Salary Range: Master's, Res Asst, Bay Area

Tara Marchand tara at
Fri Dec 6 03:43:19 EST 1996

Forgive me if this is a frequently-asked question, but I've looked around
the Net for an answer and haven't found one, so I'm posting my inquiry

I'm going to be interviewing for a secretary/research assistant job in a
medical office (the doctor in charge is a neurologist and a psychiatrist,
and my specialties are psychology and neuroscience).  The doctor called me
today, and I spoke with him briefly.  Unfortunately, I was caught a bit
off-guard by his call and wasn't as prepared as I could've been to answer
his questions and ask some of my own.  (I'm fairly new to the job hunting
scene, having only just gotten out of school.)  Anyway, the doctor asked me
about what kind of salary I'm seeking, and since I didn't have a good idea
of what a person with my background applying for a secretary/research
assistant position should ask for, I gave him a figure ($25,000) off the
top of my head.

Now I'm thinking this number might be too low, so I thought I'd ask around
for people's opinions about it.  Here's some info about me: I have a BS in
Psychology with a Biology emphasis and an MA (should be an MS, but oh well)
in Psychology, specializing in Neuroscience and Behavior.  I suppose how
well my educational and work experience fits with the requirements of the
position would play a large part in determining what my salary would be,
but for the sake of simplicity, assume that I'm fairly well-qualified for
the job.  So, how much should a person with a Master's in a research
assistant-type position in the Bay Area be making?

Also, how would I best go about changing my salary requirements in my
interview with the doctor?  It might seem odd to give one figure on the
phone and another one in person.  What should I say?

Please respond at least by email, as I don't read this forum with any
regularity at all.  Thanks in advance!

Tara Marchand
Tara Marchand
tara at                

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