Compensation Glossary and FAQs

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions and the definition of commonly used compensation terms. You may find it useful to become familiar with these terms to understand this project and other compensation program activities in GTHR.

Glossary

Job Classification and Compensation System (JCCS) Staff positions at Georgia Tech are part of the JCCS. This system defines each position’s job structure, title, pay range and quartile, and pay grade. The JCCS is designed to encourage and facilitate staff employee professional growth and development.
Salary Ranges Structures that reflect the minimum and maximum pay for a job at Georgia Tech. Internal and external hires must start at no less than the minimum of the salary range of the pay grade for the position into which they have been hired.
Pay Grades Georgia Tech groups jobs with similar internal and external value into Pay Grades within a salary structure. Each pay grade in each salary structure is segmented into quartiles. Individual job performance and job knowledge along with the Institute’s financial position determine individual employee placement in the applicable grade.  All salaries are capped at a position’s salary range maximum.
 
Equity Adjustment / Market Adjustment Salary increases for an individual or group of employees whose salary has fallen behind the external market.
Job Structures

Georgia Tech groups job grades with similar characteristics into job structure categories. There are five job structure categories at Georgia Tech: Administrative, Craft & Skilled Traders, Development, Information Technology, and Science & Research Support.

 

Curious to learn more? Click here for additional details on Georgia Tech’s compensation structure. 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Will every employee receive an equity increase as a result of the project?

While each faculty and staff member at Georgia Tech is valued, not every employee will receive an increase through this market equity review.

Who is more likely to receive an equity increase?

Employees with demonstrated skills in their field and those with the highest level of job qualification, difficult to find skills, and Georgia Tech experience will be considered for a salary adjustment. Adjustments will be made through a phased approach, starting with the most disparate positions to market and priority positions with significant turnover.

Who is less likely to receive an equity increase?

Employees that have been newly hired, newly assigned, or newly promoted will not be eligible for an equity increase. These employees are generally assigned to Quartile I in their position’s salary range. For more information, visit hr.gatech.edu/staff-job-descriptions-and-salary-structures.

When will the equity increases become effective?

Staff equity adjustments will be effective in December 2021. Georgia Tech is targeting an early 2022 effective date for faculty adjustments. Adjustments may continue throughout the fiscal year based on unit funding and a phased approach.

Which components of the JCCS will be updated?

Staff positions at Georgia Tech are part of the Job Classification and Compensation System (JCCS) that defines each position’s job structure, title, pay range and quartile, and pay grade. In this project, we are reviewing select components of the JCCS to determine where changes may be needed. This may include potential updates to the system of salary grade tiers and the minimum and maximum salary of each grade.

Are research faculty and Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) staff a part of this assessment?

The current market equity study includes GTRI staff positions. A study for GTRI research faculty was completed in 2020.

How do we assess knowledge, skills, and competencies for the sake of pay? 

Knowledge, skills, and competencies are based on the job description. If a job description lacks this information, please work with your HR representative and compensation consultant to update your position's job description. 

How do we assess knowledge, skills, and competencies for the sake of pay? 

Knowledge, skills, and competencies are based on the job description. If a job description lacks this information, please work with your HR representative and compensation consultant to update your position's job description. 

How are years of experience being calculated in the new compensation quartiles found in the JCCS and considered in the market equity study? 

Each Georgia Tech job is assigned to a salary range in a salary structure and each range in the structure has been divided into quartiles. Individual employees are slotted into the applicable quartile based on their years in the current Georgia Tech role.

The years of direct job-related experience associated with each quartile are based on leading market practice for various job levels as reflected in the published compensation surveys being used for the market equity study.

In the future, departments can submit individual employee equity requests that consider previous direct experience performing the same scope of responsibilities, provided the employee was not recently promoted. 

How will you consider recently promoted employees who have significant years of experience? Are they penalized due to the short period of time they have operated in their new role? 

When an employee is promoted or reclassified to a position in a higher Pay Grade, the employee will normally be awarded a promotional or reclassification increase. Determinations of the actual increase will consider relevant factors such as internal compensation equity and the individual’s qualifications and experience for the position. Not all promotions will result in a compensation increase.

If a recently promoted employee’s salary falls below the minimum of their salary range, that employee will receive an increase to the new range minimum. However, that employee’s prior experience will not be reviewed again to determine placement in their position’s salary range.​

How do you determine the salary for each role? How does the salary increase occur in the staff quartile system? 

Starting salaries for external hires at Georgia Tech are determined based on the applicant’s prior experience, skills, or education, directly compared to other employees that are similarly situated at Georgia Tech. Promotional or reclassification increases consider relevant factors such as internal compensation equity and the individual’s qualifications and experience for the position.

At Georgia Tech, Internal and External hires must start at no less than the minimum of the salary range of the pay grade for the position into which they have been hired. Starting compensation for Internal and External hires that is above the midpoint of the salary range of the Pay Grade (the entry point of the third quartile) must gain additional approvals from GTHR.

In connection with the recent merit study, Georgia Tech aged its salary structures forward to enhance structure alignment with market. If a newly hired or recently promoted employee’s salary falls below the minimum of their aged-forward salary range, that employee will receive an increase to the new range minimum. However, that employee’s prior experience will not be reviewed again to determine placement in their position’s salary range.

Georgia Tech remains committed to providing to employees with pay for performance and will not award salary increases based solely on time in role. Georgia Tech will continue to award merit pay, when funded by the State, promotional and reclassification increases, and equity and market-based adjustments when budgets and funding allow.

Faculty FAQs

 

Who is considered "faculty" for purposes of this study?

Included in this study were the members of the Corps of Instruction including: professors, associate professors, assistant professors, lecturers, librarians/archivists, academic professionals, extension professionals, and research engineers/scientists/technologists/associates. Professors of the Practice, adjunct professors, and temporary faculty were not included. GTRI recently completed a salary equity study and were therefore not included in this study.

When will increases be received?
  • 12-month Faculty will receive the increase in July 2022 payroll (effective July 1)
  • 9/10-month Faculty will receive the increase in the August 2022 payroll (effective Aug. 1)
Who is less likely to receive an equity increase?

Employees that have been newly hired, newly assigned, or newly promoted will not be eligible for an equity increase. These employees are generally assigned to Quartile I in their position’s salary range. For more information, visit hr.gatech.edu/staff-job-descriptions-and-salary-structures.

Are employees in temporary positions eligible for the market study?

Temporary workers such as students, rehired retirees, and Tech Temps are not eligible.

Are Post-Doctoral fellows eligible for the market increase?

No, these employees are included under a separate study.

Why is there a 5% cap on most of the compensation increases?

The percentage was selected for consistency with the staff exercise that had a seven percent cap before COLA, in order to not overly burden grants for faculty members on sponsored funds, and based on budget availability.

Why do the new pay ranges for academic professional and research faculty have a target set at 75% of the market median for their rank and discipline, while others have a 100% target of the market median? 

For full-time, permanent academic professionals and research faculty, the over-arching group distinction was broad and obscure, and did not allow for a clear market comparison. For this reason, the target midpoint was established at 75% of the market median for their rank and discipline. The 75% midpoint will also mitigate potential grant funding challenges.   

The target midpoint for the pay ranges for other full-time, permanent faculty members is set at 100% of the market median for their rank and discipline. This includes tenured/tenure track faculty, faculty administrators, lecturers, extension professionals, and librarians/archivists. Professors of the Practice were not included in this exercise.   

Now that you have completed an academic market study, will there be ongoing pay assessments/adjustments each year? 

While we cannot make commitments for future fiscal year budgets, our goal is to establish a compensation philosophy and structure that can guide and serve as a basis for future compensation exercises and decisions.

Why wasn't GTRI included? 

Because GTRI already conducted a market salary adjustment program, it was not included in this exercise. 

Which universities were used in the market study?

Below is a list of the Association of American University (AAU) institutions that the College and University Professional Association (CUPA) identified as participating in the market surveys:

 

  • Boston University (Boston, MA) 
  • Brandeis University (Waltham, MA) 
  • Brown University (Providence, RI) 
  • California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA) 
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) 
  • Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH) 
  • Columbia University in the City of New York (New York, NY) 
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) 
  • Duke University (Durham, NC) 
  • Emory University (Atlanta, GA) 
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) 
  • Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) 
  • Iowa State University (Ames, IA) 
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) 
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) 
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI) 
  • New York University (New York, NY) 
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) 
  • Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA) 
  • Princeton University (Princeton, NJ) 
  • Purdue University Main Campus (West Lafayette, IN) 
  • Rice University (Houston, TX) 
  • Rutgers the State University of New Jersey System Summary (New Brunswick, NJ) 
  • Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA) 
  • Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY) 
  • Texas A & M University (College Station, TX) 
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) 
  • The University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ) 
  • Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) 
  • University At Buffalo, State University of New York (Buffalo, NY) 
  • University of California-Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) 
  • University of California-Davis (Davis, CA) 
  • University of California-Irvine (Irvine, CA) 
  • University of California-Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA) 
  • University of California-San Diego (La Jolla, CA) 
  • University of California-Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA) 
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL) 
  • University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, CO) 
  • University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) 
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL) 
  • University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA) 
  • University of Kansas Main Campus (Lawrence, KS) 
  • University of Maryland College Park (College Park, MD) 
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI) 
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN) 
  • University of Missouri - Columbia (Columbia, MO) 
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC) 
  • University of Oregon (Eugene, OR) 
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) 
  • University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) 
  • University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) 
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) 
  • University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX) 
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA) 
  • University of Washington (Seattle, WA) 
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI) 
  • Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) 
  • Washington University in St. Louis (Saint Louis, MO) 
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT) 
What about part-time faculty? 

Part-time faculty not employed under a temporary status were included in the group of employees reviewed as part of the study. This is defined as 20 to 29 hours per week (or .5 FTE to .74 FTE). Partial benefits eligible may apply to regular faculty and regular staff employees. Partial benefits include retirement and pro-rated leave accruals.​

How is full-time defined? 

This is defined as 30 or more hours per week or .75 FTE and greater, which applies to regular faculty and regular staff employees. Full benefits include all benefits in accordance with University System of Georgia of Board of Regents policy 8.2.9 Insurance.

Why were Professors of the Practice not included? 

Deloitte was able to match about 96% of Georgia Tech’s faculty positions in the market. In the study, it was noted that each Professor of the Practice is unique and bears no commonality to the other Professors of Practice.  Therefore, each employee in this job title will be reviewed individually. 

Is my increase on top of my promotion raise? 

If your salary after promotion was still was below market, you could be eligible for the market equity increase.

Does the promotion raise count in the USG's Human Resources Administrative Practice (HRAP) procedure for determining cumulative pay increase in a given year? 

Yes. Salary increases (such as, promotions, position reclassification, counteroffers, in-range adjustments, etc.) which result in a cumulative fiscal year adjustment greater than 9.9% above the USG’s annual salary and wage guidance percentage (Merit) require HRAP ASI review.​

I am on approved leave. Will my salary be adjusted when I return? 

If an employee on an approved leave of absence has been identified as being eligible for a market increase, it will be applied upon return to active status.​

What are the possible reasons why a faculty member would not receive any increase as part of this study? 

If the faculty member's annual salary is currently above the market reference point, an increase may not be applied as part of this program.​

Are all faculty receiving exactly 5%? 

Not all faculty will receive 5%. This is dependent upon their salary in comparison to the target MRP points on the pay structures.​

How does the $5,000 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) factor into this study? 

The $5,000 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) was a separate program. However, the COLA did increase base wages which are used in comparison to market.​

Does this market study replace the merit raise process? 

The USG BOR has provided guidance that there will be no Merit program for FY23.​

The communications refer to pay ranges with minimums, market reference point, and maximums. Where can I find all of the new ranges? 

We will publish these on the GTHR website and sahre the link in related communications.