Starting salary for junior-level IA in San Francisco?

9 Oct 2010 - 1:44pm
3 years ago
6 replies
2052 reads
stewartmccoy
2010

What is a reasonable starting salary for a junior-level IA in San Francisco?

Comments

9 Oct 2010 - 4:05pm
xiaomin2011
2008

You can try to find that out on Glassdoor.com for company salary and review information. I'm new to the bay area for job-search and my friend recommend this to me for doing homework for salary. Anyone has better resources to share?


Xiaomin (Cindy)

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Xiaomin (Cindy) JIANG

Information Architecture. Experience Design. User-Centered Design
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On Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 12:47 PM, stewartmccoy <mccoy.stewart@gmail.com> wrote:

What is a reasonable starting salary for a junior-level information architect in San Francisco? 

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9 Oct 2010 - 4:29pm
stewartmccoy
2010

The Information Architecture Institute conducts an annual salary survey, and the 2009 salary survey report is available here: http://iainstitute.org/en/learn/research/salary_survey.php

However, the data is from 2008, and I'm not sure how applicable that data is to junior-level IAs. 

9 Oct 2010 - 5:49pm
chrischandler
2008

Q: What is a reasonable starting salary for a junior-level IA in San Francisco?

A: Assuming that you asked the question because you are looking for a job, or have an offer, not that you are hiring, my answer is multiple choice:

1. Probably more than you think but still less than your wildest dreams.

2.  "any salary within 1.5 standard deviations of the mean for that role and that location" can be considered reasonable, (good luck with those surveys btw)

3. as much as you can get.

4. 50,000.00

I'm partial to #3 myself. Every single job offer your receive in your whole career should be thought of as an opportunity to practice your negotiation skills. Ask for a lot, and expect not to get it, and please don't settle for their first offer either. This is all a very boring and regular part of hiring -- no one will take this personally or even remember it after your first actual minute on the job. Obviously, if you think there is a lot of competition for the position, you shouldn't bargain as hard as you would if there isn't.

Divorce yourself from the idea that the money you are paid is somehow related to your "worth" -- this is a dangerous and distracting, and only logically applicable in certain "command economies" (Cuba? North Korea? not even sure where else it could be true). You should always be aiming to be worth WAY more than you are paid, no matter what your salary is.

The best way to evaluate an offer is by getting advice from a mentor or friend who knows the territory better than you do. I live in SoCal, but if you want to contact me off list, I'll give you an honest opinion of any offer you might be looking at, but I bet you have better choices than me!

-cc

PS: if you are looking to hire someone, the answer is 4... unless you can't hire anyone for that, in which case it's probably more than that.

9 Oct 2010 - 9:26pm
Josh B Williams
2010

Another consideration is if you find a freelance job or full time staff position. If you find a freelance contract on a 1099 you should negotiate around 15% higher then you would normally be paid on a W2.
As a freelancer you are required to pay additional taxes for social security that are usually paid for by the employer in a normal full time position.

-Josh B Williams

10 Oct 2010 - 5:05pm
Eric Diamond
2008

For freelancers, 15% will partially cover only your federal payroll taxes. The correct number is 17% (FICA and Medicare). What about health insurance and other bennies? Wear and tear on your equipment? (unless they furnish you with equipment) And any money you have to shell out and get reimbursed for (like for travel) gets a 12-15% markup for essentially loaning them money. I'd charge at least 50% more than w2 rates. Unless you like being poor.
When you price your services, figure out what it costs you to live, what it costs you to work, add a 20% margin for profit and that is what you should charge. A guy by the name of Cameron Foote has written some excellent guides to being a freelancer. I highly recommend them to the freelancers out there and anyone who is going into business for themselves.  A good accountant can also worth her weight in gold.

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On Oct 10, 2010, at 5:40 AM, Josh B Williams wrote:

Another consideration is if you find a freelance job or full time staff position. If you find a freelance contract on a 1099 you should negotiate around 15% higher then you would normally be paid on a W2.
As a freelancer you are required to pay additional taxes for social security that are usually paid for by the employer in a normal full time position.

-Josh B Williams

11 Oct 2010 - 10:30am
stewartmccoy
2010

Thanks for the feedback!

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