How to negotiate salary + benefits for your new remote development job

Female recruiter negotiating salary for new remote developer position
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Published On

April 19, 2023


If you're considering taking a new remote development job offer, salary and benefits are likely one of the most significant factors in your decision. We know your career is the most important thing to you, so we want to help you negotiate the best deal for yourself.

Once you've reached the point in the job search process where you've received a job offer, you must prepare for salary negotiation. Let's help you get the highest salary possible with these tips on negotiating salary so you can confidently pursue your goals!


Research the salary range for your role

To ensure you're on solid ground when negotiating salary, it's crucial to understand the typical salary range for your role and location. This will help you determine what to ask for and give you the confidence to push for a higher salary. In other words, you need to know what you're worth! How can you figure this out? By doing a little research.

There are several websites out there that can help you determine the typical salary range for your role and experience level. Some of the most popular ones include Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and Payscale. Search for your job title and location, and boom! You'll get a good sense of what other people earn in your field. Also, consider your current job. Are you looking for higher pay with this new job, or are you just looking for remote opportunities?

When doing your research, keeping a few things in mind is important. First, remember that salaries vary widely depending on location, industry, and company size. Make sure to adjust your job search parameters accordingly. For example, if you're based in a major tech hub like Silicon Valley, you can expect salaries to be higher than in smaller cities or rural areas.

Second, remember that the salary ranges listed on job sites are often just starting points. Many employers are willing to negotiate higher salaries, especially for top talent. In fact, according to a recent survey by Jobvite, 55% of recruiters said they're ready to negotiate salaries up to 10% higher than the initial offer.

So, how can you use this information to your advantage? First, aim to find the highest salary range possible for your role and location. Then, when you're negotiating, use this information to make a case for why you're worth more than the initial offer. For example, if you have a particularly unique skill set or have achieved impressive results in your previous roles, use these as leverage to negotiate a higher salary.

After all, you're a talented developer with a unique skill set - you deserve to be compensated accordingly! Armed with this knowledge, you'll be able to confidently enter into negotiations knowing what you're worth and how to make a strong case for yourself.


Typical salary ranges for developers

If you are new to the industry and wondering what remote software developers get paid, here are some baseline salaries for different types of developers. Pay is position based but is also affected by education level, technical skills, the job description, and each company's range.

Note: these are estimates but can vary greatly depending on various factors, including your skills and experiences.

  • Front-end developer: A front-end developer is responsible for a website or application's user interface and experience. They typically use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create interactive web pages. The typical salary range for a front-end developer is between $60,000 and $110,000 per year.
  • Back-end developer: A back-end developer is responsible for the server side of web development, which includes creating and maintaining databases and server applications. They typically use programming languages such as Java, Python, or Ruby on Rails. The salary range for a back-end developer is between $70,000 and $130,000 per year.
  • Full-stack developer: A full-stack developer is proficient in front-end and back-end development. They can develop a complete web application from start to finish. The average salary range for a full-stack developer is between $80,000 and $150,000 per year.
  • Mobile developer: A mobile developer is responsible for creating applications for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They typically use programming languages such as Java or Swift. The salary range for a mobile developer is between $80,000 and $140,000 per year.
  • DevOps engineer: A DevOps engineer is responsible for integrating and deploying software applications. They work closely with developers and IT teams to ensure that applications are reliable and scalable. The average salaries for a DevOps engineer range from $90,000 to $160,000 per year.
  • Data scientist: A data scientist analyzes and interprets complex data sets to inform business decisions. They use programming languages like Python to develop algorithms and models. The average salary range for a data scientist is between $90,000 and $170,000 per year.

Please remember that salaries vary widely depending on location, industry, and years of experience. These are rough estimates of expected salary, based on industry averages, and individual salaries may vary.


Understand what you bring to the table

Before you can negotiate a salary and benefits package that's right for you, it's important to understand what makes you valuable. You need to know what skills and experience make up your value as an employee.

This is not always easy because most people don't like talking about themselves or their accomplishments. They may feel uncomfortable bragging about how great they are, especially when applying for a dream job online. But if you want to get paid what you are worth, you need to articulate what makes you unique in a salary negotiation!

  • Ask your friends, family, and colleagues how much they would pay for your services if they required a developer. Don't be shy! Their answers might surprise you, and their confidence in your abilities could give you a much-needed boost.
  • Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can browse job postings and salary surveys to get an idea of what other developers are earning in your region. Think of it like window shopping for salaries - except you don't have to leave the comfort of your home.
  • Look at how much you make on average per hour or project. If you're a freelancer or contractor, take a look at how much you make on average per hour or per project. This can give you a good idea of your market value. And even if you're not a freelancer, this exercise can still help you understand how much your time and skills are worth. Do some digging to determine the industry standard for your position. This can help you determine whether or not you're being paid fairly for your skills and experience.
  • Find your secret sauce. Everyone has something unique - a particular skill set, experience in a niche industry, or an ability to juggle flaming torches while coding (okay, maybe not that last one). Do some digging to figure out what makes your skill set stand out from the crowd. That way, you can highlight your unique value proposition during salary negotiations.

Negotiating your salary and benefits is about advocating for yourself and your worth as a developer. So don't be afraid to speak up and ask for what you deserve!

This is also a great time to mention that many people worry that they'll negotiate themselves out of a job offer by asking for too much money. While being reasonable about your requested salary is important, remember that you aren't just looking for a job. The prospective employer is also looking to fill a need, and they think you're the best candidate to do so.

Also, remember that your negotiating partner, whether a recruiter or hiring manager, is used to this hiring process. They won't take it personally when you ask for higher pay. Keep it respectful, reasonable, and professional, but don't hesitate to ask for your worth.


Create a salary negotiation plan and strategy ahead of time

When it comes time to negotiate your salary and benefits, it's important to balance advocating for yourself and being realistic about the salary offer and what you're willing to accept.

  • Know your worth - Use the strategies we discussed to research typical salaries for the position you're applying for. Be prepared with that information, such as specific salary ranges, personal work experience, and what you bring to the table that separates you from other applicants.
  • Consider your needs and expectations - Think carefully about your financial needs and expectations. What is the minimum amount you need to make to cover your expenses and maintain your quality of life? What benefits, such as health insurance or a flexible work schedule, are most important to you? Knowing these details will help you set realistic expectations for the negotiation process.
  • Be realistic - Be realistic about how much money you're willing to take, and don't rush into accepting an offer just because it sounds good. Consider your financial needs and expectations and what benefits are most important to you. Have a realistic number in mind before starting negotiations.
  • Have a negotiation plan - With all the information you've gathered, prepare a plan for negotiating a higher compensation package.
    • Justify why another company would pay more than what was offered based on their needs.
    • Explain why the position should be paying more than what was initially discussed.
    • Include examples from past jobs where companies paid above-average rates due to specific characteristics such as location, industry expertise, or remote work experience.
    • Send over references from previous employers who will back up these points.
    • Make sure you have your salary expectations in mind and be ready to counter with a number higher than what was offered.
    • If the company isn't budging, ask for some time to consider it.
    • It may be time to walk away if you're still not getting anywhere.

Remember, negotiating your salary and benefits is about finding a mutually beneficial solution that meets the needs of both you and your potential employer. Approaching the salary negotiation process with confidence, clarity, and a solid strategy is essential.


Understand what the hiring manager needs you for, not what you want out of the job

Before you can negotiate with hiring managers for a salary and benefits package that's right for your new remote development job, it's important to understand what the hiring manager needs you for.

Getting caught up in what YOU want from the new job is easy: how much money will I be making? What benefits are included? Is this company culture a good fit for my personality?

But these questions should only come second place behind, "why has this company hired me?" You need to understand why they hired YOU specifically before negotiating anything else!

Your job is to fill a specific need, and the hiring manager is looking for someone who can bring particular skills, experience, and qualifications to the table. By reviewing the job description and researching the company, you can gain insight into what they need from you and how you can meet those needs.

Understanding the company's goals and needs during the job interview process can give you a better understanding of the bigger picture. 

  • What is the company's mission? 
  • How does the job you're interviewing for fit into that mission? 
  • What challenges is the company facing that you can help solve? 

The more you know about the company and its needs, the better prepared you will be to negotiate a package that benefits both parties.

Remember, they are likely trying to add skills and experience they don't have within the company. Bringing those skills into the organization could give them high value, giving you leverage in negotiations. However, you may be applying for a more entry-level, less specialized role. While this may provide a great learning opportunity and allow you to gain experience that will help in future salary negotiation, it gives you little leverage in the current salary discussion.


How to negotiate over email

If you're applying for a remote position, most communication will be over email. That means it's essential to be polite and professional when negotiating salary and benefits with the hiring manager. Here are some tips:

  • Be clear and concise - Email communication can be easily misunderstood, so keep your message clear and concise. Use short sentences and avoid using jargon or complicated language. Consider a tool like Grammarly to help with spelling and grammar, and it even has a tone indicator!
  • Use your research - You've already researched the salary requirements for developers and set your desired salary range. This is the perfect opportunity to use what you've found to justify your request for more money.
  • Use a professional tone - Since you won't be able to rely on nonverbal cues, it's important to use a professional and polite tone in your email. Avoid using emoticons, slang, or informal language. Again considering using a tool like Grammarly for tone suggestions so you can be certain you are communicating an appropriate message.
  • Be confident - Confidence is key when negotiating a salary. Make sure to highlight your accomplishments and the value you bring to the company.
  • Ask for what you want - Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Be specific about your desired salary and benefits.
  • Follow up - If you are still waiting to receive a response to your email within a reasonable timeframe, follow up with a polite reminder.

Negotiating over email may take a slightly different approach than in-person negotiations, but ultimately can help you get more money if used properly.


Consider the complete benefits package

While a high salary is always appealing, it's essential to consider the other benefits that might be included in a job offer and how those affect total compensation. It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes it's better to take the job offer with a lower salary if the overall benefits package is better for your needs. Here are some other common forms of compensation you may be offered beyond a base salary.

  • Signing bonus: Some companies offer a signing bonus as an incentive to join their team. This is typically a one-time payment given when you start your new job. The amount you receive can vary depending on the company and the position you are applying for. This can help cover moving expenses or be a nice bonus.
  • Health insurance: This is a substantial benefit to consider. Some companies offer comprehensive medical, dental, and vision care plans. Ensure you understand your plan's details, such as the deductible, copays, and out-of-pocket maximum. While this is extremely valuable to many prospects, if you are married or if this is your first job, you may already be covered by a parent or spouse's insurance plan.
  • Retirement plans: Many companies offer retirement plans such as 401(k) or IRA. These plans allow you to save for retirement while receiving tax benefits. Some companies may provide a matching contribution, meaning they will match a certain percentage of your contributions.
  • Stock options: Some companies offer stock options as a benefit to employees. This means you can buy company stock at a set price and potentially earn a profit if the stock price increases.
  • Paid time off: Paid time off is vital for maintaining a work-life balance. Ensure you understand the amount of vacation time, sick leave, and other types of leave you are entitled to.
  • Professional development: Some companies may offer opportunities for professional development such as training, conferences, or tuition reimbursement.
  • Remote work stipend: Since you are working remotely, some companies may offer a stipend to cover the costs of home office equipment, internet, or other expenses associated with working from home.

As you can see, a lot more goes into a job offer, and it may be worth sacrificing a higher starting salary for other benefits. There is no correct answer to precisely what is best for everyone. Still, these are all things to consider when negotiating salary and benefits for your new remote development job.


Get paid

It is important to remember that each company is different, and no one will give you the same deal as another. Always make sure that you ask questions about their proposed salary and benefits during your interview process to get a better idea of what kind of compensation package they offer before accepting an offer from them.

If you want to ensure that you work for a great company and receive competitive pay, consider working with Talentcrowd. We match experienced developers with great companies and always want to add to our team. Talentcrowd offers competitive pay, the opportunity to work with amazing companies, extreme flexibility, and even offer referral bonuses if you bring other developers into the network!