How Much of a Pay Raise Should You Expect Next Year? (2024)

As a corporate worker, you’re probably looking forward to a pay raise next year. After all, the annual review process is likely just around the corner, when you get that super fun task of ranking your performance and seeing how well it aligns with your boss’ perspective.

The big question is: will you get an exceeding expectations score, or are you heading towards an improvement needed rating?

The latest estimates suggest an average pay raise of 4% for next year — though it’s really only 1.4% when you factor in the expected 2.6% inflation rate. (see below for breakdown by industry)

But the actual money you’ll see in your bank account can be quite different depending on how that annual review goes.

Pay Raise Chart 2024

Don’t Settle for an Average Pay Raise

At the companies where I worked, the standard merit increase budget was usually around 3%, which might not sound too exciting. However, here’s the interesting part — high-performing team members often received much more than this average. Sometimes, way more!

It’s not out of the question to give high-achieving team members 2-3 times more than the average pay bump. In my experience, most good leaders quickly figure out how to “work the system” to reward and retain their top performers and high-potential employees. This might mean partnering with HR to get approval for “exceptions” to ensure top employees receive higher than average pay increases or bonuses out of cycle.

Even when a company’s profits are down or there is a supposed “freeze” on pay increases, there is usually a way for managers to take care of their best and brightest team members. Especially the ones who show the potential to advance into more senior-level roles.

What if Your Pay Raise is Just So-So?

Here’s the scoop: if you’re only getting the average pay increase (or, heaven forbid, even less than average), it might be a sign that your career is hitting a roadblock. At the very least, you’re not setup to get promoted any time soon. It’s time to reconsider your approach to advancing your career.

Keep in mind, getting recognized as a top performer goes beyond simply doing your job; it’s about consistently excelling and adapting as your career progresses. Being easy to work with and manage are all part of the equation too.

Now, if you’re certain you’re a top talent who’s firing on all cylinders, and still not getting the rewards you deserve, it could be your company doesn’t place enough value on your role or department. Every organization has its unique focus – like prioritizing product over sales, or emphasizing operations over market strategies.

When you notice coworkers in other departments receiving more recognition, or your own team isn’t getting the respect it should, it might be a good idea to explore new opportunities where your function is more highly regarded. Changing companies could lead to a healthier paycheck.

What if Your Pay Raise is Above Average?

Congratulations, if your pay raise comes in higher than average, it’s likely the perfect moment to request your next promotion.

When you’re receiving special bonuses, unscheduled pay hikes, or higher-than-average salary bumps, it’s a clear sign that your company values you as a top performer. Seize the opportunity to leverage your superstar status and request the well-earned promotion you deserve!

And if you want to make even more money, here’s 5 impactful ways to increase your career earnings.


Interested in seeing more detail on projected pay increases for 2024? Check out this report from Payscale based on 2023-2024 salary budget survey.


About Author

As a former CMO who started her career as an admin assistant, Alison writes about climbing the corporate ladder.

In 2012, after several frustrating years stuck in middle management, Alison set a goal to use her corporate career to achieve financial freedom – and make work optional.

You can read more about her story here.



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