SURVEY SAYS: Perceptions of Pay

I recently read about a survey which found 46% of professionals feel they are underpaid. The survey did not go into what, if anything, these folks plan to do about it.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Do you think you are paid fairly, considering what you do, and if you think you are underpaid, do you have any plans to try to do something about it?”


Asked how they feel most of the time, half of responding readers said they are paid fairly for their job. More than four in ten (42.5%) feel they are underpaid, and 7.5% admitted to feeling they are overpaid.


Among those who feel underpaid, 38.1% plan to just “Suck it up.” “Look for a new job” and “Ask for a raise, promotion or new position in the company” were each selected by 28.6% of respondents. Less than one-quarter (23.8%) plan to wait to see what their next increase will be, and 4.8% don’t know what they plan to do about it.


Among readers who chose to leave comments, a couple said other things are more important than money. Some told what happened when they asked for a salary increase. But, many lamented about why they are underpaid. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “Combination of ‘suck it up’ and search. I’m smart enough (also an age thing) to know the pros and cons of any job move. Commute, benefits, coworkers also matter.”


Thanks to all who participated in the survey!



Switching careers has caused me to take a massive pay cut. I understand the reasoning behind it but sometimes it still sucks to go backwards in the salary world…

It’s clear from looking back over my career, you will never get more money unless you change jobs!

Your career is in your hands, if you honestly are not fairly paid then take action and do something about it

If I were a man, I would definitely be paid more. I work for a boy’s club! There are a few token women, but we all earn less than the men.

I feel like I am underpaid but currently have cancer. My boss is working with me on the days I need to be off so I guess in this case I should say that I am fairly paid.

Combination of ‘suck it up’ and search. I’m smart enough (also an age thing) to know the pros and cons of any job move. Commute, benefits, coworkers also matter.

I think that generally everyone feels he or she is underpaid. That’s the way it works in America.

National, state and local governments provide billions in corporate subsidies, tax credits and other programs that shift costs to the taxpayers with questionable offsetting gains. Then those same governments complain about personnel costs and benefits. Just sayin’.

I feel I do just as much work, if not more, than those in management who seem to just attend a lot of meetings.

I felt underpaid for both the market and my peer group at work for some time. I addressed it multiple times and was finally given a raise. While I do now feel in line with the outside market, I still feel underpaid for my peer group at work, but since I can’t receive more on the outside just stay the course and hope to get additional recognition in the future.

The market is changing rapidly and employers are not keeping up. If they had to hire someone to replace me, they would be paying that person the same or more than I make and I’ve been here 17 years.

I think myself and most of my peers are actually paid too much for what we do. However, it allows me to put the max (Including catch up) into my 401(k) for retirement. I just hope I live long enough to use it!

I could be making more in the for-profit world, but I make decent money. Money isn’t everything. Since I like my job and boss and expect to retire from here in a few years, I have no intention of making a change.

It has been my experience, especially in regards to government jobs, that the more butt you kiss, the higher your salary. Rings true to private industry as well, but not quite as much

I actually do 2 jobs, but get paid for only 1 of those jobs. I feel strongly about supporting my employer, but sometimes feel overworked and underpaid.

I am fortunate that my company pays me fairly. While work can be stressful it helps to believe I am being treated well.

Overpaid for what I do, but at the same time I want to make more. Looking for greater responsibility or a new job.

I am underpaid for what I was hired to do, unfortunately I am doing mostly idiot robot work for which I am slowly losing my mind!

Having a good job with a good team, for me, outweighs additional monetary compensation.

Nearing the end of my career, so employer leaves me out of the loop and rarely challenges me to do more than the most routine parts of my job.

I think my pay is fair, but I confess I wish I got to take home more of the hourly rate at which my firm bills my time to clients. I suppose I could become a consultant and keep more of that billing rate, but I like knowing exactly how much I will have in my bank account twice a month. I am good at my job, but lack the drive to be an entrepreneur…

No salary increase in the last 5 years, despite receiving a promotion during that time, and the cost of benefits continues to increase every year… Yeah, my resume is out!

When I asked for an increase in pay or incentives I was given additional paid time off instead. While this is great to have and I understand the cost to the company, it doesn’t pay my bills or address the fact that I am underpaid for the work I do. I accepted this but let my employer know that I would revisit the increase in pay part at the end of the year.



NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Strategic Insight or its affiliates.