Advice on salaries and asking boss for payrise

Luby Registered Posts: 51 💫 🐯 💫
Hi so basically I am two weeks away from completing my AAT level 4 (Provided the exams go well and I pass the final 3 I am to sit)... Recently i did a bit of looking around and seemed to find the average salary is £20000 per annum for someone with my qualifications and my age (19). However i am currently paid £10k per annum and am contemplating asking my boss for a payrise but before i did i wondered if all other level 4 students / those who have passed could advise what sort of salaries you are on or where on when in the same position as me. I want to have some facts before i ask my boss and confirm my suspsicions - any body believe I am underpaid or am I on the right wage for my position.

We are a small firm 6employees
we operate in public practice and are a firm of accountants
we are in the Northwest

Can people advice with their current positions or opinions much appreciated as I am young and this would be a first for me to ask for a payrise(any tips also appreciated):blushing:


  • f12345
    f12345 Registered Posts: 7 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    You should definitely expect a payrise, and your employer is probably expecting to give you one as well, but they will probably try and delay this if possible i'd have thought, so maybe try and raise the subject asap and agree a salary for as soon as you pass rather than waiting until you pass and then discussing it - try having a look for jobs in the area and print these off so that when you speak to your boss you have back up for your expected wage and can justify what you want.

    I think whilst you are training anything is acceptable, it just depends on your circumstances and what you can get at the time! There are people in my class on salaries between national minimum apprenticeship wage (this is something like £4 an hour I think!) to about £16000.

    I'm in the middle at £13250 (I started on £12k in Dec 10 ), however you must also take into account that I get on average one day off a week to go to college and so I am only working a 4 day week (£3000k benefit?!) and they also pay my fees/exam fees (£800 ish a level) AAT membership (£80) and travel costs to get to college (£700 a year).

    Once I finish, I only have 3 exams left too :), I expect to be boosted up to atleast 20k - not that much of a raise considering that I will be then doing a full 5 day week, but I will also be doing CIMA or ACA (not decided yet!) which will be funded by my employer so all the other benefits will still stand.
    I work in industry in a large company in the Midlands within the finance department.

    Hope this helps :)
  • omega man
    omega man Registered Posts: 283
    I would be careful in this economic climate,they can replace you very easily for not alot.I mean AAT students working voluntarily and apprentice wages of £2.60 an hour.
    I agree you should be on more money and you will be, when you are on an adult wage as far as the national minimum wage goes.
    If i was in your shoes i would just apply for other jobs elsewhere.
  • coojee
    coojee Registered Posts: 794
    Whilst I agree with what omega man says, £10,000 does seem very low. I was on just under £10,000 over 20 years ago as a trainee ACCA, I was part way through the second level of ACCA at the time, I'm also North West and was working in public practice (traditionally less well paid than industry) That said though salaries really don't seem to have increased much at all during that time. It really is a difficult call and I remember going through exactly the same thing when I was training. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  • Rozzi Rainbow
    Rozzi Rainbow Registered Posts: 465
    I work in a smaller practice than you, in the North East. I waited until I had been there two years before broaching the subject of a pay rise, during which time I had completed AAT and begun ACCA. I researched other jobs available, and what their salaries were, but as has been said already, bear in mind industry is normally more well paid than practice.

    I asked my boss for a meeting, and told him what I had achieved in those two years, both study wise and in the workplace - i.e. taking on more responsibility, doing higher level work etc. I then asked if there was any scope for a pay rise and left him to think about it. I didn't want him to think I was demanding one or else I would leave! He came back to me a few days later with a small rise, which I said I appreciated.

    As has been said already, general pay rises don't seem to be happening much with the recession, so you need to be able to show why you think you deserve one. Also, do you have any idea what sort of salaries the other staff in your office are on to try and compare?

    Although it has been mentioned to leave to get a higher paid job, I think there are more circumstances to be taken into account - i.e. location, travelling time, how much you enjoy your current job etc.
  • Luby
    Luby Registered Posts: 51 💫 🐯 💫
    Im listening

    So taking into the account from the above it is not just me with the belief I am underpaid which is a relief. I have been at the firm for 3years when we get to 20/07/12 passed every exam first time and feel I am more capable than most at my age at the job I do. I understand the company could replace me within seconds for a next to nothing wage but at the same time I hope my bosses feel this would come at a trade off for a less able employee. Maybe not maybe they could get somewhere better skilled or similar however I have been looking at jobs in similar roles to myself and being around 16-24K. I would be more than happy for a salary more around 18K area but id rather not just up and leave for another job as I do enjoy the place I am at. I feel I might aswell ask and if they can meet my salary expectations I will be able to stay if not then looking for a new employer will be the second option.

    Thanks for all the advice so far guys massive help
  • Simmyluvsu
    Simmyluvsu Registered Posts: 55 💫 🐯 💫
    Hi Luby

    I also used to work in a small practice in the North West (Preston) which had about 6/7 employees and after I passed my AAT I was earning around £13,000.

    I think you need to take into account other factors - such as I find sometimes the salaries are lower at smaller practices, how much experience you have, and whether your employer is going to fund further study.

    My advice (and what I did) would be to once you've passed all your exams to have a meeting with your boss. Explain what you would like to do going forwards and try to work out something you both agree on.

    If you're still unhappy with the outcome just keep your eye out for other jobs that are being advertised.

    Good luck :)
  • SarahJS
    SarahJS Registered Posts: 273 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    I agree 10K seems low, but I'd drop your expectations a bit lower than 20K!

    I'd say 13-14K would seem about right for someone in your position. I'd definately ask, but be prepared for not a huge increase. Depending on where you found your salary I'd say it was pretty inflated for newly AAT qualified, especially in a small practice...
  • Luby
    Luby Registered Posts: 51 💫 🐯 💫
    My Plan

    Ok so I reckon I was being very erm naive about the potential earnings I could achieve. A job earning around 20k may be for older members of staff and more experienced members. I am due to sit down with both partners of the business tomorrow and firstly find out what they intend to pay me provided I pass these final exams. I am expecting the answer to be around 12K. How realistic and justified would i be in asking for a salary of 15k taken into account all of the factors above? I personally feel that would be within my rights to ask for such a salary without appearing too demanding. However I am new to this and would like some opinions if you were in my bosses shoes would you be prepared to pay 15k or just think I am being downright cheeky? Also I feel it would show that I am thinking for myself and not simply accepting everything they say and offer. I feel it shows I am serious about my career and progression wwhich could only help me... or does it simply look like I am greedy simply wanting more money irregardless of the company.

    Finally if i am aiming for a salary of around 15k how would i structure the talks to come to this figure, should i just state this is what I would be happy on (at the risk of my employers going lower) or state it higher for example 17k anticipating them 'meeting me halfway' sort of speak and achieving the 15k figure?
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    If you have worked with this firm for a period of time then you need to consider the long term relationship and the benefits that brings and NOT just the salary.

    I think if you go in to the meeting with money at the front of your mind you will actually end up in a weaker position than if you approach it asking what your prospects are going forward. No employer wants to think that an employee is only in it "for the money" although it is reasonable for employees who have passed their exams to expect an increase in pay or benefits.

    I'd approach the meeting by stating you are coming to the end of AAT and as such you want to discuss how you will fit in to the company and opportunities for progression. going forward, do your employers expect you to take on more responsibility, do they feel that you should continue studying qualification ? Do YOU want to secure funding for additional training and if so which qualification would suit both you and your employer? Make the meeting an opportunity to confirm everything you have achieved so far, and to agree on a development plan going forward.

    Once you have agreed what your position in the company will be, and your additional reponsibilities THEN towards the end of the meeting ask for your salary to be reviewed in light of the additional reponsibilities you have just agreed upon.

    Personally I like to be quite direct and if I had a salary expectation of £15k I would just ask for the figure I wanted. Be sure you are prepared with plenty of evidence as to how you have arrived at this figure and why you believe you are worth it. You need to be able to give specific clear examples about why you are worth more now that say this time last year. For example " I am now able to complete personal and CI tax returns without supervision - this is work that can all be directly billed to the client". Think of any recent achievements in work, and use these to demonstrate why you believe your pay should be reviewed.

    It is worth bearing in mind that if you are planning on continuing in eduction that chartered qualifications are incredibly expensive - so if you secure a good training package this will probably be more valuable than a slight pay increase.

    Final tip - if they don't commit to the pay increase you want in the meeting (which is what is likely to happen as they will probably tell you they will come back to you) be sure to ask this question before you leave " Please could you confirm what targets I have to meet to achieve the proposed pay rise ?"

    As an employer they have to give you a reasonable training and development plan. So if they come back to you and say you can't have a pay rise just yet (or the pay rise you want just yet) , you have it confirmed exactly what you have to do to get the salary you want !

    From there it is just a case of meeting those targets and calling another meeting in 6 months time to confirm that you will get the agreed pay rise for completing the objectives that were set in the first meeting.
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