Salary Trend Update: Most Americans Will Get an Average of a 5.8% Raise by Changing Jobs

A woman in her kitchen sits at the island, using her phone and laptop.

Image source: Getty Images

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

Find out why job hoppers benefit more than usual in today's jobs market.

If you're not happy with your current salary and are considering a job change, you're not alone. The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on a lot of American workers' personal finances. Millions were left out of work. Others who fell ill with the virus saw an increase in healthcare costs. And parents of school-age children were left feeding and entertaining them largely at home, leading to increased childcare costs. Not to mention that inflation has risen to a level not seen in 13 years, meaning that it simply costs more to do everyday things like shopping for groceries and filling up your gas tank.

The good news for those considering a change is that it's common to see an average salary increase of 5.8% when changing jobs in today's market, according to data by the ADP Research Institute. This is up 0.68% compared with last year. Meanwhile, workers who remain in their current jobs are likely to see an annual increase of 3.1%, down a full 1.01% from last year. Let's look at why job-hopping Americans are seeing such a nice boost right now.

Why the boost?

It's important to keep in mind that the amount of your salary boost when changing jobs depends primarily on a few factors:

  • The job market and economy
  • Your experience
  • The industry you work in
  • Your geographic location

If unemployment is sitting at record lows and you're looking for a job in an industry that doesn't have a lot of openings, you can't expect much of an increase when you change jobs. Similarly, if you live in a small rural town and aren't willing to commute to and from a larger city, it's less likely the places you apply will offer much of an increase.

On the other hand, if you have multiple years' experience in your current role, your industry is in high demand, and you're willing to commute or can find remote work based out of a larger city, your chances of a significant salary increase are much higher.

Do your research

Before you set out to change jobs, do some digging to find out what type of salary you might expect. You can use websites such as salary.com, payscale.com, and glassdoor.com to research roles and find salary reports based on your location. Having this information beforehand will allow you to go into interviews prepared.

Remember, 5.8% is the average increase, meaning some industries may involve a higher increase, while others might mean an increase that's smaller. Knowing what the salary landscape looks like for your industry and role gives you power when negotiating.

If you currently make $45,000 a year and find in your research that your role can command as much as $50,000 a year where you live, then use that data -- combined with a heavy reliance on your personal skills and experience -- to negotiate a higher salary.

The economy is on your side

While it's true that unemployment numbers are finally improving, there are a lot of industries that are still hurting and struggling to find workers at this point in the pandemic. No industry was spared from the exodus caused by a global health scare and a situation that severely limited childcare options. Many employers are being forced to increase wages to lure employees back to fill abandoned positions. What is an unfortunate time for many companies could be an ideal time for workers seeking higher pay.

There's no time like the present. So if you're considering a job change, now would certainly be an ideal time to see what opportunities are out there and make the leap. If things have been stagnant in your professional life for a while, a new job might be just what the doctor ordered. And if a new job also brings with it a higher salary, better benefits, more room for growth, and a better work-life balance, you'd really be remiss in not taking advantage of it.

Alert: highest cash back card we've seen now has 0% intro APR until 2024

If you're using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our expert loves this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR until 2024, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee. 

In fact, this card is so good that our expert even uses it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes. 

Read our free review

Our Research Expert