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Old 04-13-2019, 10:54 AM   #1
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Default Salary package negotiations

I’m in the process of interviewing with a company and would like to get some insight on negotiation etiquette. I have interviewed with smaller companies and it’s always been the same. With larger companies, I allow them to bring up salary and benefits when they feel it’s time to discuss it. What I don’t know, is exactly what a fair market value for any certain position I’m applying for would be. The market I am considering is 10% higher in cost of living compared to the national average. So should I reflect this in my salary discussion? The position is basically a lead superintendent role, so I’m also not sure how much above a site superintendent I should state as well. Does anyone have any experience with this role or know how I should proceed?
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:15 AM   #2
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Superintendent pay should be
  • no less than GF Pay for that jurisdiction. You also need to calculate the benefit package that a GF would have if you are not a union shop.
  • If you have a ticket in the IBEW, make sure to maintain your benefit package. You will appreciate that advice as I did now that i'm getting a bit long in the tooth.
  • That's the $$ part.
  • You need some vacation time. Start with every holiday, 7 of them, and 3 weeks per year and 5 sick days.
  • You need a take home truck or even better, a vehicle allowance that will pay for a nice truck and insurance.
  • You need a P card so that you dont have to beg for Purchase Orders if you need you quickly buy something to "put out a fire" or buy from a vendor outside of your shop accounts.

I can tell you for a fact that 10K to 15K asking isnt going to make any difference to a company that needs good help.

Bonus money isn't automatic it's going to be a condition on the jobs you manage.
I have no problem paying a star Superintendent 5% of the job if I dont have to lift a finger and I can make my money and overhead is covered.
If I need to over see the job or it loses money. its a big fat $0

Just a word of caution.
If you are demanding a premium salary, make sure you are up for the task and not moving out to move up.
Also, if you are at the max salary, dont expect lavish raises, just CoL raises unless you are a shooting star for the company.
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:32 AM   #3
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Get what you can now. Before you are hired. Its easier now than later.
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:43 AM   #4
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True,
You will never get it later. You will have to leave to get more than 2%
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:45 AM   #5
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1) always let them know, until you sign up or they offer you the positionn, that you are considering multiple options; they will surely do same. the negotiation is over once you have committed to working for them (some people don't understand that)

2) have a clear concise and written agreement as to what they are offering, even if you have to write it down, especially with regards to commission/profit sharing (if any), and how the commission is calculated.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the advice. I have basically worked 17 years as a site superintendent and always maintained profits between 15-30% on all of the jobs I’ve ran. I’m not opposed to doing the same for a larger company, as all the smaller ones don’t have crap for 401k. I’m interested in the position that’s being discussed and I know the average salary for site super is usually 100-110k. I do have a prospective position as a VDC superintendent position for 125k but I’m just looking at all my options. I would like to think a lead superintendent position would be close to the 125-140k range. And as with anything, it all depends on the benefits package as well.
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:29 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the advice. I have basically worked 17 years as a site superintendent and always maintained profits between 15-30% on all of the jobs I’ve ran. I’m not opposed to doing the same for a larger company, as all the smaller ones don’t have crap for 401k. I’m interested in the position that’s being discussed and I know the average salary for site super is usually 100-110k. I do have a prospective position as a VDC superintendent position for 125k but I’m just looking at all my options. I would like to think a lead superintendent position would be close to the 125-140k range. And as with anything, it all depends on the benefits package as well.
OK so, about $65 to $70 per hour. Pretty good as long as you are South of the Mason-Dixon line. If you are moving into Eastern Virginia and anywhere North of there, you are making JW wages.
You are going to have to go heavy on the perks and benefits, bonus money if you take $140K as a base.

It really, really sucks that our JW rate here in the South is $35. I would love to pay 2-3x that but, I can't get more than $156 for a per hour shop rate. Bulk rates for jobs is a bit less. One saving grace is for our industry is Flat Rate pricing. We make good bank on that work.
Did I mention how I despise Plan and Spec work??
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:40 PM   #8
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I’ve worked all over Tennessee and the most I ever made for JW was 16 and 18/hr for superintendent. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. Depending on responsibilities, as far as on par to PM positions, I would ask for 140k a year with a 2.5% COL increases to cover inflation. I would like to have a 401k with employer 10% matching contributions. As far as bonuses and profit sharing go, I’m still deciding on where to start there. Does this sound unrealistic ?
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:02 PM   #9
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I’ve worked all over Tennessee and the most I ever made for JW was 16 and 18/hr for superintendent. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. Depending on responsibilities, as far as on par to PM positions, I would ask for 140k a year with a 2.5% COL increases to cover inflation. I would like to have a 401k with employer 10% matching contributions. As far as bonuses and profit sharing go, I’m still deciding on where to start there. Does this sound unrealistic ?
My fuzzy math shows that you are asking for 100k more than superintendent pay in your market.
I need some help.
How do you describe the duties and responsibilities of a
superintendent
Job foreman
General foreman
Shop superintendent
Project Manager.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:40 AM   #10
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For small companies around the state, 40k is what they will probably all they give you. But in a larger metro area where the cost of living is much higher, the salary should reflect that. I have seen posting for electricians will to pay 46k, foreman up to 90k, and project managers up to 160k. All depending on experience of course, which I have near 30 years. Responsibilities vary as smaller companies will want you to do as much as they can convince you to do without paying you what you deserve.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGuy43 View Post
For small companies around the state, 40k is what they will probably all they give you. But in a larger metro area where the cost of living is much higher, the salary should reflect that. I have seen posting for electricians will to pay 46k, foreman up to 90k, and project managers up to 160k. All depending on experience of course, which I have near 30 years. Responsibilities vary as smaller companies will want you to do as much as they can convince you to do without paying you what you deserve.
I've never seen any location that a foreman makes over 200% of JW pay.

Something here sounds really off.

Foreman pay in NYC is maybe $3 per hr more than JW scale tops.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:05 AM   #12
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Is that within a ibew? In the south salary can vary by quite a bit depending on where the job is and what you are responsible for.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:28 AM   #13
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Is that within a ibew? In the south salary can vary by quite a bit depending on where the job is and what you are responsible for.
Yes, IBEW local #3 one of the highest scale in the country.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:39 AM   #14
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The salaries I am seeing are probably non union. I know the union scale for Memphis used to be 26/hr if I am not mistaken. But that was with benefits I believe. Non union electricians in Memphis or Nashville can make 22-27/hr plus benefits and it goes up from there depending on responsibilities.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:48 PM   #15
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The salaries I am seeing are probably non union. I know the union scale for Memphis used to be 26/hr if I am not mistaken. But that was with benefits I believe. Non union electricians in Memphis or Nashville can make 22-27/hr plus benefits and it goes up from there depending on responsibilities.
Non union paying better than Union is like a unicorn in my book.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:01 PM   #16
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City of Memphis

2018 Building Wage Rates

Rates Effective January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018
Boilermakers $25.35
Brickmasons and Blockmasons $14.35
Carpenters $15.20
Tile and Marble Setters $15.00
Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers $12.60
Construction Laborers $10.70
Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators $14.05
Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators $14.80
Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers $14.25
Tapers $16.45
Electricians $16.70
Glaziers $14.55
Insulation Workers, Mechanical $16.00
Painters, Construction and Maintenance $13.00
Pipelayers $14.35
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters $17.20
Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers $15.75
Roofers $13.95
Sheet Metal Workers $12.65
Structural Iron and Steel Workers $16.55
Solar Photovoltaic Installers $18.50
Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters $12.25
Helpers--Carpenters $12.80
Helpers--Electricians $10.85
Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters $10.15
Helpers--Roofers $10.25
Construction and Building Inspectors $17.85
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
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The salaries I am seeing are probably non union. I know the union scale for Memphis used to be 26/hr if I am not mistaken. But that was with benefits I believe. Non union electricians in Memphis or Nashville can make 22-27/hr plus benefits and it goes up from there depending on responsibilities.
474 Memphis TN, AR, MS Inside Journeyman Wireman $27.60
270 Oak Ridge TN Inside Journeyman Wireman 27.94
1925 Martin TN/KY Inside Journeyman Wireman 25.20

Health/Welfare:
$7.75
Pension I:
$4.50 DC Plan

760 Knoxville TN Inside Journeyman Wireman 24.99

Health/Welfare:
7.60
Pension I:
2.64


934 Kingsport TN,VA Inside Journeyman Wireman 21.34/26.43 TVA

Health/Welfare:
7.60
Pension I:
14%
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGuy43 View Post
For small companies around the state, 40k is what they will probably all they give you. But in a larger metro area where the cost of living is much higher, the salary should reflect that. I have seen posting for electricians will to pay 46k, foreman up to 90k, and project managers up to 160k. All depending on experience of course, which I have near 30 years. Responsibilities vary as smaller companies will want you to do as much as they can convince you to do without paying you what you deserve.
It appears your due diligence phase is over.
Best wishes during your negotiations.
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