Returning to an old consulting job. What is the best way to negotiate my salary?

Backstory: I got my first environmental consulting job as a biologist for $40k/yr. Worked for the firm for about 2.5 years FT, and 0.5 years PT. My salary increased to $48,500 while FT, then my hourly rate increased to $24.80 when I went PT. I was PT because I went back to grad school. I went abroad in May haven't worked for them since.

I was offered a position to return in March. When I first got this job, I did not negotiate a salary. I'm wondering how I should go about negotiating a new salary, or if it would come across rude.

With my education and experience, I believe I am worth about $62k/yr.

I was highly billable while there, and had no problem working OT or on the weekends as needed. I also voluntarily learned a lot about haz mat while working there to open myself to working on NEPA and asbestos projects.

I've heard from other coworkers that this firm doesn't care about a graduate degree when negotiating wages. My degree isn't super relevant, but I would highlight relevant trainings I did (project management, networking/conferences, crucial conversations certification, technical writing, and in general an emphasis on working with diverse stakeholders). Will this sound appealing?

I also recently interviewed for a compliance monitor position for another firm. I'm not dying to take this job, but thought that the offer could be used to help negotiate. The salary is $46k, however, I would also receive $100/day per diem, taking this up to ~$65-68k. My old firm didn't do per diem often, so I'm not very familiar with it. Can the additional income from per diem be used in negotiations? If I just mention the salary, that doesn't give me much leverage, but with per diem, I would obviously make more with the new job and figure it would give my old job incentive to hire me back at a higher rate.

Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!

submitted by /u/Cisculpta
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