more-arw search

Q&A Forum

Salary surveys

Where do you find the best data on relative salaries and cost of living (website/periodicals)?


Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

I get them from industry groups and placement gencies regularly. But, I don't see any of them as valid. They are broad and generic. There are too many variables and too much individuality in what various employers pay.

Salaries are all over the place. Trust me. I've regularly sought employment throughout my career. And, often out of state. There is no predicting salaries based on title, company size, location, etc. Especially when it comes to finance staffing.

Every time I think I can't be shocked anymore than I already have been, I encounter some position with a salary that is far, far different than I expect it to be. That's both high and low.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

Robert Half Financial for any accounting / finance related. I have used and compared that to and found some some large discrepancies between the two so this year I used Payscale because it seemed more real for my area and asked our personality profiling team at Hire Well Now to analyze because they use Career Builder and they were very close to

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) | is another good resource.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Thank you for your collective insights (and those that will come later).

(Manager) |

For free:
Payscale is pretty good with combining the salary and cost of living.

Glassdoor, while is 100% employee submitted, is also pretty good. Some can have pretty large ranges, but it's nice that you can see for a specific company.'s free service is ok, but not great.

Industry/Sector-specific staffing firms (Dice, Robert Half, etc.) are also good places, but you may have to contact someone there who will try to sell you on their services before you can get the data - still usually free in terms of dollars, but may cost time.

For pay:
Our local Tech Council publishes an annual salary guide based on member (employer) surveys, which is excellent for local employer data.

Also, salary. com's program for employers was very good - but it's been 3 or so years since I've had to use it.

Dan Ginn
Title: Human Resources Manager
Company: Italfoods, Inc.
LinkedIn Profile
(Human Resources Manager, Italfoods, Inc.) |

Wayne, I do not know what industry you are in but I am in the wholesale and food distribution area and am always looking for good data. I have found that recruiting agency produced surveys that are usually on the high side and have also found major discrepancy with and Payscale.

In terms of cost of living data, you kind find all types of data at and even subscribe to their service for free.

If you are in multi locations, I would also considere geographical variances that may have an impact on the cost of living/jobs. There is a good place to go to retrieve that information. Economic Research Institute and I think their site is

Good luck.


Get Free Membership

By signing up, you will receive emails from Proformative regarding Proformative programs, events, community news and activity. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact Us.

Business Exchange

Browse the Business Exchange to find information, resources and peer reviews to help you select the right solution for your business.

Learn more

Contribute to Community

If you’re interested in learning more about contributing to your Proformative community, we have many ways for you to get involved. Please email [email protected] to learn more about becoming a speaker or contributing to the blogs/Q&A Forum.