Salary - WTF or not? $45k job in US for a Dutch guy



  • I (being a Dutch guy) got an offer for $45k/yr plus benefits for marketing/IT manager and (some) product development at a company in WA, 40-50 employees.

    I'm quitting my job here in the Netherlands so my question is, having no experience with jobs and salaries in the US, is this a normal salary, or how does it compare for similar situations?

    This company produces a certain type of clothing and related products, and they need a guy to fulfill their needs regarding aforementioned positions.

    I know the CEO and COO of this company in person and have been there twice so it's not an unknown company in itself.

    My current salary in NL is much lower (even converted from $ to €, a factor ~1.5).

    So I need to know if this is a good, bad or average offer, and worth the move to the States or not.



  • I've always had the idea that the cost of living is much higher in US urban areas, and those 45K are worth only alittle bit more than your current salary.

    But, of course, salary is by far not a primary reason to move to the states. :)
     



  • @dhromed said:

    ...

    But, of course, salary is by far not a primary reason to move to the states. :)

    I'm very much aware of that, but aside from this being a life changing choice I wanted to know how much the better salary alone weighs in as good reason.



  • That's about 2550 eur / month before taxes. Sounds like a crappy deal to me. Take in mind the falling exchange rate and you'll be earning 2000 eur by the end of next year :) </sarcasm>



  • $45k for management is pretty low where I am. Hell, entry-level pays that.  Of course, I'm in the DC area, which has a fairly high cost of living.  Salaries vary heavily throughout the US.  I'd recommend looking on something like Monster or HotJobs to find similar jobs in the same area, and see what the market is.  Make sure you add at least $10k to whatever the average is on those sites, because employers low-ball like crazy.  Plus, it gives you room to negotiate.



  • Good point about Monster and HotJobs, I'll check them out.

    Concerning the rate of $ to €, that's of less importance but I am aware the rate is changing fast. All that matters to me is what it'd mean for me when I'll be there. So a comparison to other jobs is a good way to measure.

    The guy over there was (i think) pretty honest to me, he told me the salary is not comparable to bigger companies, but it may grow depending on growth of the company and how I'll be able to help the company to a better direction.

    Not that it's going bad as it is, but I know the company well enough to say they really need the position fulfilled. Whether I'm the guy they really need is a different story altogether, but that's unrelated to my salary question.
     



  • One thing to consider is that even if they can't be super competitive with their salary, they may be able to make it up somewhat in extra benefits.  I don't know much about your situation, and I'm not a CPA, but, for example, a matching 401(k) can have advantages to the company that a simple salary does not.  Or, if you're moving, maybe they can provide a per diem or reimburse moving expenses.  Get creative.



  • 45K for management is pretty low; I'm not sure about the area but it seems pretty low.  I make a little more than that as "IT Director", but it's also a very small company and I'm pretty much the only point of contact for IT, and do not have direct reports yet.

     It's low, but it shouldn't be your only deciding factor.
     



  • Well the 'management' is in reality just 'the guy who does this stuff', I got a more detailed job description that I've yet to read. It's not actually management but more similar to what you say you have. Job titles these days... they're not really what they sound like most of the time.

    But yes it really is not the main deciding factor, it's just part of the whole thing but it does matter of course. I should know in advance if I have to live in a dumpster or can afford to buy or rent an actual apartment or condo :)
     



  • It's a fair entry-level salary.  You didn't mention how much experience you have.   But I'd say, even with as little as a year or two experience you would certainly be on the low end.

    But that's not taking into an account the fact that you are an import (ie, probably need some kind of sponsorship/visa that the employer is paying for?)  I'm not really sure how all of that works, but that's the kind of thing that can reduce the salary somewhat.

     
    What part of Washington?  I assume near Seattle?   Of course, cost-of-living will be higher in a city or near an urban area, but from what I hear, the Seattle area has a relatively lower cost-of-living compared to some other urban areas in the US.
     



  • Yeah, it's near Seattle, about 50 miles to the west. Also, the marketing part is something I'm not experienced with. On the IT-end however, I've got about 6 years of experience, but these guys have a small infrastructure and are using Macs. They are paying for the 'import' stuff.



  • @Gabelstaplerfahrer said:

    Yeah, it's near Seattle, about 50 miles to the west. Also, the marketing part is something I'm not experienced with. On the IT-end however, I've got about 6 years of experience, but these guys have a small infrastructure and are using Macs. They are paying for the 'import' stuff.

    50 miles west?  So you are going to be over on the Olympic Peninsula?  Inside Seattle proper, $45k isn't going to go far.  Inner city Seattle is almost as expensive as the Bay Area (almost), and 50k doesn't go very far down here.  However, if you are 50 miles outside of Seattle in any direction not toward Redmond, 45k is going to go quite a bit further.  Rent can be a factor of 2 different, I had a one bedroom apartment (with an awesome view, mind you) for $950/mo inside Seattle.  I knew people in Lakewood (30 miles south or so) with two bedroom apartments for significantly less per month. 

    Also, Western Washington is kind of interesting politically.  The Greater Seattle Area and Olympia tend to skew very liberal, but you get away from there (particularly the more rural areas), things swing conservative pretty fast.  Seattle alone is the reason Washington is a "blue state." 

    However, if you are going to be on the peninsula, you'll have Olympic National Park as your back yard.  And the Olympics are simply one of the most beautiful spots in the US. 

    (If you can't tell, I grew up in Olympia, went to school in Seattle and played in the Olympics and the Cascades.  Now I'm in the Bay Area and I hate it.  I miss my home.)

    It's a beautiful area.  The air is clean and the climate is mild.  If you think you wouldn't mind a little bit of scraping, and you like the company, I'd do it in a heart beat (but then, I've already disclosed my bias).



  • My entry leve ljob in the US paid 40k and was considered low.  Was in Richmond VA and the cost of living there is pretty low. 

    When you say this job's in Washington, I assume you mean the Seattle area.  45 is probably less than what McDonalds employees make there.


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