A compensation package is a group of benefits that you receive as an employee. It includes your pay rate/salary, and can also include your paid time off allotment, retirement & healthcare benefits, and other perks. Compensation packages greatly vary by employer, role, geography, experience, and job type.
This is the amount of money that you will earn, either per hour (hourly) or a certain amount per year that is usually paid out once or twice a month (salaried). You should also receive information on how frequently you will be paid: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.
Some employers offer retirement plans, such as 401Ks or 403bs. A retirement plan allows you to put aside money for your future retirement. Even starting with small amounts can pay off in the future. Some employers offer “matched savings programs” where they will put some money into your retirement account to match what you’re putting in (up to a certain amount). Think of it as free money for your retirement! Other employers simply pay a percentage into your account even if you don’t contribute yourself.
Federal and state laws allocate some parts of paid time off such as sick leave. Employers typically also offer paid time off for vacation. The amounts and how it is accrued varies from employer to employer, and can be an area where you can negotiate.
Some employers are mandated by law to provide a healthcare plan to their employers. The options and plans can vary. Sometimes employees pay a certain percentage of their pay to contribute to their healthcare plan, other times it’s fully covered by the employer.
Work Location & Flexibility
It’s important to know ahead of time the work location expectations – will you need to work in the office versus remotely or a hybrid? Typically employers have a company-wide policy, but sometimes this can be negotiated. Some employers offer flexibility within the workday and others don’t (e.g. working a standard 9am-5pm day versus being able to work flexible hours).
Some employers might offer a signing bonus, which is a one-time bonus when you start work. Many employers provide the opportunity to receive bonuses during your employment.
Some employers offer in-office perks (like free lunches) and others offer perks such as a stipend for wellness activities such as a gym membership.