Set salaries with help from most reputable web sites

As hiring picks up due to the firming economy, organizations want to offer competitive salaries that aren’t inordinately lower or higher than those available from competitors.

That’s why managers and execs de­­pend on HR to track comparative pay rates for positions in local, regional and national job markets. Providing such data helps HR contribute to organizational budget planning and business decisions.

Here are the most reputable web sites that track pay for hundreds of professions and specialties, in no particular order:

1. Enter a job title and city in the “salary wizard” to view average pay data and percentiles for the location. The site provides free stats on the median value of bonuses and benefits, including 401(k) plans, health care and disability. Each search also produces information on related job titles. For example, searching “accountant” in Miami produces data on 17 jobs with related titles.

2. This free site provides salary information based on job title, degree level, location and experience required. Other search parameters include organization type, product, busi­­ness activity and number of em­­ployees. The database covers 7,000 positions in 50 industries.

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3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS provides average hourly, part-time, full-time and annual salary data for states, metropolitan areas and nine regions. The National Compensation Survey data offers national and local wage info for more than 800 occupations in about 400 industries.

4. Users can search for average salaries by city, state or ZIP code. The free results include a graph illustrating a position’s salary trend over recent years. Data also compares the average salary for a job in a location with the average nationwide pay.

5. The Economic Re­search Institute (ERI) offers salary survey software that provides up-to-date salary, incentive and total compensation data for more than 5,800 jobs in over 1,200 industries. Information is based on several data sources, including more than 100 ERI annual salary surveys. Users can benchmark competitive pay rates for up to 300 positions. A demo is free but the annual subscription is $889.

6. Click on “salaries” tab and search pay by location, job title, company name or keywords. The free results compare the average salary in a location searched with the nationwide figure. Results also provide salaries for the position offered by several companies in the location searched.

7. This site offers up-to-date information on average salaries by job title and city, state or ZIP code in a handy bar chart. Searching for a job title also turns up other positions with related titles.

5 other sites worth visiting