Q. When accepting a part-time position in an office and asked about salary requirements, what is the appropriate thing to say? How can you compare a part-time to a full-time salary?

A. In any negotiation, always try to get the other party to say a number first. That's as true for part-time work as for salary work.

Part-time salaries are typically based on full-time salaries divided by the number of hours worked. Some companies pay part-time employees a discounted rate, that is, less than the equivalent full-time salary. Also, benefits are typically lower for part-time employees.

Research the full-time salary for this position, either on Salary.com or through the human resources office at the company. Divide the full-time salary by the number of work-hours in the year, then multiply by the number of hours you will be working.

For instance, let's assume a job pays a salary of $40,000 (based on a 40-hour workweek - all Salary.com salaries are based on a 40-hour workweek). To get the hourly equivalent rate for the job, divide $40,000 by 2,080 hours (2,080 equals 40 hours per week times 52 weeks in a year). That equals $19.23 per hour.

Now, let's assume you're going to work 32 hours per week.

To get weekly earnings, multiply $19.23 by 32, which equals $615.38.

To get annual earnings, multiply $19.23 by 1,664 (32 times 52), or $32,000.