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What Does Salary DOQ Mean?

A specific salary may not always be assigned to a job opening. Employers may be willing to pay an experienced applicant a little more money than an entry-level applicant. This is where the acronym “DOQ” comes into play. It indicates that an employer will negotiate on salary for the right applicant.


"DOQ" stands for “depending on qualifications.” It may be written at the end of a job description or advertisement under the heading, “Salary,” or “Compensation.” Instead of stating a specific salary for the job, the employer is indicating that the salary will be determined according to the experience, background, skills and abilities of the candidate who is ultimately selected to fill the position being offered.


Employers may have a specific salary range in mind when they write “DOQ” on a job advertisement. They might disclose the salary range in the advertisement as well. This gives applicants an idea of how much the employer is willing to pay. Other employers do not have a specific salary range in mind when they write “DOQ.” They may be more flexible in how much they are willing to negotiate. They might have an upper range in mind, but a specific range may not be written into a budget anywhere.

What It Means for You

If you apply for a job where “DOQ” is part of the job advertisement, you have a chance to possibly negotiate a higher salary than you could with another company that has a set salary or small salary range. Take advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate your skills, background and other qualifications. In your resume and cover letter, highlight quantifiable accomplishments you have made on the job in similar positions. During an interview, mention examples of when you demonstrated a certain skill the employer wants in the person who fills the position.


When "DOQ" is part of job offering you apply for, you might also be able to negotiate more or better benefits or a more agreeable work schedule in addition to, or in lieu of, a higher salary. If the company has a limited salary range, you can negotiate for such considerations as a waiver for the health insurance waiting period, or perhaps a performance appraisal after six months instead of after a full first year.


Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.