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It seems that my advisor keeps pushing me to answer this question, and I am not comfortable answering it. How should I respond him?

Update: I just recently graduated and landed a tenure-track position. The salary mentioned above is of this position. I was wondering if it is normal for the advisor to know your salary?

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    There is not nearly enough information to say anything about this. Does your advisor pay your salary out of grants or other funds that he or she controls? What country do you work in? What sort of job do you have - grad student? lab tech? Postdoc in art history? – Oswald Veblen Feb 27 '16 at 1:10
  • I just recently graduated and landed a tenure-track position. The salary mentioned above is of this position. I was wondering if it is normal for the advisor to know your salary? – bankrip Feb 27 '16 at 1:53
  • @OswaldVeblen I can only imagine he means his PhD advisor. – Austin Henley Feb 27 '16 at 2:03
  • @Oswald: I'm sure OP means the adviser of his Ph.D. – gnometorule Feb 27 '16 at 2:04
  • @AustinHenley and gnometorule: yes, of course. It never occurred to me that someone's PhD advisor would quiz them about salary once they were at a different institution – Oswald Veblen Feb 27 '16 at 2:07
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If you are uncomfortable answering any question from anyone, you can always tell them that.

From my experience in the US, it is common among close colleagues and friends to discuss salary. In fact, some (all?) states release salary information to the public. As a grad student, I have discussed professors' salaries with them on several occasions. But again, if you aren't comfortable with doing so then don't.

It probably isn't a big deal. Your advisor may just be genuinely curious or maybe he is looking out for you to make sure you are getting paid adequately. I can't imagine someone who invested so much into you as a student to do something bad with this knowledge.

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  • I just recently graduated and landed a tenure-track position. The salary mentioned above is of this position. I was wondering if it is normal for the advisor to know your salary? – bankrip Feb 27 '16 at 1:53
  • @bankrip It certainly isn't unheard of. In the US, this is rather typical to talk about with colleagues and friends. I've updated my answer to reflect your edit. – Austin Henley Feb 27 '16 at 1:55
  • At the public universities I have been at in the U.S., although salaries are public information, it has been very uncommon to discuss salaries with colleagues. – Oswald Veblen Feb 27 '16 at 1:58
  • @OswaldVeblen Even with me being a grad student, I have discussed professor's salaries on several occasions with them. So I suppose it depends on culture and the professor's background. In some of my discussions, they openly discussed it with me so that I will know what to expect once I graduate and how to negotiate. – Austin Henley Feb 27 '16 at 2:01
  • I am not sure, and trying to figure out, why I feel uncomfortable telling him. I do know that there is a good chance that he will tell his current students, who also my friends, that number. I have been sharing with him a lot of my private life such as who I am dating, my plan for marriage, etc. But this time I feel very uncomfortable when he starts asking me about the details of the offer. It is just very difficult not to tell him everything. – bankrip Feb 27 '16 at 2:25

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