Applying for a salary increase is an intimidating process for many employees. Even if an employee is deserving of a raise, he may choose not to ask for one for fear of rejection. In particular, if the employee is unsure of the financial health of the company or the marketability of his own skills, he may keep his salary goals to himself. However, if the employee does his research and approaches his employer respectfully, he may be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Research the typical pay range for your position. Visit websites such as Payscale.com and speak with recruiters who specialize in your industry. A typical salary will vary according to where you live, your profession, the industry and your experience. If you are working in a role that is highly in demand, you may be in a position to ask for a raise.
Research the financial health of the company. If you work for a public company, this information will be available to you through periodic financial reports. If you work for a private company, look for clues as to where the money is being spent. For example, if the company is hiring new employees or adding positions, you can reasonably assume there is salary money available.
Maintain a log of the work you perform and your accomplishments. Include any of your projects that have brought financial benefit to the company. Make note of any duties you have taken on that fall outside of your job description. Armed with this information, you will be better able to argue that you are worth an increased investment.
Request a meeting with your employer to discuss your performance and salary. Use your relationship with your employer to gauge how you frame your request. You may want to let your manager know you are interested in meeting whenever he feels the time is right, or you may want to suggest a date and time. Be mindful of the economic pressures the company may be under and the fact that your employer may also wish to research salary levels before your meeting. Do not push your employer to meet before he is ready.
Present to your employer the data you've found about your marketability as well as the contributions you've made to the company. Do this in a way that is not combative or challenging; simply present the information as you would any other research. Have your desired salary in mind and suggest something slightly higher if you think your employer may negotiate you down.
Ask for alternative perks if a salary increase is not forthcoming. For example, ask for a modified work week, more vacation time or tuition money to further your schooling. These benefits will give you something even if the company is not financially able to increase your pay.