University of Wisconsin–Madison

Terms & Concepts

TTC Terms & Concepts PDF


Career Path The focus of a career characterized by its institutional function. UW–Madison’s career paths are Organizational Contributor and Manager.
Career Lattice A representation of the series of moves or positions that create an employee’s career path. This series can include vertical, lateral, or diagonal movement within the job framework.
Compensation Philosophy A written statement that lays out an organization’s guiding principles for its compensation program.
Compensation Surveys Collections of data on prevailing market rates and trends. Surveys report data by industry, field of work, financial scope or size, geography, etc. Surveys are conducted by third-party professional organizations that ensure compliance with safe harbor guidelines regarding the exchange of salary data to avoid antitrust violations.
Complexity of Work The duties, the degree of autonomy, and the scope of responsibilities. The assessment of the level of complexity is based on the work and not on the incumbent.
Job Framework The overall organization of jobs for administering compensation and managing career progressions. Components include career paths and levels within job groups and subgroups.
Job Groups & Sub-Groups A set of jobs that perform broadly similar work. A sub-group is a specialized set of jobs within a larger job group.
Job Responsibilities A series of statements indicating what the major work responsibilities are and why they are performed. The responsibility statements support the job summary and form the basis for development of specific objectives or performance standards.
Job Summary A clear, concise statement explaining the major functions of the position. The job summary describes the overall end-result of the work that the job produces and why it exists.
Levels An indication of similarities and differences in degree of organizational impact, complexity of work, independence or supervision, leadership or management, knowledge, and experience.
Level of Knowledge, Experience and Abilities The knowledge, education, skills, experience or abilities required for a job.
Level of Supervision The types of supervision exercised and received. A job may include more than one type of supervision exercised or received among different responsibilities.
Market Data The pay rate data that is collected through compensation surveys.
Market Salary Benchmarking The linkage of jobs to the market by analyzing and comparing standard job descriptions to the salary survey benchmark.
Market Title The benchmark or thumbnail job description in a salary survey.
Organizational Impact The quantitative and qualitative impacts or changes of the work performed to the department, division, college or institution.
Pay Progression The ratio between the midpoints of a progressive set of pay ranges.
Pay Range Structure A series of pay ranges comprised of a minimum, midpoint, and maximum.
Salary Grade or Pay Range A numerical range of pay with a minimum and maximum. Jobs are typically paid at a rate of pay that falls between the minimum or maximum of the pay range.
Salary Maximum The highest rate of pay within a pay range or structure.
Salary Midpoint The center of a pay range or structure.
Salary Minimum The lowest rate of pay in a pay range or structure.
Salary Percentile An indication of what percentage of individuals in a certain job and scope are at or below a given wage.
Standard Job Description A representation of work that is core to the job, commonly done in the role, and regularly needed within the institution. The majority of the work done by an employee will be described via their standard job description.
Standard Job Title A title that clearly describes the work that is done in the standard job description role.
Thumbnail Job Description A concise description of work being represented in a job found in a salary or compensation survey.