Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Should Promotion be Accompanied by a Raise

    Posted 01-15-2020 12:37 PM
    I spoke with my supervisor about receiving a promotion based on my current skill set, duties performed, and general performance and she was in agreement that I should, and as confidently as she could say, will, receive a promotion this spring when our company does such things.  However, when I spoke with her at a later date and the topic of a raise came up with this potential promotion in mind she said that our company does not typically accompany a promotion with a raise above and beyond the usual yearly raise associated with cost of living and performance (in my 4 years here that has ranged from 2-3% for me, with excellent performance reviews).  I did receive a 5% raise last year as a result of me setting up a meeting to discuss my merits, recent accomplishments (received master's degree and PE in several states), and the fact that I received only a 2% raise the year before (when my performance was rated the same as all others years, but I did take maternity leave, which in my opinion was the reason for the dip), etc.

    For comparison, at my last company, I received an 8% raise when I was promoted from Engineer I to Engineer II, which I take to be a 3-4% annual raise with a 4-5% raise tied to the promotion.​

    I am very happy at my company, but I do feel like I am under-compensated at times.

    The question - should a promotion trigger an associated raise, and if so what is a typical raise from Engineer II to Engineer III (small project management responsibilities and overseeing younger staff - which I have been doing for years).


    Ashlee Tyce P.E., M.ASCE
    Project Engineer II
    North Smithfield RI

  • 2.  RE: Should Promotion be Accompanied by a Raise

    Posted 01-16-2020 10:03 AM
    Personally, I think a promotion should be accompanied by a raise above the typical yearly bump. As you mentioned, the yearly raise is usually associated with living expenses and employee performance. In the case of a promotion, you should be taking on greater responsibility, so there should be an additional bump in pay to reflect that.

    I would say  that my previous promotion was accompanied by a larger raise similar to your 8 percent. Though, if I remember correctly, my company gave me a raise associated with the promotion on top of my typical annual performance-based raise.

    Perhaps you could speak to your boss about the issue? Maybe it would help to tell her that you are happy at the company but feel under-compensated. 

    As far as maternity leave is concerned, I think that should never be an issue when it comes to performance review. Typical maternity leave is at most 3 months, which leaves the company another 9 months to observe your work habits and performance. I will say that I don't have the same energy level when I am pregnant, but I do still have the same standards for the quality of my work. With all the discussions of creating a diverse workforce and attracting women to the field of engineering, I think engineering companies need to develop supportive policies regarding pregnancy and maternity leave. In my own experience, I am so grateful to have supportive bosses that enable me to have both children and a career - which makes me really happy to be an engineer!

    Kelly Farabee P.E., M.ASCE
    Savannah GA

  • 3.  RE: Should Promotion be Accompanied by a Raise

    Posted 01-16-2020 10:34 AM
    The short answer is a definite yes! Typical performance reviews may be separated from COLA raises, but promotions should always include a bump in salary.

    Stacey Morris P.E., M.ASCE
    ETI Corporation
    West Memphis AR

  • 4.  RE: Should Promotion be Accompanied by a Raise

    Posted 01-16-2020 01:59 PM
    If you have more responsibilities, that should definitely result in a raise. Make your case for the raise based on the new responsibilities.  If the company isn't doing well enough this year for a raise, seek an extra benefit (more vacation days, employer funding to an extra conference of your choice, etc.)

    If you continue to receive pushback on a raise, find out what it would take to get a higher raise at your next review (seek specific, actionable things).

    Stephanie Slocum P.E., M.ASCE
    Engineers Rising LLC

  • 5.  RE: Should Promotion be Accompanied by a Raise

    Posted 01-17-2020 08:13 AM
    I agree with all of the others, if your duties are changing/increasing and you are not being compensated for that effort, then you are not being paid what you are worth. If you love the company enough - aside from being under compensated - then I think Stephanie's suggestion below is a good one: seek compensation in another form.

    Here's a question you might ask your supervisor: If a brand new employee was hired into the role that you are now performing, would their starting salary be more than yours? Would they be able to negotiate a higher salary as a new hire?

    Maegan Nunley P.E., M.ASCE
    Luna Engineering
    Columbus OH

  • 6.  RE: Should Promotion be Accompanied by a Raise

    Posted 01-27-2020 03:02 PM
    I've definitely taken promotions without additional pay in my career.  Don't let it be a de- motivator. Take it as an opportunity to get into executive leadership and decision making for the company. In private companies, the pay comes in making those strategic decisions that impact the stability and profitability of the firm, not with the job titles.  The elevated position may give you access to the choice projects or access to be a voice in those critical decisions.

    I also wouldn't focus on percentage increase either. Stephanie has some great suggestions in asking for additional compensation in non-base salary terms. In your ask, offer things that show a mutual benefit that might be predictable but flexible revenue.  Employers want to keep their fixed expenses (base salary) to a minimum and predictable year over year. Consider that every year, every employee expects their salary to go up but the economics of the marketplace might not allow for that increase in overhead burden. Some employees will eventually "raise" themselves out of a job or have to go back down if the market turns. I prefer bonus agreements on company objectives. Match the goals of the company, namely financial performance, to get a piece of that pie for contributions.

    Jesse Kamm PhD, PMP, A.M.ASCE
    Senior Vice President of Construction Management

  • 7.  RE: Should Promotion be Accompanied by a Raise

    Posted 02-24-2020 07:59 AM
    Alright, thanks for this motivation. 

  • 8.  RE: Should Promotion be Accompanied by a Raise

    Posted 01-28-2020 06:57 AM

    Consider the question posed back to your employer, how does this promotion increase my value to the company and then also does this promotion allow the company to market you more as a valuable individual for a potential project?  Whoever offers you the promotion should have good responses and you then gain some bargaining weight.  Will your billing rate change with a promotion, almost certainly that will be the case.  The lowest cost "raise" that any employer offers is a fancy new title, that is a fancy new title with no additional compensation, pay or bonus. 


    David Devine P.E.,L.S.,M.ASCE
    Fort Wayne IN

  • 9.  RE: Should Promotion be Accompanied by a Raise

    Posted 01-30-2020 02:06 PM
    It seems odd that the statement was made that a promotion does not guarantee a raise. There has to be a financial incentive to take on more responsibilities - it's the way the world works. Find a way to track the projects you have worked on and the percentage of work compared to all other staff who have worked on the projects. Determine that associated value of work that you have provided and do the calculation of what your salary should be commensurate with that calculated value. Provide these details to your supervisor and see if they will consider it.

    Yance Marti P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer IV
    City of Milwaukee
    Milwaukee WI