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I have recently applied with a financial company for an IT Assurance Analyst (IT security and Assurance). I don't have any experience in the "IT security" field, however I have experience in the IT field, approx 4 years. I also have recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Information Security and Assurance. I have 9 certifications; Net+, Security+, Certified Ethiical Hacker (CEH), Ec council Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator, Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP) and Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) and GIAC ISO 2700K and a few more. What am I really worth? What should I negotiate for? I have interviewed with the hiring manager over the phone, then he asked for an in person interview and I met with him. I drove 7 hours to meet with him. HR is currently going over my background and I'm going to be optimistic, so what should I negotiate for considering I have some of the most saught after certifications and type of degree for that work and it is a financial industry company with high risk yet I have no experience. Any information would be great, very respectfully,


Pay rates depend on many factors. State, size of company, experience, education, industry. Companies tend to go with what similar industries are paying for the job category to stay competitive with the competition.

The IT security is a new type job I have not hired for that position.

We break our pay into different grades and those grades are based on the industry and the city and state in which we are located. After we get that benchmark we can look at other factors such as education and experience.

An IT programmer/Analyst is grade 34 and a senior programmer/Analyst is grade 37.

For the Financial and Insurance business nationwide the rates for these positions are as follows:

programmer/analyst          beginning  46,683      Midpoint    65,751   Max   84,819
Senior programmer/analyst       beginning  68,503      Midpoint    81,124   Max   104,650

This is for fully experienced programmer/Analyst. You will not expect to get top dollar when you first start with a company and many companies start you at the bottom and you have to work upwards.

It also depends on the state you are working in. I only have for the state of Idaho but I can give you an  example.

The chart looks like this for grade 34:
Nationwide (all employers)  Beginning  43,411   Midpoint  61,141   Max  78,873
Private Sector Nationwide      "       41,520          58,478        75,436
Public Sector Nationwide       "       42,185          59,315        76,645
Small Employers (Idaho)        "       35,467          49,952        64,439
Mid size employers (Idaho)     "       36,879          51,942        67,006
Large Employers (Idaho)        "       37,958          53,461        68,965

I only have the state tables for Idaho, I believe Alaska will pay more because the cost of living is more expensive there.  There is a lot of variables . We would start our new IT analyst at 40,000 a year and after 90 days they would get an increase if the job evaluation was good. Than merit increases after that are up to the supervisor and the company owner.  Usually we give a cost of living to all employees once a year and it is based on cost of living increases but has been running at 3% for the last few years.

You should probably not start for less than 40,000 at the least.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions pertaining to Compensation, Health Benefits, Retirement Plans, Payroll,Payroll taxes, Employee selection, Employee Termination, Training, and Employee Incentives. I have offices in U.S., Canada, UK, South Africa,Australia and NZ. I am most confident in the U.S. and Canadian but have knowledge of the internationals. I do not have extensive knowledge of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. I do have some Human Resource Knowledge in those areas. Please do not ask me homework questions, I do not have time to answer them.


I currently hold both the U.S. and Canadian Payroll Certifications. I currently hold the SHRM PHR certification. I have worked in the Human Resources area with high emphasis on compensation and benefits for 25 years at the same company. My company is an international company and I work with our International offices whenever there is a Human Resource area needing addressed. I volunteer on the American Payroll Association hotline and have for the last 10 years or so. I answer many questions each week for other payroll and HR professionals, mostly on taxes, benefits and compensation issues. I have been the trustee for our 401K plan for Retirement benefits and our 125 Cafeteria Plan for Health Insurance benefits.

SHRM, National APA, National DOLEA, State National Mentoring Network I.O.M.A. Advisory Board


Boise State University Human Resource Certificate Program PHR through SHRM CPP through American Payroll Association Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification through Canadian Payroll Association Published writer of Payroll and Benefit articles in a payroll Publication 25 years experience in an International Company

Awards and Honors
Citation of Merit 8 years in a row for hotline service for A.P.A. Honor Award for child mentoring service through RSVP and National Mentoring A "Pat on the Back" award for outstanding leadership as a Youth Group Leader by "The Salvation Army." Runner up for Employee of the Year at my Company twice and Employee of the month 4 times.

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I used to answer questions on when they had a similar quesition and answer section. I volunteer for APA hotline I also belong to several HR forums when I often answer questions

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