University of Wisconsin–Madison

Frequently Asked Questions about UW–Madison’s Job Titles and Compensation

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What is the salary range for my job? 

All university jobs have an assigned salary range. To view the salary range for your job, visit the Title and Standard Job Description Library. Use the search function and enter your official job title. Click on the “details button” to view the salary range for your job title. If you do not know your job title, you may find it on your earnings statement in My UW. Visit the Salary Structure page to view more details on salary ranges.

Can I receive a pay increase if my salary is at or above the maximum of my salary range?

Employees who are at or above the maximum of their salary range may receive pay plan as a lump sum payment. Fewer than 1% of the employee population will receive all or some of their pay plan as a lump sum payment.

How will the university address pay compression?

Pay compression occurs when employees who have significantly more experience and expertise in a job are paid similarly to those with less experience and expertise in the same job. Pay compression can also occur when an employee’s pay is almost as much as their supervisor’s pay.

With the creation of the new salary structure in November 2021, as part of the Title and Total Compensation Project, the university laid the foundation to identify compression issues across campus. The impact of this salary structure is still being analyzed. Once the university has a comprehensive picture of compensation issues and understands the budget needs to address these issues, leadership will thoughtfully work to resolve those issues with a long-term strategy. A thoughtful long-term strategy allows the university to provide a solution that is sustainable and maintains salary balance within the entire organization.

Why does my salary range not have a minimum or maximum?

Salary grades 51-99 are not included in the new salary structure created as a part of the Title and Total Compensation (TTC) project. These salary ranges include job titles within a range of disciplines and different levels of compensation in the academic job market. Attempting to cover such a diversity of industries and salaries within standard salary grade minimums and maximums would create grades too large to be useful and relevant. As a result, only salary minimums are set for many instructional and research titles.

Board of Regents policies, trades negotiations, and faculty data are a few examples of factors that may influence the salary ranges listed on the Salary Structure page. There is no uniform organization to these grades. The university will continue to evaluate these factors in its long-term compensation strategy.

What does my salary grade number mean? 

Salary grades help human resources professionals easily identify salary ranges in the university’s salary structure. For example, salary grade 15 refers to a salary range of $31,200-$57,900. Each job title is assigned to a salary grade. For more details on the salary grades at UW—Madison, please view the Salary Structure page.

How was I assigned to my salary range?

Your assigned salary grade is based on your job. Jobs at UW–Madison are matched to jobs in the labor market. Employee jobs are then assigned to a salary grade based on the typical salary range of pay for that job in the labor market. The university regularly reviews market data to ensure jobs are assigned to the appropriate salary grades. The website How UW Compares Pay to the Market describes the market data used to build the university’s current salary structure.

How do I move to a different salary range? 

Employees have multiple ways to advance in their careers. You may grow or progress in your current job or you can be promoted into a new job.

Advancing to a different salary range requires a promotion to a new job. A promotion is a change in title and job responsibilities and typically includes a salary increase to reflect the different responsibilities of the new position.

Progression is an increase in pay within the same title without a change in responsibilities.

For more information, view the Progression and Promotion guide. The Pay Increase page has more details on how employees may receive other types of pay increases in their current role.

When will the university update salary ranges?

Changes to the salary ranges will be determined by a market review and evaluation every two-to-three-years. This ensures the salary ranges remain market informed and are also not subject to market volatility.

Why does pay vary among employees in the same title and salary range?

Across the institution, divisions vary in budget, size, and scope, which impacts individual responsibilities for job positions. The standard job description for each title is an overarching view of the larger goals of a position not a detailed description of a position’s duties.

Additionally, the university rewards employees for their unique knowledge, skills, experience, performance, and education. Employees are compensated according to these factors. As a result, there are differences in pay even among individuals with the same job title.

Why does pay vary among employees in the same salary range?

Multiple jobs in different job groups may have the same salary range. This allows the university to manage over 1,200 job titles. Each job has its own unique market.

What compensation strategies does UW—Madison use?

Based on the university’s modernized title and compensation structure, UW–Madison can compare titles and pay against other organizations in higher education, as well as public and private sector employees. This allows UW–Madison to be a more competitive employer.

The university has distributed funds to address compensation issues highlighted by market data. The university intends to continue to review campus salaries against market data and allocate the resources necessary to continue to make progress in this space.

What are Central Compensation Funds (CCF)?

Central Compensation Funds provide central funding to schools, colleges, and divisions to facilitate compensation adjustments to aid the advancement of academic staff, university staff, and limited appointee pay. These funds support faculty and staff who make the university a world-class research and teaching institution.


If you have additional questions, please contact the local human resources contact where you work.

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