Research Salary Surveys
But if you're worried about your pay level relative to other people, there are steps you can take to make sure you're not miles away from your peers where compensation is concerned. First, check out www.salary.com, the most well-established salary-survey Web site for non-HR types. It's easy to type in your zip code, find the job title that most nearly matches your own responsibilities, and zero in on what people like you are earning in other companies.
The www.salary.com database (of actual salaries that employees are being paid) is enormous, but stronger in some functions than others, so use it as a first stop in your research journey, and use job postings on www.monster.com, www.careerbuilder.com, and other sites to gain further insight into the salaries (and salary ranges) that jobs like yours are commanding.
Second, you can check in with a local search person to see if your pay level is in sync with other people who do what you do. If you don't know a friendly headhunter who would provide this information for you, use an e-mail discussion group for jobhunters in your city to locate one (you can find a group on www.yahoogroups.com). Of course, you're asking the search professional to take time out of his or her day and give you a compensation-sanity check, so do him or her a favor as well: Pass on the headhunter's name to your company's HR department, in case the people in that department need helping filling a job opening or two.