Compensation, Salary, Wage Surveys, and news about the Compensation Industry.
Glossary

Compensation Survey terms and definitions

The following is a list of all compensation and salary survey terms and definitions used by our customers in our online compensation and salary surveys and reports. If you have a question, comment, or suggestion about a survey term contact us.

# of Employees in this Position

The number of full-time and part-time employees reported in the job. Does not include contractors.

25th Percentile

The measure that indicates the point below at which 25 percent of the data fall.

75th Percentile

The measure that indicates the point above at which 75 percent of the data fall.

Aging Survey Data

Provides the survey user the ability to project results to a common date in time by an assumed percent movement of wage inflation/growth in the labor market. Because WageWatch survey users submit data throughout the current year, some users may wish to "normalize" the data by bringing the data to a current point in time. The two factors in data aging are the survey user's determination of the annual percent wage growth for that labor market and the date to which the projection will be made. WorldatWork's Salary Budget Survey is a recommended source for wage inflation/growth projections by industry and job level.

Annual

The yearly rate of pay for a job being performed. To calculate an annual rate from an hourly rate, multiply the hourly rate by 2,080, which is the number of hours worked in a year (52 weeks multiplied by 40 hours per week.) To calculate the annual rate of pay from a monthly rate, multiple the monthly rate by 12 (12 months in a year).

Average

The sum of all values of a data set divided by the number of values in that set. Also called the arithmetic mean.

Average Base Pay

The sum of all salaries or wages divided by the number of employees in the given position.

Broadband pay structures

Broadband pay structures are more flexible and consolidate pay grades into fewer structures with wider salary ranges. Broadband structures tend to be used by relatively flat organizations with few levels and small companies.

Competitive Set

A Competitive Set is a group of peer employers that represents the labor market in which your organization competes. To create your own custom Competitive Set, simply choose the “Select Competitive Set” drop down in Step 2 of Get Report, select the option to Create A New Competitive Set, and then check the boxes next to the other employers you wish to include in your new Competitive Set. You can create as many Competitive Sets as you wish as long as each adheres to the following guidelines: each Competitive Set must have at least five employers, each must differ from any other Competitive Set that you create by three employers; each must be comprised of three or more different ownership companies. To delete a Competitive Set, contact WageWatch Customer Service. We will delete the Competitive set three months after your request. These guidelines are in place to ensure confidentiality of all participants’ data.

Evening Shift Differential (Hourly Add-on Amount to Base Pay)

The additional amount to base pay that an employee receives for working evening (2nd) shifts.

Exempt or Non-exempt

An exempt employee is paid a salary and is not compensated for overtime hours worked per the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or per more stringent State regulations. Under Federal law, an employee may be considered exempt by meeting certain responsibility and compensation criteria under the following four categories: administrative, executive, professional, and outside sales. A non-exempt employee does not meet the criteria and is paid for overtime hours worked.

Filters

WageWatch’s built-in Filters feature enables you to quickly narrow down a group of peer employers based on criteria important to you and your industry. Some of WageWatch’s common Filters are Number of Employees, Operating Revenue, Industry, etc. For many reports, you will want to use the Filters already built into your survey to define your peer group. If to wish to further define a peer group, use the Competitive Set feature and create your own custom group in your labor market.

High

The highest data point reported by all survey participants in the defined competitive set for the question.

Highest Paid Employee's Base Pay

The highest base pay any employee in the position is currently earning.

Hourly

The rate of pay per hour for a job being performed. To calculate an hourly rate from an annual rate, divide the annual rate by 2,080, which is the number of hours worked in a year (52 weeks multiplied by 40 hours per week.) To calculate the hourly rate of pay from a monthly rate, divide the monthly rate by 173.33 (4.33 weeks per month multiplied by 40 hours per week).

Hybrid or Other

Hybrid or Other might be a combination of traditional, broadband and/or matrix or anything completely different.

Incentive/Bonus/Commission (Other Cash) Amount

The average cash amount received during the past year from bonuses, incentives, commissions, gratuities, tips, spiffs, and/or other cash compensation.

Incentive/Bonus/Commission (Other Cash) Eligible

Indicates whether or not an employee in the position has the opportunity to earn cash compensation other than base pay or long-term cash compensation such as stock options.

Last Updated

Filter used for running a report that spans data from a combination of the current and the preceding year. Last Updated is useful early in a data submission cycle when not all employers have yet submitted their data. For example, a Last Updated report run in 2011 would include data from either 2010 or 2011, whichever is the most recent.

Location

The name of the property, site, facility, or company that is participating in this survey as a single unit or entity.

Low

The lowest data point reported by all survey participants in the defined competitive set for the question.

Lowest Paid Employee's Base Pay

The lowest base pay any employee in the position is currently earning.

Matrix pay structures

Matrix pay structures are where employees receive a specified percent increase based upon where they are in the matrix. Matrix factors are typically performance score and the employees salary compared to position in the salary range and/or the compa-ratio factor.

Median

The middle item in a set of ranked data points containing an odd number of items. When an even number of items is ranked, the average of the two middle items is the median. Also called the 50th percentile.

Monthly

The rate of pay per month for a job performed. To calculate a monthly rate from an annual rate, divide the annual rate by 12 (12 months in a year). To calculate the monthly rate from an hourly rate, multiply the hourly rate by 173.33 (4.33 weeks per month multiplied by 40 hours per week).

Night Shift Differential (Hourly Add-on Amount to Base)

The additional amount to base pay that an employee receives for working night (3rd) shifts.

Number of Properties/Facilities/Organizations

The total number of organizations reporting data.

Other Bonus Incentive Eligible

Indicates whether or not an employee in the position has the opportunity to earn a bonus that is an addtiion to base pay or a commission or fee for service.

Ownership Company

The name of the parent company that owns the property, facility, or organization being reported. Used by WageWatch to ensure that at least three ownership companies make up a competitive set when a report is run to protect confidentiality. If the organization is a "stand-alone" or independent entity, the field should be marked "No ownership company".

Pay Increase Type

The method by which an employee receives an advancement in base pay.

Pay Range Maximum

The formal highest base pay rate possible for a given position as specified in a compensation plan or similar document.

Pay Range Minimum

The formal lowest base pay rate possible for a given position as specified in a compensation plan or similar document.

Per Diem Rate

Irregularly scheduled employee who picks up shifts as they are made available. Per Diem employee is typically paid a higher rate than a normally scheduled employee and typically not benefits eligible. Also called the PRN Rate. Enter as full hourly rate.

Sign-on Bonus Amount (Lump Sum)

The total lump sum received by the employees as a bonus for agreeing to be hired.

Starting Rate

The posted minimum wage (Starting Rate) that is advertised or used for the position. This rate may or may not be the same as the formal range minimum.

Target Percentile

An outcome of compensation strategy planning, target percentile is the market position chosen for a job or job class in relation to its peer group.

Traditional pay structures

Traditional pay structures are organized with numerous layers and range structures (or pay grades) with a relatively small distance between each range. Traditional structures provide a hierarchal system enabling employees to be promoted from one pay grade to another.

Unionized

Indicates whether or not the position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Variance

The difference between the organization rate and the market average, either in currency or by percent. For example, if the organization rate is $10.00 and the market average is $9.50, the variance if $.50 in currency or 5%.

Weekend Differential (Hourly Add-on Amount to Base)

The additional amount to base pay that an employee receives for working on a Saturday or Sunday.

Weighted Average

An average calculated by weighting each individual organization average according to the number of inidividual data points making up each organization's average. For example, if company A reports 10 employees at $20 per hour, company B reports 5 employees at $18 per hour, company C reports 8 employees at $25 per hour, company D reports 3 employees at $22 per hour, and company E report 7 employees at $24 per hour, the weighted average is the sum of 10x$20, plus 5x$18, plus 8x$25, plus 3x$22, plus 7x$24, divided by a the total number of 33 employees. The weighted average is $21.93.


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