This week in the Index's tech column~ Using the Internet to find out what you're worth

What’s the biggest subject of gossip and stress on the job? It’s when you’re standing around the water cooler and talking about who makes what salary – and then somehow you end up feeling ripped off or embarrassed, de-pending on your making more or less than your co-workers.

There’s a way to avoid this. You can research your way into getting the raise you deserve by backing up your request with hard data found at, which is probably the most popular provider of salary comparisons information on the Web.

You can find out what you’re worth in your occupation, and then scroll through the career and recruitment articles job advice and career planning tips.’s Senior Vice President Tim Driver advises staying current as salary trends evolve and doing your homework before accepting a job offer. Driver explains the tools you can use to do just that:

Q: How is filling a need?

Driver: We’re seeking to answer that fundamental question: “What am I worth?” People didn’t have obvious places to go for this sensitive information, other than friends and colleagues.

This is the place to go to get trusted, reliable information on salaries in many marketplaces.

Q: How does your Salary Wizard work?

Driver: We have a Salary Wizard that basically allows people to come to to find out what they’re worth. It’s very simple. They fill in what their location is, what their job category and title is. Then presto – within seconds they have a pay range for what they ought to be paid based on their industry and what we’re told by human resource professionals.

Q: This covers the full spectrum of jobs – not just technology workers?

Driver: That’s right. We have 1,000 jobs in a very broad spectrum.

Q: What type of industry tends to use the Salary Wizard?

Driver: Tech jobs are very popular. People really want to learn what their market value is. The same way when you research how much to pay for a car when you want to know what the value of that car is.

When you sell your services to a company, what is that worth? What is everyone else being paid? What would you be paid if you were doing the same job in another city?

Q: A lot of salaries for tech workers have declined. Is there a higher expectation with some tech workers for what their compensated might be?

Driver: Yes, the information has changed significantly over the coarse of last year. Compensation analysts update our salary data monthly.

Q: Tell us about other services offers to help support achieving a proper compensation.

Driver: One of the most popular things to do on is not only to find out the pay range you’re worth, but also to dig even deeper.

We offer the basic service for free. And then you can drill down and get a personal salary report for a small cost. You can find out your market value tailored to your location, company size, your years of experience, how many you supervise, and where you went to school.

Then you have a more refined point to negotiate with your current or new employer. This pays huge dividends. People tell us all the time about the enormous value of this information in getting them pay increases.

Q: You’re responsible for creating the Salary Timer and Millionaire Maker. Tell us what these do?

Driver: These are more entertaining kinds of applications. The Salary Timer lets you compare your own salary – on a second by second basis – with the salary of a celebrity or a CEO. Just click a button and it will click away and will tell you, say, after 10 seconds, you’ve earned 97 cents and Michael Jordan has earned $97,000.

The Millionaire Maker tells you what age you’ll become a millionaire. For some people, they’ll be happy to see it will happen when they turn 65. For others, they may become a millionaire at 143!

A full audio interview with can be heard at:

Dana Greenlee writes about technology every Friday in the Index. She is also co-host of WebTalkGuys, a radio talk show featuring technology news and interviews. The show is broadcast on CNET Radio in San Francisco/San Jose, Boston and over the XM Satellite Radio Network Channel 130 every Saturday at 10 am PST and Sunday at 7pm PST. WebTalkGuys is also Webcast on the Internet on demand from:

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