What Is a Salary Survey?

A salary survey is a method used to determine the average salary of employees in a specific profession. There are several vendors who conduct salary surveys from a variety of perspectives, using a range of approaches.

EHResearch Data Services

EHResearch has been conducting regional and national surveys about compensation from the most highly regarded companies in the country since 1991. The company's yearly salary survey covers multiple industries.

Billion-dollar companies all over the country participate every year in the respected survey on compensation for Executive Assistants provided by EHResearch. The company's survey offerings include:

  • Salary Planning Survey
  • Survey of Executive and Administrative Assistants
  • Hospital Officer Total Pay Report
  • Greater Pittsburgh Compensation Survey

The company also offers custom surveys on compensation in targeted regions, industries, and functional specialties. The surveys help to measure competitive compensation in a corporation's industry, market, technology, or members.

Aon Hewitt

Global compensation data from the General Industry Compensation Surveys and Products from Aon Hewitt provides crucial information to organizations that need broad-based and executive data to make plans for human capital most effectively. The company offers annual surveys, as well as proxy-based products in more than 180 countries, regarding more than 5 million incumbents in 2,500 positions.

Aon Hewitt provides the top resource for CEOs, CFOs, and HR professionals who are responsible for making the decisions about variable pay, merit and overall salary increases, reward strategy, and other important subjects that impact compensation. It is the Global Salary Increase Survey, which offers a comprehensive overview of inflation and salary increase data of over 14,000 organization in more than 120 countries.

Compdata Surveys

Information collected from several thousand companies every year by Compdata Surveys now forms the country's biggest database with recent benefits and salary information. From data that is collected on pay practices and benefits in over 500 different positions, it's possible to acquire the type of comparative salary data needed to recruit and keep the best kind of employees.

Culpepper Compensation Surveys

Culpepper Compensation Surveys provide comprehensive data on salary structures, base salaries, cash allowances, short-term cash incentives, total cash compensation, equity compensation, and other long-term incentives, shift differentials, rates for hourly pay, total direct compensation, and much more.

Dietrich Surveys

Dietrich Surveys have been providing the country's corporations with salary data since 1973, allowing them to compete for the best qualified individuals and retain the most valuable employees. The company provides national surveys on salary about a wide range of professions.

Educate to Career (ETC)

One of the leading resources for staffing agencies, recruiters, and HR professionals, Educate To Career provides critical and accurate data on compensation and recruitment. It is all available online, helping you to make an informed data-based decision.

The Employers Association (TEA)

Every spring, The Employers Association (TEA) conducts a local area salary and wage survey. It covers over 275 area companies with more than 300 benchmark jobs. Breakouts of the data cover company sizes, industries and regions.


A wonderful resource for all HR professionals, iMercer offers a comprehensive look at all of Mercer's Information Solutions in North America. There are not only surveys, but also valuable tools you can use to manage expatriate, benefits, and compensation programs.

Job Search Intelligence

Representing more than a thousand occupations, Job Search Intelligence offers surveys of over 500 geographic regions. They contain precise salary data for both employers and job seekers.


Using the global salary surveys conducted by Paylab users are able to compare compensation for over 600 different job positions. HR professionals are also able to compare their compensation and benefit packages to their competitors.

Total Compensation Solutions

A compensation consulting firm, Total Compensation Solutions also conducts custom salary surveys and publishes a Board of Directors Compensation Survey, as well as a Not For Profit Salary Survey.

The WageAccess Compensation Survey

A multi-industry benefits and compensation survey, The WageAccess Compensation Survey ensures complete participant confidentiality and includes more than 800 benchmark positions. There are quarterly updates of the survey results, and they can be filtered and customized by geographic location, position, company size, and industry. An extensive variety of compensation analysis trends and tools are included in the results, in addition to descriptive statistics.


Human resource professionals and hiring managers will find valuable data online by WageWatch from surveys covering salary, compensation, pay and benefits, and wage rates across many different markets and industries.

Western Management Group

There have been compensation surveys of the highest quality covering Europe and the United States conducted by Western Management Group since 1972. Some of the industries covered include high-tech, education, and financial services. More specialized surveys include marketing, sales, service, and software.

Willis Towers Watson Data Services

A leading provider of data to the global employer community, Willis Towers Watson Data Services conducts surveys on employment practices, compensation, and benefits. Various surveys are offered by industry, geographic area, type of position and type of pay.

Valuable data isn't only for large corporations. The general public has access from the following vendors:


Compensation professionals depend upon salary survey software from SalaryExpert to set their salary structures. The company offers free salary reports to job seekers and students.

Your Worth Salary Calculator

Professionals in various industries are able to compute their fair-market salary with this free salary calculator service. It provides results based on their experience, plus statistics from the State agencies and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Consumers can also increase their earning capabilities by finding out their salary possibilities on Salary.com.


Both individuals and businesses can find real-time, accurate salary reports at Payscale.com. They are available based on education, experience, skills, location, and job title.


Wide-ranging salary information is available on SalaryList.com. You can see unique views based on company name, salary, job title, or location.

Economic Research Institute's Salary Assessor (ERISA)

A unique resource that provides reports consisting of data that has been compiled from all other salary services available, ERISA is software that that delivers data on salaries and wages for more than 6,100 positions in 8,000 Canadian and U.S. metro areas. The software helps in creating precise evaluations of market pay.

There are even resources which offer information on specific geographic regions.


Salary and wage data in the state of Florida is provided by SalarySurveyOnline.com on hundreds of jobs, with many different simple breakouts including company size by sales/assets and company size by employees and industry. Additionally, the survey includes extensive sections on benefits that provide details for disability and life insurance plans, medical premium increases, medical out-of-pocket costs, sick leave and vacation time, 401(k) matching, plus other vital topics that employers deal with today.

The Survey Group

A member-based human resources consulting, information and survey company, The Survey Group provides its 600 member firms with data from their comprehensive benefits and compensation surveys. TSG's data, together with additional consulting services, assist companies that do business in New England to keep their employee benefits and compensation packages competitive.

Valuation Resources Compensation and Salary Surveys

There are also publications which provide a great deal of valuable information. This is a resource guide with salary and compensation information, as well as related benefit data about a wide range of industries.

Economic Research Institute Salary Survey

ERI Salary Surveys publishes compensation and benefits survey reports for the United States and Canada. Numerous industry-specific and job function surveys are published annually with data from for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Participating organizations include national, regional, and local companies that vary in size from very small to extremely large in terms of revenue. Survey submissions are accepted online and via email.

Some examples of industry surveys that the Economic Research Institute also conducts are agriculture, construction, health care, retail and financial services.

Some examples of job function surveys that the Economic Research Institute also conducts are human resources, information technology and ecommerce, and sales and marketing.

Economic Research Institute also conducts Benefits Benchmarking Surveys and Salary Increase Surveys.

American Planning Association (APA/AICP) Planners Salary Survey

Both the American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners try to promote the success of salary planners, as well as the organizations that employ them. To that end, they have conducted and reported periodic compensation surveys.

APA Regular, Life, Faculty, and New Professional members were invited to participate in an online survey in 2016 that achieved impressive participation levels. It garnered a 39 percent response rate, with 11,393 of 28,856 responding.

Results were reported for over 9,700 respondents who supplied data and indicated that they were self-employed or employed year-round and full-time as planners or in planning-related positions.

The online survey instrument was jointly designed by Readex and APA/AICP. It was virtually identical to all of the instruments that have been used since 2004. Readex collected and analyzed the data, and developed the website where the results were reported. Readex also tabulated the response and prepared the website's report adhering to accepted standards and practices for research.

An independent, nationally recognized research company, Readex Research is based in Stillwater, Minnesota. The company has more than 50 years of experience in research, as well as turnkey mail and e-survey capabilities. The company began its research surveys in the magazine publishing industry. However, it now specializes in self-administered surveys of such high quality that they have drawn clients form a great many different markets, such as corporate marketers and communicators, associations and government agencies.

DW Simpson 2016 Actuarial Salary Survey

DW Simpson has been gathering salary data from thousands of actuaries that the company has placed in global actuarial positions for more than 25 years. The DW Simpson Actuary Salary Survey consists of salary data that has been accumulated in their daily operations.

DW Simpson maintains continued relationships with employers and actuaries. That allows the company to gather thousands of data points on total yearly compensation, salaries, career level, bonus packages, country, location, discipline, and various other factors.

Over half of the company's salary data is accounted for by the DW Simpson Property & Casualty Actuarial Salary Survey.  Not only does the demand remain consistent for casualty actuaries throughout various outside markets, the highest senior level salaries have been consistently found in the P&C market.

There are a wide variety of factors responsible for the wide range of salaries at the senior levels. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Communication skills
  • Management experience
  • Software
  • Diverse backgrounds

The highest demand for experienced actuaries, as well as the fastest growth in salaries, has been in the health market. The demand for health actuaries at all levels, from student to Chief Actuaries, significantly increased with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Typically, the life actuarial market will have the highest outliers. Salaries in that market are solidly into six figures. The highest paid actuaries often have backgrounds in consulting, investments, or international business. International and American demand for life actuaries is strong. However, the Northeastern U.S. holds the largest concentration of them.

Although less than 10 percent of available actuarial jobs are in the pension sector, demand remains constant for actuaries who can manage existing retirement funds and salaries are rising for both fellows and associates. However, there has been slightly negative growth in the overall public market as individuals and companies have moved into other retirement options such as 401Ks.

DW Simpson also frequently collaborates with actuaries who work in more non-traditional positions, such as catastrophe modeling, predictive analytics, investments, programming, academia, informatics, and banking.

Public pensions are the exception. As consulting firms and large insurers have started dipping into emerging and established markets, actuaries with international experience have seen higher demand.

Among the strongest international markets are:

  • Canada
  • Bermuda
  • UK
  • Dubai
  • Switzerland
  • Singapore

While the international markets experiencing the highest growth include:

  • Brazil
  • China
  • Middle East

Companies can obtain a great deal of valuable data through surveys. With accurate, up to date information on salaries, compensation, benefits, and other work-related topics worldwide, employers can plan their own offerings more competitively.

Skilled actuaries all over the world are employed in gathering the data featured in extensive reporting. However, there is now a lot of very useful information available to the general public, as well. Both individuals and corporations are better able to make well-informed decisions by utilizing data provided in a salary survey.

If you need help with salary surveys, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.