Table of Contents
Compensation includes the combined value of an employee’s salary, benefits, retirement contributions, qualified tuition reduction and more.
This page outlines how the University of Arizona ensures our compensation structure is data-driven, equitable, and in compliance with all relevant laws.
Learn the value of your total compensation package
The University’s compensation philosophy is built on the following:
Maintaining a data-driven, competitive compensation structure that is updated regularly.
Establishing a consistent and equitable approach to compensation decisions.
Complying with all relevant federal and state laws while ensuring sound stewardship of available compensation funding.
Please contact your Sr. Human Resources Partner with questions.
Fair Labor Standards Act
The FLSA is a federal law that sets labor standards. Based on FLSA standards, employees are either exempt (salaried) or nonexempt (hourly, entitled to overtime) as determined by their compensation and job duties.
University Minimum Wage
For employees: $13.50
For student workers: $13
Staff Compensation Program
In 2019, the University of Arizona undertook the University Career Architecture Project. UCAP created a new staff compensation structure and career architecture that defines a hierarchy and framework of jobs within the institution. It is designed to maintain competitive and equitable compensation across staff positions at the University.
Compensation Administration Guidelines
The Compensation Administration Guidelines provide a comprehensive description of the Staff Compensation Program and how to apply it.
Consult these guidelines when determining:
New hire compensation
Pay changes for promotions, demotions, transfers and retention offers
When incumbent review or exception request is required
Compensation adjustments for assignments
Bring-to-Minimum: A mandatory raise that an employee receives when adjustments in a pay range cause their salary to fall below the minimum of the range. “Bring-to-minimum” raises the salary up to the bottom of the range.
Incumbent Review: A review by the Compensation team required when an existing employee’s job duties and responsibilities change significantly (typically defined as 30% or more), or in a way that affects how the job is mapped (Learn more).
Red-Circled: When an employee’s pay rate exceeds the maximum of the pay range the employee is red-circled to receive one-time merit bonuses in place of increases to base salary.
See full glossary in Appendix B of the
Compensation Administration Guidelines (PDF).
Career Levels & Career Streams
Staff positions are categorized into three career streams based generally on degree of responsibility. Each stream contains a series of levels that defines career progression toward more job complexity, knowledge and responsibility.
The University has three career streams: Manager & Leader, Professional Contributor, and Organizational Contributor.
Use this document to identify the appropriate career level and stream when promoting into or hiring for a position.
Download a modifiable Excel version.
Manager & Leader
(M1 - M7)
Manager & Leaders oversee an area of responsibility while directing the work of three or more employees. This career stream manages strategy and policy development.
Professional Contributor (PC1 - PC4)
Professional Contributors are typically salaried, except perhaps at entry level. This career stream requires specialized knowledge or skills, often gained through postsecondary education, and oversees design and application of processes, programs or policies.
Organizational Contributor (OC1 - OC4)
Organizational Contributors are usually hourly. This career stream provides organizational support or service (administrative or clerical) or does “hands-on” technical or craft work.
Job Functions and Families
All staff positions are grouped into 26 broad job functions (e.g., Academic Administration). The job functions are subdivided into families (e.g., Academic Program Management).
Broad Job Descriptions
After using the work dimension descriptions and cheat sheets above to narrow down the career stream and level for your position, use the following tools to identify the appropriate job title and general job description for your position.
The JDXpert tool and Job Library provide broad job characteristics and descriptions for individual staff positions organized by job functions, job families and career stream.
Find the pay grades here:
View "Managing Compensation within Pay Ranges" in the Compensation Administration Guidelines (PDF) for guidance.
The HR Compensation team regularly compares University jobs to external benchmarks to ensure that our pay grades are competitive.
To establish benchmarks, the University uses national surveys conducted by compensation and career architecture experts (Mercer, CUPA, and other organizations). The survey data spans three key areas:
Specialized Industries (healthcare, broadcasting, engineering, agriculture and athletics)
An incumbent review is needed when an existing employee’s job duties and responsibilities change significantly. This is typically defined as a change in 30% or more of job duties or responsibilities, or one that affects how the job is mapped to the career architecture.
Promotion, transfers and other job changes may require incumbent review. Do not make an offer to an employee without completing the following process.
Incumbent Review Process
1. Contact your college/division leadership then your Sr. Human Resources Partner for guidance and alignment.
3. Submit an MSS Exception Request in UAccess. Attach the updated position description, updated résumé and any other supporting documentation.
4. A results letter will be emailed to the person who submitted the incumbent review request.
5. Create an MSS Job Change in UAccess with an action code of “position life cycle." Attach the results letter.
College/division representative (HR representative or Business Manager) or the direct supervisor of the affected employee.
Where do I submit?
In UAccess > Employee/Manager Self Service > Request MSS Transactions tile > MSS Exceptions > MSS Exception Request > Create New MSS Exception Request and select “Incumbent Review.”
How long does it take?
Allow 30 days (reviews are often completed sooner).
Faculty Compensation Resources
The Provost’s Office has primary responsibility for faculty compensation. Connect with the Provost's Office:
Human Resources Faculty Resources
9/12 Pay Plan Option
After their first year of employment, eligible academic-year faculty and appointed personnel may elect to spread their academic-year pay over 12 months. Enrollment in or withdraw from the 9/12 Pay Plan Option must be done during an annual window each spring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before making a salary offer, review the "Managing within Pay Ranges" chart in the Compensation Administration Guidelines (PDF). Each pay decision should include review of internal equity, and the individual's level of education, experience, knowledge and skills.
Although a department may offer a new employee compensation up to the midpoint of the pay range without approval from the HR Compensation team, please note that a large majority of new hires will fall into the first quartile of the chart.
The HR Compensation team recommends the following to manage wage compression and make informed pay decisions:
Conduct an analysis of current wage compression in your unit with the assistance of your Sr. Human Resources Partner.
Consider and account for the costs involved in hiring and training replacements for current employees if they were to resign, as well as the loss of expertise and institutional knowledge.
Document to your unit head the status of wage compression in your unit, the consequences of resignations among experienced employees and your requested budget for merit increases
University senior leaders have implemented an annual salary increase program as finances permit. Although parameters may change from year to year, the program typically has two components:
- An across-the board increase.
- Additional merit increases for particularly high-performing employees.
For more information about merit increases, please review the “Merit Raises” section in the Compensation Administration Guidelines (PDF).
Job Functions and Families
You need to request a new PCN if you are adding a new position to your department or modifying a vacant position. Contact your business manager for assistance.
You can reuse a PCN if an employee vacates an existing University Staff position and the position is not being modified.
The University career architecture is based on benchmarked jobs (job that are common across industries and for which salary surveys are available). When external data do not exist to support a particular level within a job family, Compensation may determine it is appropriate to skip that level.
Please follow these steps
Connect with your Sr. Human Resources Partner for advice.
Submit the completed position description form to the HR Compensation team at email@example.com.
- A compensation analyst will evaluate the requested position against existing positions to determine if a new position should be added to the career architecture.
As part of UCAP, the University mapped all Classified Staff employees to jobs within the career architecture. At that time, Classified Staff employees had the option to move to the University Staff position where they had been mapped or to maintain their Classified Staff status.
Employees who remain in the Classified Staff employee category still follow the FLSA exemption status and pay range of their career-architecture-mapped position. Classified Staff employees who receive a promotion or change jobs are required to transition to University Staff employment.
Yes, Classified Staff employees have the option to transition to University Staff employment at any time. They must complete the Transition to University Staff Form (PDF) and follow the submission instructions on the form.
Yes. A Classified Staff employee who meets all eligibility criteria is eligible for compensation/merit increases based on the pay grade for their mapped position.