How To Negotiate A Higher Hourly Wage

You might be wondering how you can talk about a higher hourly wage with an employer.

Negotiating a higher hourly wage can seem awkward and hard, but it doesn’t have to be.

In this article, I will walk you through how best to negotiate a higher hourly wage with a hiring manager while in an interview.

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How To Negotiate A Higher Hourly Wage

If you want to negotiate for a higher and a better hourly wage.

Then this step-by-step guideline is for you

1. Know What Your Time Is Worth And Use That To Start The Conversation

The more work experience you have, the less training you’ll likely need in a new job. 

So therefore, it is proper that you make a list of the accomplishments, competencies, and skills that you have acquired on your previous jobs to assess the value of your time, and what you are ready to bring to the hiring company.

Let’s look at an example of how you can begin the negotiation

“As you can see from my application or resume, I have five years of experience in a warehouse. 

I’m confident I can meet quotas before my probationary period is over. 

Can we discuss starting at a higher hourly rate?”

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2. Do Your Research On Compensation

It is advisable that before you can request for a negotiation of a higher wage, you should make research on popular online sites that forecast or give details about how much a particular position is worth in the company or similar company that you are applying for or the location that it is sited.

It is important to note that the wages for the same job can be dramatically different depending on where the job is located. 

During the negotiation, talking about the market research you have done will show the employer that you are proactive and understand the competition.

Example on how to present your research while discussing about the negotiation:

“In my research, I have found that (insert name of local competitor) is offering entry level workers $15 an hour. 

Workers with five years of experience there usually earn $21 an hour. 

Would you be willing to match the rate of $21 per hour?”

3. Point To Your Research And Work Experience Rather Than Details Of Your Financial Situation

Explain to the hiring manager how you determined the rate of pay which you are asking for. Outline your market research for the position and your work experience.

While you may be tempted to react to an offer that is outside of the range that you have in mind, keep the discussion on the job itself, and how you are the most qualified and valuable person to do it, rather than the impact of the offer on your personal finances.

Example of how to focus on your skills and the extra value you’re bringing to the job

“In addition to having all the skills listed in the job description, I also have experience managing inventory. 

In fact, in my last position, I developed a system in the warehouse that saved the company 100 hours a year in labor. 

Is that a responsibility I can take on as well, with a higher wage?”

4. Gather Wage Information From The Hiring Manager First

Begin by asking what the salary offer is. 

If it’s below your expectations, politely counter it with another amount and explain why you did so.

Start your negotiation at the higher end of the range that you have researched that gives the employer a tempting offer to land somewhere in the middle. 

If the company says $15 an hour, and you think something around $17 is more in line with the job and your skills, ask for an hourly rate of $20.

Example of how to talk about numbers:

“What is the wage for this position?

I had estimated more like $20 an hour, based on my research of the competition and my solid experience. 

Can we discuss that?”

5. Don’t Be Afraid Of “No”

It is good to think about the word “no” as the beginning of another conversation. 

Be aware that some employers do not have the flexibility to negotiate pay. 

Wages are an important piece of your compensation.

Nevertheless, there are other benefits that they can provide such as Free parking and a bus or subway pass. Including the ability to start health insurance coverage sooner.

You can also make room for future wage negotiation by asking if you can be considered for a raise after passing the probationary period of the company.

Example of how to negotiate non-wage compensation:

“I understand that you’re locked in at that pay rate. 

Can we explore some other forms of compensation, like a free parking space or monthly public transportation pass?”

Think of the negotiation as a conversation to come to a fair agreement.

So if you stay calm and approach your negotiation with this goal in mind, you’ll get a fair hourly rate and also start your new job in great standing with the company.

6. Ask Questions About The Compensation Package

Whether you’re getting the first offer or reviewing a counter offer, it is very okay to ask questions and clarify anything needed.

As a job seeker, you should never rush to respond to an offer before understanding all of the details.

So make sure you fully understand the position’s pay, benefits, the job description and work expected of you, how your performance will be measured, and how performance reviews work, too.

7. Sell Your Value To The Hiring Manager

Any time you are negotiating for a higher hourly wage, you should try as much as possible to back up your request with convincing reasons.

And the best way to justify asking for more money is to focus on business-related reasons, not personal reasons.

Example of what to talk about while asking for a higher job offer:

  • The value of the work you’ll be performing.
  • How much money you will be helping the company earn and save.
  • How much time you’ll save the company
  • Ways that you can help the company grow.
  • Past work and achievements (this is especially useful if you are negotiating salary in an existing job to get a raise. 

So it will be good to point out how much more achievements that you can bring to the job when you are hired.

You can likewise mention market factors regarding hourly rate, including:

  • Your current salary or past pay, if you were well paid.
  • Market research you’ve conducted into average salaries for your job title.
  • Any other job offers you’ve received or expect to receive soon in your job search.

As you are on this, it is important that you best avoid personal reasons while you are negotiating hourly rates.


It’s normal and acceptable to negotiate your hourly pay with employers.

So as you are preparing to do so, go into the negotiation with confidence, be polite but firm, and find out what the manager can offer.

If you get a wage that’s fair for both sides and find out the best an employer can offer you, then you’ve had a successful negotiation.

Did you find this helpful?. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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