• # Why Is There No Salary Standard Deviation on PayScale?

I am sometimes asked, "why doesn't the PayScale Salary Report and Research Center show the standard deviation of the data? (See Wikipedia for the (useless) mathematical definition of standard deviation.)

People are are interested in the standard deviation, because it attempts to give the typical variation in salaries. The first thing they calculate with it is a typical range of salaries, by simply adding and subtracting it from the mean.

• # Average Salary vs. Median Salary: Which should I use?

In my second post, I gave the mathematical definitions of median and arithmetic mean (average). These were pretty useless, like all mathematical definitions, because I did not explain when to use median vs. mean.

O.K., time for everyone to cringe: remember "word problems" from 4th grade mathematics? It turns out life is a word problem :-) A computer can do math calculations for you (including calculus), but computers are really bad at turning word problems into meaningful answers. A human has to decide which is the best equation to solve a word problem.

• # Salary Data: Where does PayScale get data? How do I know it’s accurate?

At PayScale, our salary data resides in the largest real-time online employee salary database in the world. The salary database was built from the millions of curious individuals who want to compare their salary data and understand the market for their skills.

We create each individualized salary report by analyzing anonymous salary data collected over the last year from people with similar job titles, years experience, education, etc. This automated process includes extensive checks and statistical tests for consistency and accuracy on all salary data.

• # Fair Pay: Is it legal for men to be paid more for the same job?

I am not a lawyer, so take this with a big grain of salt. The Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 says that it is unlawful in the United States to pay women less salary than men for work that is "substantially equal." The law specifies that men and women must be paid equally for similar work unless the salary difference is based on seniority, experience, or other legitimate factors. At the time of the EPA’s passage, women made 58 cents for every dollar brought home by their male counterparts. The EPA was established to level out this salary imbalance.

• # Why a Blog About Salaries?

## Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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