1410 Engineering Bldg

Offers and Negotiation

Step 1: Evaluate your Market

A job offer is much more to consider than just the base salary. Whether this is your first job or fifth, one should consider many factors before accepting any offer. Your next position can go beyond guiding your career path and should be given ample time when deciding.
Some easy comparisons to consider include:

• Financial Compensation (salary, insurance, relocation/ signing bonus)
• Location (preference, flexibility, relocation)
• Career Plan (advancement, rotational program vs fixed, interests, educational opportunities)
• Employer Culture/ Environment (values, turn-over, travel, dress, atmosphere, typical hours)


Step 2: Evaluate your Offer(s)

Which items are most important to you and your career?
An offer matrix is often a good tool to use to compare multiple offers. A sample offer matrix is provided to help you start to formulate what is important to you:

ECS Career Matrix


Step 3: Negotiate?

Negotiation is not always necessary and reasonable depending on competing offers, job market, etc. but if you feel it is, ask for flexibility on one or two carefully chosen items (i.e. Salary, start date, moving expenses, time-off)

Rules for negotiating:

1. Don’t negotiate until a firm offer (in writing) has been extended
2. Be prepared and use facts (average salary information, cost of living statistics)
3. Understand the needs and abilities of the employer.
4. All negotiating should take place over the phone or in person; this needs to be a conversation
5. Have your notes and materials with you, with source information
6. Follow-up with an email after the conversation to ensure that key points discussed are “in-writing”


Step 4: Accept/Reject, Extend Offers

Once you have made the decision to accept or reject an offer, verbally confirm and immediately follow-up in writing. Be sure to clarify important details for example “start date’, salary, bonuses, and other important specifics.
ACCEPT ONLY ONE OFFER (even if something better comes along later!)

Don’t burn bridges you may need in the future, and risk being “bad-mouthed” to other organizations.

Immediately decline (in writing) all other offers as well as notify all other employers that are still considering you. This is a professional courtesy and allows the recruiter to continue their search.

Report your accepted/declined offers:

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students


ECS Job Search Guide: Evaluating Offers & Negotiation

U.S. Employer’s Guide to Hiring International Students (information provided by Interstride and Fragomen Law Firm – July 2022)

BS Co-op & Intern Hourly Salaries (2020-2021)

Major Average
Biomedical Engineering $22
Chemical Engineering $22
Civil Engineering $18
Computer Engineering $27
Electrical Engineering $24
Engr. Mechanics & Astronautics $21
Engr. Physics NA
Geological Engineering $19
Industrial Engineering $21
Materials Science & Engr. $19
Mechanical Engineering $21
Nuclear Engineering NA
OVERALL  $22

Hourly rate rounded to nearest dollar

updated 03/08/2022

Undergraduate Salary Information

BS Entry-Level Salaries (2020-2021) UW-Madison
Information as reported voluntarily to Engineering Career Services by graduating students

Major Average Median
Biomedical Engineering $62,193 $65,000
Chemical Engineering $69,620 $70,000
Civil Engineering $60,258 $60,000
Computer Engineering $83,972 $80,000
Electrical Engineering $70,513 $70,000
Engr. Mechanics & Astronautics $72,451 $72,000
Engr. Physics NA NA
Geological Engineering $60,348 $70,000
Industrial Engineering $67,099 $70,000
Materials Science & Engr. $65,633 $69,000
Mechanical Engineering $66,667 $67,500
Nuclear Engineering NA NA
OVERALL $68,537 $69,000

updated 03/08/2022


College of Engineering Destination Statistics & Salary Information:

2020-2021 BS Graduates

2019-2020 BS Graduates

2018-2019 BS Graduates

2017-2018 BS Graduates

2016-2017 BS Graduates

2015-2016 BS Graduates

2014-2015 BS Graduates

2013-2014 BS Graduates

2012-2013 BS Graduates

2011-2012 BS Graduates

National Data for Masters Salaries

Masters’ Program (MS) Mean Median
Biomedical Engineering $67,575 $69,250
Chemical Engineering $70,673 $77,400
Civil Engr. $70,696 $69,882
Computer Engr. $113,711 $118,577
Electrical & Computer Engr. $97,808 $96,178
Engr. Mechanics* $84,860 $85,238
Geological Engineering $63,100 $69,917
Industrial Engineering $80,823 $78,000
Manufacturing Systems Engr.** $72,567 $78,798
Materials Science & Engr.*** $78,424 $82,700
Mechanical Engineering $83,370 $82,144
Metallurgical Engr. NA NA
Nuclear Engr. & Engr. Physics NA NA
Source: NACE Summer 2022 Salary Survey
*Aerospace Engineering
**Manufacturing Engineering
*** Materials Engineering

National Data for PhD Salaries

Doctorate Program (PhD) Mean Median
Biomedical Engineering $98,591 $94,750
Chemical Engineering $85,694 $73,500
Civil & Environmental Engr. $78,130 $70,000
Computer Engr. $133,355 $119,611
Electrical & Computer Engr. $109,728 $108,550
Engr. Mechanics & Astronautics* $89,689 $77,000
Geological Engineering NA NA
Industrial Engineering (incl. Manf. Sys.) $110,708 $122,100
Materials Science & Engr.** $87,728 $88,333
Mechanical Engineering $82,400 $77,275
Metallurgical Engineering NA NA
Nuclear Engr. & Engr. Physics*** $98,525 $86,075
Source: NACE Summer 2022 Salary Survey
*Aerospace Engineering
** Materials Engineering
***Nuclear Engineering

Calculators:

Salary Calculator (payscale.com)

Cost of Living Calculator (bestplaces.net) or another Cost of Living Calculator option (from moneygeekonline.com)

ECS Career Matrix (xls)