Your boss's decision to grant—or deny—your request could be influenced by a lot more than your performance.
Perhaps you’ve resolved to make 2015 the year that you finally get a big bump up in pay.
If so, you’ll first have to clear the biggest hurdle standing in your way: You.
Less than half of working Americans ever even ask for a raise and close to 30% are uncomfortable negotiating salary, according to a new study by Payscale.
It may help you feel more confident to go after what you want if you know the odds are generally in your favor. Of people who have put themselves out there to request better compensation, three quarters saw their paychecks go up: 44% received the amount they asked for and 31% got an amount that was less than they asked for. (Hey, that’s still something!)
That Payscale study also broke down the likelihood that those who ask shall receive based on annual salary, job, degree level, college major and state of residency.
You’ll have the best shot if you…
Once again, it’s good to be rich. The higher your annual salary, the more likely you are to have asked for a raise and the more likely you are to have received the raise you requested.
Individuals earning $150,000 or more a year were the most likely to see their employer match the exact raise they requested, with a 70% success rate. Only 8% of these high-earners saw their request for a raise go unfulfilled.
Meanwhile, only 25% of those earning between $10,000 and $20,000 saw their incomes increase by the amount they asked for, while 51% had their request for a pay raise denied entirely.
Somewhere in the middle? The good news is that if your annual income tops $70,000, you have at least a 50% chance of getting the pay raise you request.
Unsurprisingly, those who work in higher-paying jobs also have a better shot at having their compensation wishes granted.
Chief executives were 76% successful in getting the exact pay raises they wanted. First-line supervisors in the construction trades had their requests granted 62% of the time. Other high-wager earners such as financial analysts and electrical engineers rounded out the top five professions most likely to receive a requested raise.
Those with jobs that commanded lower annual salaries tended to have their requests for raises denied more frequently. Nursing aides and orderlies have the worst chance of getting the raise they want followed by security guards and cashiers. Below are the top five and bottom five occupations for getting a wage increase.
While the level of education a person has obtained didn’t have much impact on their willingness to ask for a raise, it did affect the likelihood that their wish would be granted.
Those with post-graduate degrees were most likely to be successful in their requests, though success rates were highest for those with an M.B.A. (55%) and a law degree (59%).
Go figure that attorneys are good at negotiation.
Surprisingly, English language and/or English literature majors were the most likely to have asked for a raise (51%)—call it their way with words. Their requests paid off 49% of the time.
Those who studied public administration and social services were the most lucky in terms of receiving, getting what they wanted 56% of the time
Those whose college majors tended to land them jobs in the public sector, such as homeland security, law enforcement, firefighting and other protective services were least likely to have asked for a raise—perhaps because these jobs typically have set pay structures. Workers who came from these majors who did ask were only met with a yes 18% of the time, giving them the lowest success rate.
Alaska residents are the most likely to push for a raise, with 53% of the population having requested one (and they’ll need it to offset those heating bills). Residents of Rhode Island come in second with 51%, followed by Oregonians and West Virginians, with 48%. Dwellers of Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Idaho tied for fifth with 47% advocating for a raise.
South Dakotans were least likely to ask for a pay increase, (31%), followed by residents of Arkansas (34%), Nevada (37%) and Nebraska (37%).
Alaskans’ assertiveness pays off, apparently, as they are also the state residents most likely to receive the pay increase requested. Delawareans were the least successful in their requests with only 32% getting the amount they were after. Below are the top six and worst six states for getting a raise request approved:
More from this series on Money.com: