Even if you meet industry players during your first business interactions in the USA, defining the appropriate salary range for the various jobs you have to offer can be quite difficult at the beginning of your expansion, and there are several criteria to consider: your budget, your ambitions and requirements, industry standards, as well as geography. These criteria may even impact decisions beyond HR, like the states in which you intend to to business, have an office, etc.
The Foreign Labor Certification Data Center is a good start to assess your future employees’ salaries in the USA. The platform is effective but not as intuitive as it should, so let’s guide you through the process.
Step 1: search by location and occupation
Using the FLC Data Center’s Search Wizard, you can select criteria such as the geographical area and the occupation type. Let’s say for instance that you want to recruit a General Manager in the New York / New Jersey area:
As you click on “search”, the tool provides you with salary estimates for your employee, as well as a “JobZone”:
OK, but you are left with quite a broad salary range! How can you refine the salary assessment?
Step 2: compare the JobZone and Level Wage data
2 indicators help you narrow the salary range for your specific requirements: the “JobZone N” and the “Level N Wage”.
The occupation that you have selected is associated with a “JobZone” defined by the FLC Data Center’s nomenclature. You can find the list of all 5 JobZones at this link. This JobZone indicates the level of “preparation” needed to take on the various responsibilities and tasks usually required by the job description, including field experience and degrees. Each JobZone is associated with an “SVP range” that in turn matches the job with a specific number of years of experience.
In our example, a General and Operations Manager corresponds to the JobZone 4 and a [7.0-8.0] SVP range, which means… between 2 years and 10 years! That’s quite vague…
The “Level N wage” then comes into play to help you assess your future employee’s salary. As you see on our example, there are 4 wage levels to consider. To understand which level you should consider for your future employee, please refer to page 7 of this document.
Getting back to our example with that document in hand, we can see that the descriptions of the wage levels call for selecting Level 3 Wage or Level 4 Wage for the General and Operations Manager that belongs to the JobZone4.
Step 3: define which wage level applies to your future employee
You can now get back on your search results. For an experienced General and Operations Manager, the salary will be between $170K/year and $220K/year.
Arbitrating between Level 3 Wage and Level 4 Wage then depends on your specific requirements for growing your business in the USA (e.g. track record of success on equivalent positions, years of experience in your specific industry, etc.) and on your candidates’ requirements during salary negotiations (e.g. salary raise as they transition to this new job, risks associated with your business in coming years, etc.).
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Disclaimer: The materials provided in this US Toolbox are for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute comprehensive or specific legal, accounting, tax, marketing, or other advice. These materials may not reflect recent developments in the law, may not be complete, and may not pertain to your specific situation and circumstances.TradeSherpa, Inc. assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the materials, or for any losses that may arise from reliance upon the information contained these materials. Because these materials are intended to provide only general advice, specific advice should be taken from qualified professionals when dealing with specific situations and circumstances.