This website will be archived on Dec. 8, 2023

After Dec. 8, this page will redirect to the Title and Standard Job Description Library. There, you can find salary structure resources, compensation resources, and more.

University of Wisconsin–Madison

Terms & Concepts

TTC Terms and Concepts PDF


Benchmark Job A job whose major responsibilities and requirements are common in the market. These jobs are typically included in salary surveys and have reliable market data readily available year after year.
Business Title A title that provides more description to the Title of Record. It provides more details about an individual position within the organization or the type of work performed. Replaces Working Titles.
Career Stream A career type characterized by unique responsibilities. The career streams at UW are organizational contributor and manager
Compensation Philosophy A statement of what the organization believes how employees should be paid. It should support the business strategy align with the organization’s culture.
Compensation Surveys Collections of data on current 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.
Complexity of Work The duties, the degree of autonomy, and the scope of responsibilities. The level of complexity is based on the work and not on the employee in the role.
Demotion The movement of an employee into a job that is in a lower salary grade than the employee’s current job.
Equity The practice of ensuring employees performing similar duties (in similar work environments) are paid fairly without regard for race, color, gender, religion, sex, national origin, age, and/or disability for similar work performed, but takes into account market and job-related factors such as performance, education, work experience, seniority, etc.
Exempt The term that refers to jobs that are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (i.e., “exempted” from the law). Exempt employees are paid a set salary for defined responsibilities and are expected to fulfill the duties of their jobs regardless of hours work required. Employees in exempt jobs are not eligible to receive overtime compensation.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) A federal law that sets the minimum wage as well as other work rules, and guaranteed overtime pay for work beyond 40 hours a week for jobs covered by the law. The law includes specific “tests” to determine whether a job will be covered by the law (“non-exempt”) or not covered (“exempt”). These tests consider job duties, not characteristics of the employee (such as education, experience, skills, or performance).
Job Classification The process of reviewing jobs based on an objective analysis of its duties, knowledge, skills and industry or field then assigning it to an organization’s job framework.
Job Framework An organization of jobs at UW–Madison into job groups and job sub-groups.
Job Group & Job Sub-group A job group and sub-group is an overall grouping of jobs where work performed is of similar nature.
Job Levels Variations in the degree of jobs, such as the differences between the entry, intermediate and senior levels, based on differences in scope, organization impact, complexity of work, independence and supervision, and/or management responsibilities.
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.
Job Title A title assigned to a job that describes the job’s roles and responsibilities at the university. Job titles should be descriptive of the work and consistent with general market practices.
Lateral Move The movement of an employee into a job that is assigned to the same salary grade as the employee’s current job.
Local Human Resources (HR) Refers to school, college, or division human resources offices.
Market Data The pay rate data that is collected through compensation surveys.
Market Position An organization’s stance on employee pay relative to market.
Market Salary Benchmarking The linking of jobs to the market by analyzing and comparing standard job descriptions to the compensation survey benchmark.
Market Title A title commonly found in the market for a job.
Non-Benchmark Job A job that is either not common in the market or that is not included in compensation surveys. Jobs that have been tailored to meet specific needs of the institution or a department, or to align with the expertise of an individual are examples of non-benchmark jobs
Non-Exempt Refers to jobs that are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (i.e., “not exempted” from the law) and are subject to all of its’ provisions. Employees are required to account for time worked on an hourly and fractional hourly basis and are paid for overtime hours.
Organizational Impact The quantitative and qualitative impact of the work performed to the department, division, college, or institution.
Parity The quality or state of being equal or equivalent. In compensation, parity is the practice of ensuring appropriate salary relationships are maintained for employees within the same job title or related job titles as imbalances or issues may arise with new hires and differences in pay practices across work units.
Salary Structure A hierarchical grouping of jobs and salary ranges within an organization. Salary structures are often expressed as salary grades that reflect the value of a job in the external market and/or the internal value to an organization.
Position Description (PD) A description of a specific job as it relates to an employee (i.e., position), which is based primarily on a standard job description. Position descriptions are used for many purposes including recruitment and performance evaluation.
Progression Advancement within a salary grade due to performance, changes in responsibility without a change in title, increased knowledge, skills, abilities, years of experience; certifications, licenses, degrees; and/or other elements that add value to an employee’s ability to perform their job and ability to impact their department, division, and/or institution.
Promotion The movement of an employee into a job that is assigned to a higher salary grade than the employee’s current job due to the acceptance of a higher set of job responsibilities.
Salary Administration Guidelines (SAG) Guidelines that ensure salaries and pay adjustments are determined by using a consistent approach across the organization and are aligned with the compensation program’s design and intent.
Salary Grade The building blocks of a salary structure. Each salary grade has a range (minimum and maximum values). Jobs in the same salary grade have similar levels of market value, organizational impact, scope, complexity, independence and supervision, management responsibilities, etc.
Salary Maximum The highest rate of pay within a salary range.
Salary Midpoint The middle of a salary range.
Salary Minimum The lowest rate of pay in a salary range.
Salary Range The lower and upper limits of compensation of a job, which include minimum, midpoint, and maximum values.
Standard Job Description (SJD) A general set of responsibilities, without regard to any specific employee, that describes work performed, and role and impact to the organization. Standard job descriptions are primarily used for market pricing and salary structure design and maintenance.
Thumbnail Job Description A concise description of work being represented in a job found in a compensation survey.
Title of Record An employee’s official job title. It is the title associated with the employee’s standard job description.