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Want More Money? These Are the Job Titles to Target

Topics: Career Profiles

What’s in a name? It could be a significant amount of money. Earnest, an online lender, recently published a report analyzing various job titles and their corresponding salaries. While the actual day-to-day differences in responsibilities could be very little, these keyword variations translate potentially into a significant salary increase.


(Photo Credit: Denys Nicolau Argyriou/Unsplash)

Adding “Lead” to Your Title

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If you’re determined to earn more money, adding a “lead” to your title is a worthwhile goal. The median difference in salary between those who are considered a “Lead Developer” and those who aren’t, for example, is $23,000, according to Earnest’s data. While this is a title that can require several years of experience and an impressive portfolio, it’s a goal to work toward that could pay off very well in the long run.

Being Called a “Director”

A similar term, with similar earning potential: those being called directors enjoy a median salary difference of $21,000 from others with a similar function but a less senior title. If you’re currently planning to negotiate a promotion or raise, consider the long-term potential of securing a better title that will then be leverage for a salary hike later on. It’s tempting to always ask for more money, but sometimes a better title could be the smart move that leads to a bigger number in your next opportunity. (Although, of course, there’s no reason not to try for both.)

If You’re Considered a “Senior”

Don’t expect a senior title if you’re just a few years out of school. That said, it’s worth bringing up a title change if you find yourself consistently in the mentorship role within the team to those with less experience or skill. With a median difference of $20,000, it’s not to be sniffed at by any means.

What about those keywords that might not bring in as much money? If your title includes the terms “assistant,” “associate,” or “staff,” it could be holding you back from earning more. “Assistant” positions can have a median negative difference of $10,000 in annual salary, while “staff” indicates that a person could be earning up to $15,000 less than someone with essentially the same role. These titles tend to describe graduate-level or junior employees, so if you find yourself still working under one of them but feel you have lots of valuable experience to offer, it might be time to discuss a change with your manager.

Tell Us What You Think

Were you aware that these simple additions to titles could have such an impact on earning potential? Would you consider taking a better title over a large pay increase, as an investment in your future? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter.

Kirsty Wareing
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