The MIT Compensation Initiative

March 25, 2019

The MIT Compensation Initiative is a multiphase, multi-year project to build a new compensation foundation that enables MIT to effectively attract, retain, and develop staff, and to make better-informed pay decisions.

Learn more below or see the new pay structure, pay guidelines, and information on job and position descriptions.


Who is included?

Administrative, Sponsored Research Administrative, and Support Staff are in the scope for this project.

What are the results?

The results of the Compensation Initiative are…

  • A single pay structure based on market data, to ensure MIT has competitive pay ranges;
  • The ability to identify employees that are doing comparable work so that annual pay equity can be analyzed to ensure we are paying fairly;
  • The ability to benchmark jobs to salary survey data, to ensure fair and competitive pay;
  • A new job catalog, accessible to all HR administrators, that contains generic job descriptions;
  • Standard, consistent, generic job titles used by HR, that are appropriate to type and level of work.

How did we get here?

Beginning in 2014, the Compensation Initiative began with the first of multiple phases – to establish the guiding principles for moving forward:

MIT is committed to attracting, retaining and rewarding a highly qualified and diverse workforce by providing a fair, equitable, and competitive compensation program. In addition, MIT is committed to making pay decisions that consider internal equity and relevant external markets, and are fiscally responsible.

The second phase was to create a job structure. Beginning with the creation of generic job descriptions for all jobs in scope, we partnered with the community to gather, review, revise and/or develop new job descriptions. As a result, we crafted approximately 700 generic job descriptions. From here, we created an online job catalog for HR Administrators to access all of the generic job descriptions that were created as part of the second phase.

Next, we worked to develop a pay structure. Previously, there were two pay structures – one for Administrative and one for Support, with no structure for Sponsored Research Administrative Staff. Pay ranges, where they existed, were unclear and/or limiting, and there was an important need to craft a single streamlined pay structure, that was market-competitive. We benchmarked a significant number of jobs in the job catalog to market data from various salary surveys. This analysis helped to inform our pay structure development and determine the pay range for each job.

What followed was the employee mapping phase, which involved designated individuals from across the Institute. These individuals varied by area and in some cases included Assistant Deans, HR Administrators, Directors, and Managers. In this phase, each employee was preliminarily mapped to a generic job description, and these mappings were reviewed and revised accordingly. After each employee was mapped to a job, the salary ranges associated with each job were shared and reviewed by administrators in respective areas. This was a significant effort on behalf of the MIT community.

When will this go into effect?

The Compensation Initiative will go into effect on April 1, 2019 for Administrative and SRS Administrative Staff, and on April 8, 2019 for Support Staff.

What if I have questions?

See the updated pay structure, job and position descriptions information, and pay guidelines below. If you have additional questions, please contact your local Human Resources administrator, manager, AO, or central Human Resources Officer (HRO) .


Related Information

Understanding Jobs at MIT

See Also