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Should I have gotten a bigger raise with my HR promotion?

Jan 2007

Q. I started with my present company in Raleigh, NC, in February as an HR assistant on a temp-to-hire basis at a salary of $25,000. In March, the company hired me full-time and increased my salary to $28,000.

At the time I came on board, our HR director resigned. We were without an HR director for about two months. Then the benefits generalist turned in her resignation. I took the initiative to learn her job in less than two weeks.

At my performance review, the new HR director complimented me on taking the initiative to learn the benefits generalist's job and on how quickly I caught on. She then promoted me to benefits administrator. I was very excited, but when she told me that my new salary would be $29,124, my jaw almost dropped with disappointment.

I am working toward my associate's degree in human resources and I am in my last semester. I'm a hard worker and a quick learner. Am I being underpaid? If so, how should I go about handling this?

A. According to, a benefits administrator requires an associate's degree with two to four years of experience. The salary range for the position in Raleigh is between $39,000 and $50,000.

Your salary is below the 25th percentile. Since you have not met the minimum requirements of your position, I think you should use the opportunity afforded to you to learn all aspects of your new job before you go back and ask your manager for a raise.

I can tell you that you won't learn most aspects of your job within a couple of months; it will probably take you another year or two.

Good luck.

- Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Professional

EmploymentHR assistantsalarytemp-to-hire basis

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