Whether you are starting your first job or looking for a new career, understanding everything that makes up a job offer is critical.

Although pay is an important part of comparing job offers, make sure not to overlook the benefits that each company offers. You may be surprised that a lower paying job with great benefits can put you financially ahead when compared to a higher paying job.

Check out our guide to understanding employee benefits.

What types of benefits do companies offer?

Health Insurance
The most common benefit is health insurance. This normally consists of medical, dental and vision insurance. Some companies pair health insurance with a health savings account or health flexible spending account. Others provide a health reimbursement arrangement as a substitute to health insurance. Some companies will completely cover you, and allow you to purchase insurance for your family. Other companies will have you pay a premium for yourself and your family. Many companies have different policies about when you qualify to receive health insurance.

What to know: You should consider the out-of-pocket costs as well the premium costs when comparing health insurance benefits.

Retirement Plans
Employers usually provide a 401(k) or similar plan. Many employer offer a company match – meaning they match your contribution up to a certain amount or percentage.

What to know: These benefits are a big deal, so make sure you take advantage. Any help you can get with retirement savings is a great step for your financial future.

Other Benefits
Benefits that are gaining popularity include:

  • Life Insurance
  • Paid Time Off
  • Professional Development
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Employee Assistance Programs

Additional Perks
These benefits aren’t necessary but are certainly a plus.

  • Free Snacks or Lunches
  • Gym Memberships or On-Site Gyms
  • On-Site Amenities
  • Charitable Programs
  • Company Discounts
  • Childcare

How do I find out about companies’ benefits?

It’s now pretty common for employers to post at least a partial list of their benefits on their website, but your ETS Recruiter is a gold-mine when it comes to this kind of information. They’ll give you an inside look at what companies offer, and help you navigate the best choice for you.

Not to mention, if you are a contract worker through one of our partner companies, you are a full ETS employee with access to all of the ETS benefits including Paid Holidays, 401K and Health Insurance.

How do I compare the value of benefits?

There is no one-size-fits-all for the perfect job offer, there’s only this job offer works best for my personal situation. Everyone’s life is completely different. This means when weighing benefit offerings from a potential employer, consider whether they align with your needs.

When preparing to make a decision about a job offer, remember, salary is a key factor but your decision should not be based solely on money.

Connect with an ETS Recruiter to start exploring local opportunities and get help identifying which benefits and perks are best for you.