What Is DOE Pay?
What Is DOE Pay?

What Is DOE Pay?

What Is DOE Pay?

When job hunting, there are several ways that the salary for a role can be described on the job description:

Seeing 'Salary DOE (Depending on Experience)' on a job description is quite common. This means that the pay for the role is based on the candidate’s experience; more experience commands a higher salary.

When job hunting, a role should not be disqualified because there is no defined salary. If the experience and job requirements are met, it could be a lucrative employment opportunity.

For employers, a DOE salary means the salary does not have to be displayed on a job description during recruitment; however, the DOE pay could include a salary range as an indication.

The phrase ‘salary commensurate with experience’ means the same thing.

Other acronyms, such as DOQ (Depending on Qualifications), which refers to a higher pay award for those with appropriate qualifications, may be used in the salary description for the role.

This means that candidates are likely to be paid more based on their education and skills rather than their experience.

A DOE salary can seem daunting; however, when applying for a role that does not state the salary, a range can be worked out using resources such as Glassdoor or LinkedIn.

Numerous websites aggregate information regarding pay based on various factors, like location, industry and qualifications.

Why Is DOE Pay Used?

A company that advertises a role with DOE pay does not usually have a specific budget for the job and is willing to pay more to get the right candidate.

Pay and benefits are a major draw for jobseekers; therefore, a company that offers compensation based on skills and knowledge can be attractive for good, qualified and relevant candidates.

For the candidate, DOE salaries should denote a potential employer that values knowledge and prior experience and is willing to offer remuneration based on that.

A position that allows for negotiation of salary could offer more options for additional benefits, as well as a higher pay rate.


  • Power to negotiate
  • Keeps salary confidential
  • Attracts applicants with more experience
  • Attracts applicants who are genuinely interested in the role


  • May discourage applicants who prefer to know the salary range
  • May attract applicants who are outside of the salary budget
  • Not a great option for smaller companies with a limited salary budget
  • Hard to compete with high offers

Advantages of DOE Pay

Power to Negotiate

A job role with a specific set salary offers little potential to negotiate; therefore, those with more experience and a wider skill set are not compensated for their knowledge.

With a DOE salary, the candidate possesses the power to negotiate pay according to their perceived worth to the company.

Keeps Salary Confidential

Many companies want to keep pay confidential for many reasons.

For example, to prevent competitors from offering higher salaries to tempt good candidates or to ensure that there are no problems with current employees.

For example, if an individual is already employed in a similar role that is being actively recruited for, they could be unhappy if they learn that the offered salary is more than they are receiving.

Attracts Applicants with More Experience

If a candidate is experienced with a wide skill set, they are more likely to be attracted to a role that seems to demonstrate a willingness to compensate based on that experience.

Companies that offer DOE salaries tend to be those that understand the value an experienced employee can bring to the business and pay with that in mind.

DOE salaries are specifically targeting those that have appropriate experience, so if you are applying for a role that you are highly experienced in, you can expect to be well paid for it.

Attracts Applicants who are Genuinely Interested in the Role

Jobseekers searching for the highest salary possible might not be the right fit for a company; therefore, a DOE salary is likely to pass them by.

Only candidates who genuinely desire the position are likely to apply. Either way, it is a good way to immediately exclude unsuitable candidates.

Companies who are using DOE salaries want employees that are looking for a specific role or to work specifically for their company.

Disadvantages of DOE Pay

May Discourage Applicants Who Prefer to Know the Salary Range

In uncertain times, applicants might want to know the salary range before they apply, to allocate funds for bills, travel and cost of living considerations.

A good candidate could feel uneasy and discouraged from applying without prior knowledge of what to expect in regards to salary.

Jobseekers value clarity and may not want to risk the time and effort of attending an interview only to discover the salary range is not worthwhile.

May Attract Applicants who are Outside of the Salary Budget

Even if a company has no fixed budget for a role, they will have a top-level figure in mind.

A DOE salary might encourage top-level applicants; however, they may require top-level pay that the business is not in a position to support.

This can result in candidates reaching the interview stage but not progressing further because their salary needs are not met.

Not a Great Option for Smaller Companies with a Limited Salary Budget

Smaller companies may not be flexible enough to match the required salary for the experienced candidate that they would like to recruit.

Therefore, offering a set range might lower expectations and mean that candidates know what to expect when they apply.

DOE salaries are most suited to companies that have many positions in the same job role. It makes more sense to pay based on experience if they have a lot of sales staff, for example.

Hard to Compete with High Offers

A candidate might not want to continue an application if they have already received a high offer from another role, and without a range to consider, gambling on a DOE salary may not be the best option.

How Do Companies Determine a DOE Salary Range?

Companies decide on a DOE salary mostly through research.

HR and recruitment firms often have data from surveys to show what the pay is for similar roles across industries and by location, which is especially useful information for businesses.

There are government surveys that have been conducted (with results available online) that can provide useful statistics.

Similar information is also available on sites like Glassdoor and PayScale, although these might be considered anecdotal as they are populated by employees.

Businesses that are likely to use a DOE salary should assign a calculated pay range to each experience level to match the expectations of both the organization and the candidate.

What Is DOE Pay: Definition, Advantages and Disadvantages
What Is DOE Pay: Definition, Advantages and Disadvantages

How to Negotiate a DOE Salary?

If you have been offered an interview for a role that offers a DOE salary, you are in a great position to negotiate your pay; however, this can be overwhelming if you are inexperienced or are unsure how to negotiate.

You can find more helpful information about negotiating pay in this useful article.

Be mindful that DOE could also be an acronym for Depending on Expertise.

If you have expert knowledge on a subject rather than direct hands-on experience, you can make a good argument that your expertise should command a higher salary.

In some cases, having expertise without matching experience might be more beneficial, as you will have knowledge of what needs to be done but not be set in your ways about the best ways to complete it.

Start High

If you have researched the position, you should have an idea what the salary range is likely to be for the role based on information for similar positions and companies.

Start near the top end to demonstrate your confidence in the position but be prepared to come down.

Be Flexible

Although it might not be the best option, you need to be prepared to come down on your first offer.

Remember that there might be other benefits that could boost your overall packages, such as extra holiday, bonuses or health packages.

Focus on What You Really Want

Is the role a perfect fit? Try not to get too hung up on the salary figure as long as it is above your minimum. Remember, there are other bonuses and benefits to the role that might be worth more than the salary.

Be Positive

Even if the offer you are given is lower than you want to accept, remain positive about the role and demonstrate that you want to accept the position before pushing for more.

Always be Prepared to Walk Away

Your knowledge of the probable salary range will have allowed you to identify your ideal salary, as well as the minimum you would be prepared to accept.

Do not be afraid to walk away if the salary does not match your expectations.

Final Thoughts

The uncertainty of a DOE salary can put some candidates off applying for a role; however, understanding that it allows applicants more power to negotiate their pay is a major draw for more experienced candidates.

Salary depending on experience and salary commensurate with experience are the same thing: the employer is willing to pay more for the best candidate that can bring the most in terms of skills and experience in the workplace.

Some job descriptions might offer a salary based on education, usually looking for qualified candidates with the acronym DOQ.

For employers, offering DOE salary with or without a range helps to keep salary information confidential and to ensure that the candidate pool consists of applicants who are more likely to possess the necessary experience.

As a job seeker, applying for a role that offers a salary DOE allows you the opportunity to command a pay rate that is based on the knowledge, expertise and experience that you can bring to a workplace.

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