Leveling Guides

I have compiled some of the more useful job leveling guides that I have found over the years, in the list, below.  While the majority of them are public organizations, the language that they use is extremely useful, and many are very similar to (or exactly the same) as the salary survey leveling guides.

  • Fitch Ratings (the best, in my opinion)   The competencies evolve between the job levels, so the items for higher job levels are those which differentiate this level from the one below. This is based on the assumption that the person has already demonstrated the competencies of the level below and does not need to be evaluated against these. However, if someone’s performance is below expectations, it may be useful to look at the competencies for the level below to help pinpoint development needs.

  • Ohio University (Mercer Leveling Guide for Individual Contributors)  Example:  Seasoned knowledge and expertise in principles, concepts, and practices in designated field typically obtained through a Bachelor’s degree and 4 to 6 years of professional experience within functional area. Knowledge permits the employee to plan steps for and carry out multiphase projects and to modify techniques to solve a wide range of problems.

  • Mastercard (Page 15) – Surprisingly, I found Mercer’s consulting project with Mastercard on their website.  This 2014 presentation, ostensibly prepared by Mercer, details Mastercard’s career path journey for Global IT Operations and beyond.

  • University of Virginia  Example:  Using established procedures and working under immediate supervision, performs assigned tasks.  Work is routine and instructions are usually detailed.  Little evaluation, originality or ingenuity is required.  For legal positions, may prepare briefs and documents or  draw up contracts for review and evaluation by others.

  • MIT:    Administrative   Financial  Financial (2)   Example:  Under close supervision, provides general office and clerical support to a work area or group of individuals.  Responsible for basic typing, filing, mail pickup and distribution; telephone coverage; responding to walk-in, fax, and email inquiries.

  • University of Notre Dame  Example:  Establishes annual or mid-term priorities, goals and operational plans for the department or work units. Leads definition and direction for new or revised services, programs, processes, policies, standards or operational plans, based upon the University’s longer term strategies.  Recommends departmental strategic plans within University strategic direction to next level manager.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics  A thorough point factor document used to help level jobs, internally.  This document includes guides to level and assign points for knowledge, job controls and complexity, contacts and sphere of influence, physical environment, etc…

  • Auburn University (page 8)  General Information:  Salary grade levels for jobs within a job family are based on salary survey information and internal equity. Auburn University uses a blend of salary survey information and an internal job evaluation system to determine the value or salary grades for the various levels within a job family.  The assignment of an employee to a particular grade level in a job family is based on the competencies identified for each level. For example, entry level positions are characterized by more routine work under close supervision. However, at the mid-range or intermediate levels, positions follow established guidelines, but work under more general supervision. Finally, at the advanced level, incumbents are working more independently, and in some cases are leading projects or work in their area. The job description for a job within a job family has “job family leveling guidelines” that provide descriptions of the responsibilities, knowledge and education and experience required for each level of the job family. These “leveling guidelines” provide a broad description of the requirements of each level and are designed to assist a supervisor in determining the appropriate level for an employee.

  • Office of Personnel Management GS-Scales  This guide is intended as a source of grade level guidance for the evaluation of clerical or assistance work, as described above, which is not covered by more specific grade level criteria in other guides or standards. Depending on the mix of work involved in a particular position, this guide may be applied alone or in conjunction with other appropriate standards to determine the grade level.  This guide should not be used to determine the series of a position. To determine the series of a position graded fully or in part by this guide, it is necessary to refer to the series guide which best covers the primary duties and responsibilities involved, the qualifications required to do the work, and the career ladder for the position. To establish official position titles, refer to the classification guidance for the series or the general titling instructions in the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards.

  • State of Oregon  This allocation guide supplements and clarifies the class specifications of the Information Systems
    Specialist (ISS) Series. It helps to identify the appropriate levels and aids consistent use of the
    classes across state agencies.


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