Professional recruiters will tell you what the job pays.
You don’t want to seem like you only care about salary in a first conversation, but you also don’t want to waste your time if the position would be a step down in pay, either.
This is a very casual, non-threatening way to ask.
It sounds better than saying, “What does the position pay?”
I’d never recommend asking that in a first conversation.
One other good option is to offer them some information about your recent pay and see how they react.
For example, you could say, “My most recent base salary was $X, and I’m hoping to receive an increase in my next role. Does that fit into the range that’s been set for this role?”
They might say “yes,” which is great… or they might say, “no” and save you some time.
They might also say “no” but mention that there’s a more senior-level position that could pay better.
Overall the choice is yours – you don’t NEED to tell them your salary, and a lot of people feel this is private info. But it’s just one option available to you, to help you quickly figure out if this job is worth pursuing.