What Is DOE Pay? (With Advantages, Disadvantages and FAQ)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published February 25, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Salary requirements play a crucial role in a job applicant's decision to pursue a position. A candidate's salary requirement is also important for you as a hiring manager because you have a budget to uphold. Many jobs will now exclude salary ranges on their job postings, replacing it with the term DOE. In this article, you will learn what DOE pay is, how to discuss it with potential candidates and the advantages and disadvantages of using it.

What is DOE pay?

DOE is an acronym for "depends on experience" and is used in job postings to indicate that the job salary is based upon the candidate's experience in that particular field. DOE gives employers the right to omit salary ranges in job postings. It is most often used for salaried positions where a salary range is available based on the skills a candidate brings to the organization.

How to discuss DOE pay with candidates

Here are important steps to effectively discuss and negotiate DOE pay with candidates:

1. Determine your salary range and budget

Research the average salary range for the open position you are hiring for. Take into account what the position will require of the candidate, such as education level and past years of experience, in addition to your financial budget. Decide on the highest salary you will offer regardless of the candidate's qualifications.

2. Determine experience and skills most important for the role

Assess the common experience level, abilities and skills your job will require. Make a list of the skills and qualities a candidate must have to be considered. Also make a list of areas you will put into consideration, such as a candidate with less field experience, but more knowledge and education.

3. Get to know the candidate

During the interview, get to know more about the candidate's background, qualifications and job-related skills to determine where they fall on your salary scale. You then want to establish what the candidate expects for salary. This will help you eliminate candidates who require more than your maximum salary. Keep in mind, that interested candidates may lower their requirements, so make sure to negotiate first.

4. Have a detailed salary negotiation

Once you have discussed the candidate's experience and have learned their salary expectations, you can begin a salary negotiation. Start with an average offer that takes into account the applicant's skills, your budget and their requirements. Some people may negotiate more than others.

Related: How to Negotiate Salary (With Tips and Examples)

5. Make your best offer

When negotiating, you can continue counter-offering as long as you want. Eventually, you want to give your very best offer and stand firm on it. The candidate will either accept or choose to pass on the opportunity.

6. Consider benefits

During negotiation, you can use benefits to your advantage for candidates you would really like to hire. If you cannot offer a higher salary, but can provide health benefits, this may appeal to a very interested applicant. Bonuses can also move negotiations to an agreement.

Related: Sign-On Bonus: Definition and Negotiation Tips

7. Know when to walk away

You may find during the interview that a particular applicant does not quite fit your needs. You may also find you cannot come to an agreement with someone and will need to retract your job offer.

8. Put the agreement in writing

Once an agreement on salary is made, be sure to put the amount in writing and have both parties sign it. This solidifies the salary agreement for legal purposes.

Advantages to using DOE pay

DOE pay has many advantages. Here are the top three:

Attracts candidates interested in the job

When money is taken out of consideration initially, there is an incentive to learn more about a candidate's background, qualifications and skills before committing to a salary offer. DOE postings attract candidates truly interested in the position itself, rather than a lucrative pay and benefits package.

Provides negotiation power

DOE salary provides the power to negotiate, which can make a candidate feel more valued. People want to receive a salary that matches the worth of their skills and experience. Candidates who accept a position with a negotiated salary will likely feel appreciated, leading to increased productivity.

Related: 6 Tips for Your Next Salary Negotiation

Keeps compensation private

Some companies prefer to keep employee compensation private. Leaving salary off job postings keeps it out of the workplace, helping maintain a positive, undisrupted work environment.

Disadvantages to using DOE pay

Here are some disadvantages regarding DOE pay:

Job seekers may avoid applying

A job that meets salary requirements is one of the top priorities for most job seekers. Job posts that include salary come across as more appealing and higher-paying than DOE pay posts.

Could attract inflexible candidates

DOE pay may attract applicants who are less flexible, instead of candidates willing and eager to learn. Some applicants may have stern salary requirements, making it less easy to negotiate pay.

May be unsuitable for small companies

Small companies will benefit less from a DOE job post, especially if only one position is open to fill. Large companies with multiple openings in the same position, like sales or copywriting, can utilize a salary range based on experience more effectively.


Here are some common questions answered about DOE pay:

Does "salary commensurate with experience" mean the same as DOE?

Yes, salary commensurate with experience means the job's salary is based on the applicant's experience.

What does DOQ mean?

DOQ stands for "depends on qualifications," and is similar to DOE, but takes into account qualifications more than experience. DOQ pay considers skills, education and knowledge in addition to past experiences related to the position.

How do I determine the DOE salary range for my job posting?

Accessing salary surveys published by organizations and recruiting firms can give you an idea of the average salary range for the specific position you want to fill. Official employment statistics found online can also help. Also, consider the level of experience you require from the applicant and adjust the salary range accordingly.

How do I use DOE effectively in my job post?

The most effective place to insert "DOE" or "depends on experience" is under the salary or compensation section of your post. You can also include this phrase in the title of your post and the job ad.

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