Salary calculator: 5 comparison tools you can use to check pay levels

As the job market tightens, setting competitive salary levels becomes more and more critical. 
How do companies stay up to date? There’s a range of tools available that compile salary information.
The website recently assessed several of these tools and selected the best. Here’s a sampling of what was found.
The largest job posting site on the Internet, Indeed offers an extensive database pulled from job ads, employer info and worker reports. It’s free, and, because it gathers information from so many organizations, it’s especially useful for competitor analysis. However, you cannot download the data.
BLS Salary Survey
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is sourced from quarterly national employer surveys. Data can be filtered by any number of criteria – geography, organization size, industry and job characteristics. The biggest benefit is the ability to download the data in order to be able to fine tune your analysis using a spreadsheet. It’s also free (although, of course, it’s funded through your tax dollars). is exclusively employer-reported information purchased from data collectors. Basic service is free, but more extensive analysis ranges from $29.95 for a full report on a single position to data subscriptions that can cost up to $1,200 per year.
PayScale is made up of employee-reported information that’s continually updated as new visitors submit their salary data. The first comparison report is free. After that, pricing is on a case-by-case basis.
LinkedIn Salary
LinkedIn’s service is comparatively new and uses employee-reported information. It’s easy to see comparison for other companies and salaries for similar titles.  And it’s free to Premium subscribers.

Rachel Mucha
Rachel writes about Human Resource management and has been a member of the HRMorning staff since 2017. She is a graduate of Ithaca College. Email: