What To Put For Your Desired Salary on Your Job Application

On your job application, answering questions like “what is your desired salary” is a very critical part of your application.

It can determine whether you’ll stand a chance of landing the job or not, as such, it is important you know the best approach to such questions.

If you choose a number that is too low, your employer may gladly accept it and pay you less than you are worth. If you quote an unrealistically high desired compensation, you risk losing the position.

To enable you to know how to appropriately answer what to put for the desired salary on your job application, we’ve put together some best approaches to the question.

Before we delve into what to put for the desired salary, let’s have an overview of what the desired salary is, as well as why employers ask about your desired salary on job applications.

What is Desired Salary?

The desired salary is simply the amount of money you would like to be paid for a new job. When filling out job applications and attending interviews, it’s normal to be unclear about what to put for the desired salary.

It can also be seen as the amount of money you may reasonably expect to earn in your new work based on your level of skill and experience.

Why Do Employers Ask About Desired Salary

Employers inquire about your target wage to learn what kind of salary you expect. If they believe you are asking for too much, they may try to negotiate a lower figure or decide to offer the job to your competitors.

That is why it is critical to understand your wage range. If you truly cannot accept a lower offer, you can indicate it politely and your argument should be strong during the negotiation.

How to Calculate Your Desired Salary

Knowing how to calculate your desired salary based on certain factors will stand as a guide toward knowing what to put for the desired salary in an application.

To determine the appropriate pay request for your desired position, follow these steps:

1. Find Out What Average Salaries Are In Your Field

Look up what others are making with this job title on the internet. A fast Google search will usually reveal the industry compensation norms for your desired position, and most job search services will also allow you to look for standards in your geographic location.

Depending on your region, expertise, and education, you’ll undoubtedly discover a wide variation.

This offers you a rudimentary idea of what you might want to set as your ideal pay.
The compensation scale is also influenced by the size of the organization and its level of success.

2. Consider Your Living Expenses

The typical compensation for a job varies depending on where you work. If you’re relocating for a new job, you’ll want to know how much it will cost to maintain your current level of life in a new place.

This is an important factor to consider, especially if you have a family to support. You’ll need to determine how much money you need to make to cover all of your family’s expenses.

If the cost of living in your new region is significantly greater. In this situation, you’ll have to request an even higher salary.

On the other hand, if housing, petrol, groceries, and utilities are cheaper in the new area, you may be willing to accept a lower wage than your former position.

3. Consider Your Skills, Education, and Experience

When it comes to what to put for the desired salary, the most important factors are experience, education, and skills. If you want to make more money, you’ll need to have the appropriate skills, education, and experience.

While you don’t need a four-year degree to acquire a good job, you should keep in mind that education and training are still taken into account by many employers, depending on the position.

Working in a given industry for a longer period of time will usually result in greater income.

So, even if you don’t have a lot of education but have years of experience and competence in positions that are similar to the one you desire now, your salary should reflect that.

Be honest with yourself about your skill level, and if you know you have a competitive advantage, consider including it in the amount you believe you should be paid.

4. Take a Look at the Available Perks

Health insurance paid time off, and 401(k) possibilities can all play a role in determining what to put for desired salary. 

You could be willing to lower your ideal wage in exchange for that benefit. Perhaps you’re considering a company that pays your desired wage but does not provide you with a 401(k) plan (k).

Decide on your deal-breaker salary once you’ve evaluated all of these criteria. It’s up to you to decide if you’re set on one number or willing to work within a pay range, and only you know what’s best for you.

Now that you’ve known the factors to put into consideration in determining your desired salary, let’s look at what to put for the desired salary in your job application 

What To Put For Your Desired Salary on Your Job Application

During an interview, potential employers will frequently inquire about what is your desired salary. Because you have the freedom to address the matter thoroughly in person, this is the greatest venue to approach this question.

To respond to this question, take the following steps:

  1. Take into account the entire benefits package
  2. Wait till you’re sure you’re ready
  3. Research and evidence should be used to back up your answer
  4. Indicate when negotiation is acceptable
  5. Reject any offers that aren’t appropriate 

1. Take into Account the Entire Benefits Package

Inquire about the benefits if the hiring manager counters with a lesser wage. The position’s real monetary value is added by your health insurance, stock options, pension, and other benefits.

2. Wait Till You’re Sure You’re Ready

You might postpone your response if the hiring manager inquires about your salary expectation before you have a complete understanding of the position. “I’d like to learn more about what this employment entails before discussing my ideal wage,” you might add.

3. Research and Evidence Should Be Used To Back Up Your Answer

Before your interview, do some research on the industry so you can give an informed response? 

If you want an $80,000 income, you should be able to make a convincing argument for yourself. Find out what the average wage is for your profession, sector, and location before your interview.

4. Indicate When Negotiation is Acceptable

If you’re willing to negotiate your wage, let your employer know. However, you should boldly stick by your lowest acceptable pay if you’ve mentioned it.

5. Turn down Unacceptably Low Offers

Know your lowest acceptable pay and be prepared to politely decline an offer if the employer cannot satisfy your requirements. It’s preferable to keep looking for the ideal fit than to settle for a job that doesn’t pay you enough to live comfortably.

Examples of Responses to the Desired Salary Question

You can use the following examples as a guide when responding to the desired salary inquiry in an interview:

1st Example

My present salary is $50,000. I’ve earned my master’s degree and expanded my skill set while starting this job.

With these extra requirements in mind, as well as the new position’s more advanced responsibilities, I’m asking for $70,000. For someone with my qualifications in a mid-level management role, I believe this is a reasonable salary.

Example No. 2

As you are aware, I would be required to relocate from Dallas to Houston for this work. My ideal income is $50,000 due to greater living and moving expenditures, as well as my credentials. 

While researching salaries in the Houston area for this job title, I discovered that this was an acceptable figure for someone with my skills and expertise. The typical range I discovered was $55,000 to $65,000, which makes my figure seem reasonable to me.

3rd Example

I chose a pay range of $60,000 to $70,000 when applying for this position. After understanding more about this position and its responsibilities, I believe $75,000 is a reasonable pay to request. 

I have the necessary skills and qualifications for this position, and I am confident that once I have become acquainted with the organization, I will have even more opportunities to advance. 

In addition, I see that you mentioned a potential sign-on bonus for workers who agree to attend an annual company retreat in your application. Such an opportunity would pique my interest.

Example No. 4

My desired salary is $60,000 per year. This seems like a reasonable wage for the work I’ll be performing and the experience I’ve gained.

I recognize that this figure is more than the range you provided, which is why I am willing to negotiate.

As a parent, having a lot of flexibility is crucial to me, which is why I would consider taking a lower income in exchange for more paid time off. Please consider my suggestion and we may discuss the specifics later.

Frequently Asked Questions About What To Put For Your Desired Salary

What is desired salary?

The desired salary is the amount of money a prospective employee would like to be paid for a new job.

When do I discuss salary?

As previously stated, the optimum time to talk about money is after you’ve received a job offer. If you try to negotiate before then, you’ll be at a disadvantage, especially if other applicants are still in the running.

How to answer the desired salary on an online application?

Many job applications ask for your ideal pay, but answering the question isn’t always in your best interest. Prepare to confront this issue in your next job application by familiarizing yourself with these three answer alternatives.

  • Ignore it and leave it blank
  • Type “Negotiable” in the box.
  • Determine an Appropriate Range 

How much should I put for a desired hourly wage when applying for a job?

Do well to examine the job description to see what salary ranges are typical for the position and experience levels.

Also, look into the company’s history and reputation. What kind of working atmosphere do you have? Are the staff usually satisfied with their jobs? Is there a lot of staff turnover? 

After you’ve finished your research, take a look at yourself. What do you believe, based on your degree of experience with the job requirements?

What should I say when they ask for the desired salary?

Because not all applications will ask for your ideal wage, there’s no need to provide one if they don’t.

If they do inquire, say something straightforward like “salary is negotiable” or “pay may be addressed throughout the interview process.”


Answering questions like “what is your desired salary” is a very critical part of your application. It can determine whether you’ll stand a chance of landing the job or not, as such, it’s important to know the best approach to such questions.

While choosing an unrealistic number may jeopardize your chances of being hired, choosing a quote that is too low may also result in paying less than your worth.

To know what to put for the desired salary, you can consider factors such as the entire benefits package, your skills and expertise, average salaries in your field, and also your living expenses. Feel free to reject any offers that aren’t appropriate.

We hope this article has given you a guide towards what to put for the desired salary on your job application.


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