What you're worth pretty much has little to do with what you'll be
paid.  That sounds sour, but the simple fact is that employers will
pay the absolute minimum they have to.

Geography plays a huge part.  I live in Upstate NY, and salaries here
are low compared to Downstate.  If I were willing to move to NY City,
I could probably add 35k to my salary for doing the same stuff I do
now.

That brings up another facet of your salary.  If you do cutting edge
stuff, highly visible projects that make the comapny lots of money,
then you're much more likely to get a better wage than if you work on
back end office stuff like adding columns to the aged trial balance
report.  My advice here is to do some cutting edge stuff on your own
time and then spring it on the boss.  Make certain that you a) explain
how your work will benefit the company and b) you did the work and  c)
you can and want to do more.  Be visible and positive.

Another facet is the industry you work for.  For instance, wholesale
paper pays poorly because it's a low margin business.  No matter how
much you make the company prosper, the management will keep your
salary low because lean times are always on the horizon.  Comparing
your salary with the salary of someone who works for Lehman Brothers
on Wall St is going to be depressing.

Good luck, 
  --buck

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