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What are Salary Estimates in Job Listings?

Updated February 09, 2017

To better match the right people with the right companies, Glassdoor includes salary estimates in job listings. Why? Because we know that job seekers want more salary information during the job search process, yet compensation data is not typically found in company job postings. In fact, salary is consistently a leading factor for job seekers when deciding where to work.

Here are some frequently asked questions related to Glassdoor salary estimates in job listings for job seekers and employers:

Why are you showing salary estimates in job listings?
We know that job seekers want more salary information during the job search process. By offering more information to job seekers to help them find a job they love, we also believe we will increase interest to job listings on Glassdoor, which in turn helps employers attract and recruit top talent.

How are salary estimates calculated?
Salary estimates are generated by Glassdoor using base salary data from millions of U.S. employees and third-party sources using patent-pending machine learning algorithms. Salary estimates factor in recent user-generated salary reports for similar job titles at the company, its competitors and other employers for a specific location.

Glassdoor also wants to remind you that salary estimates are estimates and do not represent guarantees of actual salaries, or endorsements from employers. The purpose of salary estimates is to use predictive data science to provide job seekers a likely salary range so they can  make more informed job decisions. For this reason, Glassdoor does not guarantee the accuracy of estimates. We encourage job seekers to supplement Glassdoor’s salary estimates with other research to help you make the most informed job decision as possible.

What is being shown exactly in a salary estimate?
Salary estimates in job listings display a range for annual base pay and are specific to job title, company and location.  They do not factor in variable compensation, such as bonuses, commissions, tips, stock, benefits or other components. They also do not factor in years of experience. At this time, salary estimates are included in some job listings on Glassdoor for annual salaried jobs, but are not included for hourly jobs or commission-based jobs.

Are salary estimates in job listings completely accurate?
No. Salary estimates are estimates, derived from patent-pending machine learning algorithms. At this time, the median error (as measured by the difference between an estimated base salary and a user generated salary for a comparable role) of our base salary estimates is about 13.5%.

I am the employer for a job listing and the salary estimate is way off. Can I update the estimate?
Our product team is collecting employer feedback and is happy to review and assess any concerns employers may have. Employers may contact them by emailing: salaryestimates@glassdoor.com. Keep in mind, this email address is for concerns related to salary estimates in job listings. For more information on salary estimates on company pages, please see this article.

At this time, the best way to help improve the accuracy of salary estimates on Glassdoor is to encourage your employees to contribute a salary report. The more information we have from employees about salaries, the more accurate salary estimates become over time. 

Why are there salary estimates in some job listings, but not all?
Salary estimates currently appear in approximately 40% of online job listings found on Glassdoor in the U.S. only. In the near future, we hope to increase our coverage of salary estimates in job listings, including increasing coverage to markets outside the U.S. If a salary estimate is not provided in a job listing found on Glassdoor, it means there is not enough data available for our proprietary algorithm to calculate a reliable salary estimate. But, as more data becomes available, a salary estimate may appear in that job listing at a later date.

How old is the salary data that Glassdoor uses for salary estimates?
We use salary data from millions of current and former employees to generate salary estimates, applying an emphasis on recent salaries over the past two years. Part of the algorithm also takes into account inflation trends to provide the most helpful and reliable salary estimates possible.

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