Job Evaluations

MIT's Compensation office evaluates the description of a job to establish a level or grade.

An evaluation should be conducted for jobs:

  • that are newly created, or
  • that currently exist but are now considered by the manager/department administrative officer to be inappropriately graded due to new or revised responsibilities and/or requirements.

How to Request an Evaluation

  • Submit a job description; HR can then work with the manager/administrative officer to assign the appropriate level or grade.
  • The manager/administrative officer, along with the employee (when appropriate), can prepare the description.
  • Refer to the Job Description Template for the required format and content of a job description.

Note: Once a new or revised job description is submitted, Compensation will work with the manager/administrative officer and the Human Resources Officer (HRO) to review the job. Both internal and external factors will be considered to determine its level or grade.

Factors involved in a job evaluation

  • Internal factors include equity, the structure of the specific department or school, similar jobs elsewhere in the Institute, and the knowledge, skills, and expertise required.
  • External factors include data from salary surveys for comparable jobs, as well as information collected during recruiting, e.g., where applicants come from and their salary requirements.
  • Outcomes of a job evaluation are:
    • determination of a level or grade
    • job title
    • job code
    • determination of exempt/non-exempt status (based on Fair Labor Standards Act guidelines)

How jobs are evaluated

To accurately evaluate a job, Compensation considers:

  • Whether similar roles exist within the department or school. If yes, these roles should be described and the relationship(s) understood.
  • Whether the language used to describe the principle duties and responsibilities clearly reflects actual duties. For example, phrases such as "represents," "coordinates," or "assists with ..." often require a greater understanding of what the actual tasks are and who also works to accomplish them.
  • How this job compares/contrasts with similar positions in other departments or schools at MIT.
  • Current titles being used, both in the department and across the Institute, to determine if an appropriate title already exists.
  • A department's organizational chart to note reporting relationships and jobs with similar breadth and scope.
  • Which jobs within the department or school function at a higher—and lower—level.
  • Applicable market data when available.
  • Whether the hiring manager/administrative officer has salary information that would help determine the appropriate salary range for this job.

Results of the job evaluation

Following a job evaluation, the result could be one of the following:

  • creation of a new job
  • promotion of an employee who is currently in the job
  • reclassification of a job to a higher or lower level/grade with or without a change in salary or salary range
  • determination that the current level or grade is appropriate and no change is necessary

In all cases, the evaluation process should be concluded with Compensation before discussing the level or grade of a job with employees or prospective employees.

What Else You Should Know

Job vs. position titles

It is important to understand the distinction between a job title and a position title. HR encourages the use of job titles for groups of similar positions as it can then determine where the Institute has similar jobs and compare them. For some jobs, the job title and position title will be the same. However, some jobs may have two titles:

    • Job title— Typically generic, it is the "official" title often used on documents generated by HR and corresponds to the job code. Job titles should:
      • reflect, as clearly as possible, the nature of the work performed
      • be consistent with other job titles when similar work is done in other areas of the Institute

Example: Administrative Assistant

    • Position title — May be unique to the position and/or the department and is often more specific than the job title. Position titles should:
      • be approved by the appropriate manager(s) and/or the designated senior officer
      • not reflect a job title that exists at a different level/grade

Example: Administrative Assistant for Academic Affairs

Remember: Using unique and/or inflated titles may complicate attempts to gauge pay equity within the Institute. It is difficult to determine appropriate pay levels for employees who do similar work but have different titles.

Understanding exempt vs. non-exempt jobs

The terms "exempt" and "non-exempt" are defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

What is FLSA?

FLSA is a federal law that establishes a minimum wage and limits the number of hours that may be worked in a standard work week. It provides standards for equal pay, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor. Amended in 1967, it extended coverage to private university employees.

Exempt jobs

Because of their duties, responsibilities, and salaries, employees in exempt jobs are not covered by the overtime provision of the FLSA. "Exempt" is not a title, but a legal classification based largely on job content. MIT's exempt staff are compensated on a salary basis without deductions for quality or quantity of work, except as permitted under the FLSA; for more information see the MIT Employment Policy Manual Section 7.1.3.

Following is a brief description of the qualifications for the exemption categories relevant to MIT:

PositionPrimary Duties
  • Manages the organization, department, or recognized unit/subunit.
  • Directs the work of at least two FTEs.
  • Hires, terminates, and/or makes recommendations regarding the employment status of others.
  • Performs office or non-manual work directly related to management or general business operations.
  • Regularly demonstrates high levels of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

    Example: The employee has authority to:

    • formulate, affect, interpret, or implement management policies or operating practices
    • plan long- or short-term business objectives
    • commit MIT in matters of significant financial impact
(Learned and Creative)
Some professionals perform work that is predominantly intellectual and requires:
  • advanced knowledge of a field of science or learning that is customarily acquired through prolonged, specialized study
  • use of discretion and judgment regularly

Some professionals have primary duties that:

  • require invention, imagination, originality, or talent in a recognized artistic or creative field
Computer Professional
  • Apply systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications; or
  • Design, develop, document, analyze, create, test, or modify computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications; or
  • Design, document, test, create, or modify computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
  • Do a combination of these duties that require the same level of skills.
  • Employees in non-exempt jobs are covered by the overtime provisions of the act and must be paid overtime (at one and one-half times the regular rate) for all hours worked over 40 hours per pay period.
  • Overtime may be worked only with prior approval of the supervisor/ manager.

Have Questions?

Contact the Compensation Office.