Money·3 min read

It’s Time for a Raise. But How Much Should You Ask For?

accessibility, woman reviewing paperwork with calculator
Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
November 29, 2022

If you want to ask your boss for a raise, you’ll need to start planning ahead so you can go into the convo with an exact number in mind. Enter: a pay raise calculator. Which will help you figure out how much to ask for. And what your paycheck will ideally look like if your boss says ‘approved.’ 

Do I really need to use a pay raise calculator?

It can’t hurt. Sites like Glassdoor or Salary can show you the average pay for your role, but you might have some wiggle room. Because salary sites can give you averages, but they don’t include your professional experience or other factors that might boost your pay. Using a calculator can help you figure out your worth at your job. 

So what is a good raise percentage?

That can vary from person to person, because of factors like:

  • Location, location, location. The cost of living in some places might get you a higher pay bump than in others.

  • Your industry. In 2021, the average pay increase for private sector workers was 4.6%. For public sector workers, the average was closer to 2.4%. 

  • Your performance. Exceeding expectations is great leverage when asking for a bigger boost. Think: Has your work brought in new customers? Have you helped the company close big sales? Have you taken on new tasks or responsibilities beyond your job title? Major accomplishments are a great way to back up your raise request.

So how much of a raise should I ask for?

Before you head to your meeting, take a second to crunch the numbers. We found a simple way to do the math to help you make sure you’re in the right range: 

accessibility, formula for salary increase
Design: theSkimm

Here’s an example: Your salary is $50,000, and you’re looking for a 10% raise. First, multiply 50,000 and 0.10. That equals 5,000. Then, add 5,000 to your current salary aka $50,000. Meaning, you’d be asking for $55,000 as your new pay.

Or, another easy option: You can also calculate yours here. And you can use the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to find average salary increases across the US.


Going for the raise you deserve is always a step in the right direction. And not just for you. Knowing your worth can also help close pay gaps. A pay raise calculator is a great tool for figuring out your number before the big meeting.

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