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Position Classifications and Pay Grades

Position Classifications & Pay Grades

Swarthmore is a complex organization with staff positions from several different industries. We use an evaluation system to analyze positions and to organize them into position classifications. Our position classification system helps to maintain an internal sense of fairness in compensating widely varying positions. Positions are evaluated using a number of potential factors such as education, experience, organizational impact, complexity of skills, and supervision. Positions that are similar in terms of these factors are grouped into the same pay grades. These pay grades have a "range" of pay that is appropriate for the types of positions in that group. The pay range reflects the overall value of those positions to the College, as well as local, regional, and national salary information that is studied by Swarthmore each year.

Salary Grade Structure

* Each position will have it's own salary range that will fall within the applicable grade
** Grade structure is based on current market data

If you have additional questions regarding staff compensation, please refer to the FAQs page or contact Human Resources.

    Position Descriptions & Reclassification

    Each position at Swarthmore should have a description that outlines the position's general purpose. The supervisor / manager of the position must define the particular dimensions of each position. Since all positions evolve over time, departments are encouraged to review duties of positions annually to make sure that the position description accurately reflects its current responsibilities and is appropriately classified. 

    Our standard Position Description Format  is a useful template for capturing the responsibilities and expectations of a given position. When drafting a position description, please be sure to use Non-Prejudicial Language [pdf].

    When there is a significant change in the responsibilities of an employee's position, a supervisor may request a review of the position. A "reclassification", or change in grade status, may occur when Human Resources agrees the position has significantly changed in terms of responsibility, knowledge, skills required and decision-making complexity. Human Resources will make determinations considering factors such as external market data and internal position comparisons. The result of a "reclassification" may lead to a salary adjustment in grade or a grade increase and salary adjustment. In instances where an individual's salary is above the marketplace, a reclassification may not lead to a salary increase.

    In limited circumstances, a position "reclassification" may lead to a lower salary grade for a position. This lower salary grade may occur from a department or college wide reorganization. In the event of a lower "reclassification" of a position, a determination of an appropriate salary will be resolved on a case-by-case basis. This policy also includes an individual voluntarily transferring to a vacant position with a lower grade, which also may result in a lesser salary.