Compensation & Classification

Compensation refers to the monetary value of a job: the wages and benefits. Classification encompasses the job title, duties and responsibilities of the job, and based upon those, the pay range in which the job is placed.

At FSU our role is to make sure that compensation and classification are aligned appropriately, reflecting our compensation and classification program philosophy. FSU's system is job-based: we determine the compensation and classification of a position based on what the job requires, not the degrees or experience an applicant or incumbent may possess.

In administering our compensation and classification program, we adhere to the following philosophy:

  1. The compensation and classification system is market-based. Pay ranges and structures are reviewed every two years.
  2. To ensure objectivity and consistency, jobs are evaluated in relation to one another.
  3. Compensation is based on the market value of the job, its value to the institution, and its relationship to other jobs requiring similar knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  4. Any revision to the pay structure will reflect the current State of Maryland Living Wage.

Links to the current Exempt and Non-Exempt Pay Structures of the University System of Maryland (USM) and other information relating to benefits can be found here: 

Current Exempt and Non-Exempt Salary Structures


  • Types of Positions

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employers classify employees as either nonexempt or exempt.

    Nonexempt Positions - The minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA cover nonexempt positions. In its simplest form, this means a nonexempt employee must be paid no less than the Federal Minimum Wage that the employee is entitled to claim overtime if he or she works more than 40 hours in a week.

    Exempt Positions - The minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA do not cover exempt positions. This means an exempt employee is not entitled to claim overtime if he or she works more than 40 hours in a week.

  • Pay Program at FSU

    At FSU, we manage nonexempt and exempt pay programs.

    Nonexempt Pay Program

    The USM nonexempt pay program implemented July 1, 1996 consists of two major components: the pay structure and the job specifications. Information on these components can be found on the website links below. All USM institutions are required to use the nonexempt pay structure and job specifications as they are written. Changes can be made only by USM following a review and recommendation by the system-wide Compensation and Classification Committee. Since 1996, a number of revisions have been made to both the pay structure and the job specifications to ensure that both reflect the current job market.

    USM Nonexempt Pay Program

    USM Job Specifications

    Exempt Pay Program

    Unlike the nonexempt pay program, the exempt pay program does not have common job specifications or classifications that are used throughout the University System of Maryland (USM). The diverse and complex nature of exempt jobs prohibits the development of job specifications applicable to all USM institutions and programs. Consequently, each USM institution has the flexibility to develop and manage its exempt pay program as appropriate to its mission, size, and location so long as it remains consistent with the aforereferenced compensation philosophy.

    Exempt pay structures, however, do exist. UMB, UMBI, and UMUC use Traditional Salary Ranges. Traditional ranges are typically narrow and reclassification of a position usually means moving it to a higher or lower salary range. FSU, along with BSU, CSU, SU, TU, UB, UMBC, UMCES, UMCP, UMES, and USMO, uses a form of broad-banding referred to as Wide Salary Ranges. Broad-banding, as the title implies, is a system of fewer broad bands, each divided into three or more narrow ranges. Reclassification may result in movement from one range to another within the broad band or movement to another broad band. The presence of two pay structures in a system like USM reflects the difference in market expectations of the respective institutions (visit the USM Office of Human Resources web site for more details).

  • Job Specifications vs. Job Descriptions

    A job specification is a generic statement of duties and responsibilities for a job. As noted above, USM provides job specifications for all nonexempt positions while each institution is responsible for the creation of its own exempt job specifications. Each generic job specification should be supported by a detailed job description. While the specification is a summary of job duties applicable to a particular class of jobs, a job description details what an individual job does.

  • Reclassification

    A reclassification review is a process whereby an employee and/or the supervisor or department head initiates a request for a position to be reviewed. To qualify for review, significant and substantial changes must have occurred in the position's primary objectives, duties, and responsibilities. To determine whether changes have occurred in the position, the initiator submits a Reclass Request Form (RRF) signed by the Divisional Vice President as well as a Position Information Form/PIF (exempt/nonexempt) to the Office of Human Resources. Any RRF submitted without the Vice President's signature will be returned to the initiator.

    A reclassification review may result in one of the following actions:

    Job is reclassified to a higher or lower level.No change in the job classification and pay range, i.e. the job is determined to be properly classified.Job is re-titled, but the pay range remains the same.

  • Criteria for Reclassifying a Job

    The decision to reclassify a position is based on significant changes that have occurred in the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to meet the essential functions of the position: what these changes are, how they occurred, organizational changes that occurred resulting in (or as a result of) the position changes, and whether or not these changes are significant. It should be noted that volume of work, length of service with the university, and employee performance are not factors in reclassifying a position. If you think that your position is not correctly classified, you should bring this matter to the attention of your immediate supervisor.

  • Salary Determination

    A salary determination is made by the Office of Human Resources, Compensation and Classification Specialist for a new or vacant position, or a request to adjust an employee's pay due to promotion or reclassification. In all cases, a Position Information Form/PIF (exempt/nonexempt) is required. To request a salary adjustment for an employee, in addition to the PIF, a Reclass Request Form (RRF) is required.

  • USM Committees Charged with Oversight of Compensation and Classification

    The System Human Resources Committee (SHRC) is comprised of Chief Human Resource Officers from all of the institutions within the USM. SHRC meets monthly to make policy and procedural decisions and recommendations, and to discuss, deliberate, and work to resolve a variety of human resource issues facing USM.

    The Classification and Compensation Committee (CCC) is a subcommittee of SHRC comprised of classification and compensation analysts from various institutions within the USM. Its responsibility is to review and recommend changes to USM pay programs.