We all have been in the position of looking for our first job. The young professionals getting ready to graduate, either from a bachelor, master, or Ph.D. degree, are all searching at the vast number of jobs available and wondering if they are making the right decision. Some students may focus on the salary, and thanks to the ASCE salary survey, young professionals have the necessary tools to estimate their starting average salary. But is salary the most important variable?

Young professionals and even current professionals wondering whether to take that next opportunity or adventure should know that salary is not the only variable to consider when selecting a job. Below, you will find a list of benefits from different companies, ranging from small to large, that you should consider when looking for a new job:

Explore Your Options!

  • Medical Benefits
    • Medical plans usually include 100% coverage for preventive care for you and your family. The medical plan usually includes dental and vision. Some companies will have a wellness program to incentivize the employee stays active.
    • One thing to know is that companies may have different options to get medical plans, and here are some examples:
      • PPO plans
      • Consumer-Driven Health Plan
      • Health Saving Account
        • Personal Tax-advantage account that you can use to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses.
      • Flexible Spending Accounts
        • Subject to IRS regulations, these accounts allow you to save money by setting aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses.
    • Always review the employee contribution requirements and compare them to the benefits received.
  • Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefits
  • Short and Long Term Disability
  • Paid time off (PTO)
    • Sometimes this also includes your vacation and sick-time
  • Paid Holidays
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Support for International Visa employees
  • 401(k) Plan
    • Invest now with a long-term focus.
    • Employer Matching contribution: ranging from 3-5% of eligible pay you contribute to the plan.
    • You can contribute up to the IRS limits. For 2021, the limit was $19.5K.
  • Employee Assistance Programs
    • Personal and work-life counseling
      • In-person counseling for grief and loss, substance abuse, family or child issues, job pressures or stress, anxiety, and depression. You can also get referrals for child and elder care, moving, college planning, and more.
    • Financial Resources
      • Certified public accountant or financial planner to discuss options to get out of debt, loan problems, tax questions, saving for future expenses, and more.
    • Legal Support
      • Talk to an attorney about your legal questions or get a referral for a qualified attorney in your area.
  • Employment Stock Ownership Plans
    • These are managed and presented in various ways but can be a long-term benefit.

This list of benefits is a quick punch-list to help guide the younger professionals when choosing a job. There are more benefits out there, like the company culture, commuter reimbursement account, pet protection, and many more. All these benefits will help make the transition from a student to a profession a little more pleasant. Let’s keep these options in mind and always explore all your options.