employer-discretionary payment system. The employer pays on the basis of an incentive scheme, or sometimes awards extra bonuses at their discretion.

Contract rates: Contract payments may vary depending on the nature of the contract, but as an employee incentive and staff retention function, payments may allow for progressive increases, bonuses, or special targeted payments for accomplishments exceeding contract requirements.

Retainers: Retainers tend to be low rates as salaries, because they're usually paid to people receiving commissions. However, these rates may vary depending on terms of employment. They may increase if a salesperson achieves high sales values.

Salary issues

Some of the forms of salary listed above are highly flexible. Incentive based salary schemes are often the best for getting early raises. It's possible for you to take advantage of incentive schemes quite easily, and increase your income quite significantly, if you research the employer's guidelines for these payments. This may require considerable extra work, but you may also add a lot of mileage to employer perceptions of the value of your work.

Contract workers have the option to take advantage of contract clauses covering extra income. Successful contractors often find that this can be an excellent opportunity to obtain more work, because of their much higher productivity value to the employer. It should also be noted that contracts are often awarded on a competitive basis, and that contractors with the best work records often do much better in terms of contract renewals.

Some contracts allow for real income to exceed contract payments, if the employee meets the requirements as specified in the contracts for additional payment. Important: Check your contract thoroughly, before proceeding. You may find yourself antagonizing the employer, if you ask for payments to which you're not entitled under contract.

Asking for a raise

If these incentives aren't present in the terms of your current employment, you may consider asking for a raise. However- you can be fairly sure that asking for a raise in your base salary will not always be a good idea. Salaries are budgeted. Extra payments therefore require approval, and significant extra payments are generally not welcomed.  If you want a raise, you must show the employer good cause to give you a raise.

Your most appropriate option for asking for a raise is a very high performance value over the period of your tenure. It's advisable to have irrefutably good work credentials to show the employer and a positive management environment before asking.