Salary Ranges and Pay Adjustments

A salary range is designed to accommodate a wide range of skills, experiences and performance levels, and each salary range may contain many different jobs. For example, AccountantGrants Administrator, and Student Services Administrator may all have the same salary range because they each have the same relative value as determined by the career ladders and the market analysis. Each level on a career ladder is assigned a unique salary range which Human Resources develops and maintains, based on the appropriate competitive labor market.

The range minimum refers to the lowest pay rate Rensselaer is willing to pay for a position, and is typically offered to employees who possess the minimum qualifications.

The range midpoint typically reflects median pay in the competitive labor market, and is considered appropriate for experienced and fully qualified employees whose performance fulfills the major requirements of their position.

The range maximum of the range is considered the upper limit of salary opportunity in a level for a highly experienced employee.

External Market Data

Rensselaer participates in salary surveys to gather information about competitive pay practices, and uses these surveys to determine adjustments to established salary ranges, as well as to identify positions that may require a targeted equity adjustment.

Salaries/Pay Rates for Newly Hired, Promoted, or Transferred Positions

Starting salaries for Rensselaer employees who are new hires or transfers, or who were promoted, primarily reflect several factors at the time of hire.  These factors include the employee's qualifications related to the position, their internal equity, and market pricing of the job family in the markets where Rensselaer recruits.

An employee's compensation may change under a variety of circumstances, such as through the regular merit process, or through a change in position classification that results in changing the employee's title and salary.

Some situations in which an employee may receive a change in compensation appear below.

Performance-based adjustments are delivered in the form of annual increases, typically referred to as merit increases, and are used to recognize and reward staff who meet or exceed performance standards. Merit increases are not entitlements, and should be aligned with the staff member’s level of performance.

The Division of Human Resources will determine the annual merit increase budget by considering relevant market data as well as relevant budget constraints, and must subsequently communicate the merit budget and merit guidelines to the Rensselaer community. Annual merit increases will be effective on July 1.

Managers will recommend merit increases based on the evaluation of each eligible staff member. Portfolio owners must then in turn allocate their merit budget based on these recommendations, and within the guidelines established by the Division of Human Resources.

A promotion is defined as an employee’s movement to a higher position in the same level, or to a position in a higher level on the same or different career ladder.

A promotion within level typically represents new responsibilities that are different from the employee’s current ones.  Such new responsibilities may require training and the development of new competencies.

A promotion to a higher level on the same or different career ladder typically represents the addition of significantly greater responsibilities. 

Staff members may receive a promotion either by successfully applying for a new position, or by having their current position reclassified.

Rensselaer may need to make salary adjustments/equity increases from time to time as a result of external market factors or internal salary compression.


This terms refers to the differential paid to nonexempt employees working in certain designated positions who are regularly scheduled to work during the second or third shift. Such differential will be considered as part of the overtime calculation if the total hours worked in a week exceed 40. Please refer to the HR Policy Guidelines for the complete shift differential policy.


Rensselaer may occasionally require non-exempt employees to be available to return to work beyond their normal work schedule. In such instances, these employees are considered to be on-call, and they must be accessible if it is necessary for them to return to work. Please refer to the HR Policy Guidelines for the complete on-call policy.


A non-exempt employee will receive a minimum of four hours pay for each call-in occurrence, with the four hours added to the employee’s total hours worked for the week.  This will typically result in a full-time paid status employee receiving time-and-a-half pay for the call-in hours. Please refer to the HR Policy Guidelines for the complete call in policy.

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