What Are The Salary Expectations Of A Junior .NET Software Developer?

Tagged:Developer, Graduate Jobs, Salary Report
What Are The Salary Expectations Of A Junior .NET Software Developer?

When we got an email through from a graduate .NET developer asking for information on what his expected salary as a junior .NET software developer should be. We offered the following advice.

Candidate Background

The candidate was based in the East Midlands and it was  his first job as a .NET software developer . He had just completed his first six months in a company widely recognised to be one of the best in the area.

He was keen to stress that he was happy in his current role, but as he didn’t negotiate salary beforehand (he believed himself to be a ‘risky hire’ with no prior formal experience), he wondered what his salary ought to be within the industry.

He had spent the three years since graduating travelling followed by temporary and freelance work, so only had seven months ‘formal experience’, which is not uncommon for many graduates, regardless of their field. However, he did bring to the table a First Class Degree in Computer Sciences.

He had been told by the company they would look at offering a pay rise after he had completed his three month probation. After passing this he asked about it and was told it would be done on his annual review (which was due).

He was currently on £19,000 and after he had conducted some of his own research believed this to be well below market rate. Although he was quick to admit he didn’t have the necessary data to back this up with.

There were a few points he was keen to clarify:
He was worried that his salary negotiation skills hadn’t been up to scratch when he was first hired by the company. After all it was his first full time job.

It is common for new employees, especially those entering employment for the first time to be reticent about negotiating salary. Most are just happy to get a foot in the door, and once they do it is usually a secondary consideration on what salary they should expect.

What is an expected salary for a first job in software developing?

As a well-established IT Recruitment Agency we place graduates with no commercial experience in salaries upwards of £18,000 depending on how good they are during the interview and testing.

Some graduates have gotten £21,000, £23,000 or even £25,000.

But, it really does depend on how good you are.

(For a head start on assessing your own skills try our Technical Testing).

When it comes down to annual reviews, (which could take place at any time after you have been with a company for six months) what pay rise should I be expecting/asking?

If you were getting a review after 1 year then we would definitely aim for 25K but it really does depend on your company.

We speak to some .Net developers who have 3 years’ experience and are still on 25K.

Just because something is market rate doesn’t mean you will get it and it shouldn’t be all about the money at your level anyway. You want to make sure you are in the best environment to learn so when you think about moving on in 2–3 years time you can then go for the bigger salary.

Is it realistic to ask for £25,000?

If you don’t get your skills right now the money will never come so bear that in mind when negotiating.

The reality is that how we see ourselves is often different to how others view us. How you portray yourself to the company and how honest you are about your present skills and ongoing development of both skills and experience will count for much.

If your argument is strong and valid, you will see a pay rise, however always ask what they think you need to improve on in order to justify a certain salary. Most people (and this is just a general overview) are paid what they are worth.

Ensure your CV is up to scratch with our CV Tips.

It usually comes down to experience – what you have and what you want!

For all developers working in their first proper role, the excitement of getting a job can outweigh the benefits of the salary. At some point though, the question of money will become more important.

When this happens candidates need to look carefully at how they see their careers progressing; money is good, but so are developing skills and gaining experience from respected and successful companies.


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