University of Wisconsin–Madison
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.
Log in to myECS and report on the JOB OFFERS section of the website: Report Offer


ECS Job Search Guide: Evaluating Offers & Negotiation

Undergraduate Salary Information

Entry-Level Salaries (2015-2016)

Information as reported voluntarily to Engineering Career Services by graduating students

Major Average Median Range
Biomedical Engineering $60,818 $62,750 $30,000-72,000
Chemical Engineering $66,820 $66,000 $52,000-105,000
Civil Engineering $56,547 $57,000 $30,000-72,000
Computer Engineering $78,219 $78,250 $48,000-110,000
Electrical Engineering $64,962 $65,400 $55,000-80,000
Engr. Mechanics & Astronautics $65,885 $66,000 $54,080-80,000
Engr. Physics NA NA NA
Geological Engineering $56,480 $53,000 $45,000-86,000
Industrial Engineering $63,782 $65,000 $40,000-80,000
Materials Science & Engr. $51,677 $57,500 $29,000-66,000
Mechanical Engineering $64,899 $65,000 $40,000-95,000
Nuclear Engineering $70,000 $72,000 $63,000-75,000
OVERALL $64,220 $65,000 $29,000-110,000

College of Engineering Destination Statistics & Salary Information:

2015-2016 BS Graduates

2014-2015 BS Graduates

2013-2014 BS Graduates

2012-2013 BS Graduates

2011-2012 BS Graduates

National Data for M.S. Salaries

Masters’ Program (MS) Mean Median
Biomedical Engineering $71,600 $75,000
Chemical Engineering $72,632 $75,000
Civil & Environmental Engr. $62,837 $62,000
Computer & Electrical Engr. $83,347 $83,583
Engr. Mechanics & Astronautics $69,282 $69,100
Geological Engineering
Industrial Engineering (incl. Manf.Sys.) $71,909 $71,280
Materials Science & Engr. $70,128 $70,640
Mechanical Engineering $72,901 $73,876
Nuclear Engr. & Engr. Physics

National Data for PhD Salaries

Doctorate Program (PhD) Low High
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering $78,568 $109,600
Civil & Environmental Engr.
Computer & Electrical Engr. $86,667 $105,333
Engr. Mechanics & Astronautics $85,000 $105,000
Geological Engineering (incl. petroleum engr.) $108,500 $113,277
Industrial Engineering (incl. Manf.Sys.) $84,000 $100,000
Materials Science & Engr. $75,000 $95,000
Mechanical Engineering $84,437 $95,000
Nuclear Engr. & Engr. Physics

Calculators:

Salary Calculator (payscale.com)

Cost of Living Calculator (bestplaces.net)

ECS Career Matrix (xls)