7.1 Salary Administration Program

This policy was last updated April 2, 2018. See the update history page for more information.

The goal of the Institute's salary administration program is to provide an equitable and systematic means of compensating its various categories of employees in relation to their assigned duties and responsibilities and, as much as possible, recognize differences in individual performance levels. Further, it is the Institute's policy that its salary administration practices and compensation levels be competitive with those in like organizations for comparable job categories. More detailed information on the Salary Administration Program can be found on the Compensation website.

7.1.1 Administrative Staff Structure

Administrative Staff appointments cover individuals with professional or administrative responsibilities in such areas as the Institute's central administration, academic departmental administration, and the MIT libraries.

The Administrative classification structure is a "broad-band" structure consisting of six levels that blends measures of internal and external market equity.

7.1.2 Sponsored Research Staff Appointment Structure

The Sponsored Research Staff appointment structure provides a hierarchy of professional research staff positions with associated benefits and privileges appropriate to the encouragement of full-time research careers at the Institute. The structure is comprised of four categories of appointments as follows:

  1. Senior Research Scientist/Senior Research Engineer/Senior Research Associate
  2. Principal Research Scientist/Principal Research Engineer/Principal Research Associate
  3. Research Scientist/Research Engineer/Research Associate
  4. Research Specialist/Technical Assistant/Technical Associate

Technical staff members who are not appointed to one of the above categories hold appointments titled Sponsored Research Technical Staff. The above categories should not be used for unsalaried research staff appointments; for such situations, appointments such as Visiting Engineer/Scientist/Scholar, Lecturer, or Research Affiliate are considered more appropriate.

Persons appointed to research administrative positions (i.e., administrative functions in support of research or in a research organization) are recognized by organizational titles (Assistant Director, Administrative Officer, etc.) or by functional titles (Fiscal Officer, etc.). They are generally identified as Sponsored Research Administrative Staff.

A detailed description of each of the research staff categories, including information concerning affirmative action serious search, periodic review, numeric limitations, consulting privileges, and benefits can be found in Section 5 of Policies & Procedures.

7.1.3 Payment of Administrative and Sponsored Research Staffs on a Salary Basis

Members of MIT's Administrative and Sponsored Research staffs qualify for exemption from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). (See the Job Evaluation guidelines for more information on the FLSA).

MIT compensates its Administrative and Sponsored Research employees on a salary basis at semimonthly intervals without deductions for quality or quantity of work, except as permitted under the FLSA. If an Administrative or Sponsored Research employee believes that an improper salary deduction has been made, the employee should immediately inform his/her direct supervisor and Human Resources Officer. Reports of possible improper deductions will be promptly investigated and employees will be reimbursed for deductions found to be improper.

7.1.4 Support Staff Structure

The Support Staff structure is comprised of five distinct salary ranges, each with a specified minimum and maximum salary level. Position descriptions exist for various job categories within these salary ranges. These position descriptions outline characteristic elements of job content and minimum educational and experience levels, and are used as common reference points to ensure that consistent and fair range determinations are made with respect to specific Support Staff positions at the Institute.

7.1.5 Establishing or Changing a Position Classification

When establishing a new position or a request for promotion and/or reclassification, managers/department administrative officers must submit a job description so that Human Resources can evaluate the position and assign the appropriate level or grade.Job descriptions should be prepared by the responsible manager/appropriate department administrative officer, in conjunction with the employee when appropriate. For more information, see Job Descriptions on the Compensation website.

The job evaluation process should be conducted for either a position that is newly created or for one that currently exists but is believed by the manager/department administrative officer to be inappropriately graded based on new or revised responsibilities and/or requirements. See the Job Evaluation section of the Compensation website for information on changes including promotions, transfers, and increased responsibilities.

When a new or revised job description is submitted to Human Resources, Compensation will work in conjunction with the department's Human Resources Officer and the requesting manager/department administrative officer to review the position. This review includes evaluating whether the position meets the standards for exemption from the overtime provisions of the FLSA based on job content and salary level. (See Exempt vs. Nonexempt on the Compensation website).

7.1.6 Determination of Individual Salaries

The Compensation office of Human Resources works with departments, labs and centers to establish starting salaries for newly hired staff. An individual's starting salary will be determined within a given salary range for the position based on internal and external factors, such as the individual’s experience, training, and special qualifications, internal equity, and overall labor market considerations. See Pay Guidelines for more detail.

An individual's subsequent salary growth will be directly related to the quality of his or her performance and overall contribution to the Institute, as well as any market adjustments. (See Section 7.2, Annual Performance Review, and Section 3.3, Performance Feedback, Performance Reviews, and Corrective Action, as well as the Pay Guidelines. It is the Institute's policy that no person will be paid below the range minimum that is currently in effect for his or her position.

7.1.7 Unionized Service Staff Compensation Administration

The Institute's Service Staff positions are covered by collective bargaining agreements and are subject to the specific posting and bidding procedures of those agreements. Departments should contact their Human Resources Officers and/or the Labor Relations staff in Human Resources for information regarding wage and salary policy and procedures for Service Staff.