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Stephen F. Austin State University

Compensation & Classification

Staff Salary Grade Ranges

Staff Salary Grade Ranges

Understanding SFA's Compensation & Classification System

Job Descriptions

Job descriptions provide an overview of a position's essential duties and responsibilities and the minimum required qualifications to perform the job effectively. Job descriptions are working documents that are maintained, updated, and changed to reflect the actual duties of a position. Job descriptions are broad and sweeping in nature, intended to enable and foster growth of the position. For more information about the structure of and information provided in a job description, see Dissecting a Job Description.

upervisors can use job descriptions to communicate job expectations to new or existing employees; to provide job information that can be used in the recruitment and selection process; and to provide job information that can be used in employee relations matters, such as performance appraisal, employee orientation, grievance resolution, and the identification of training and development needs.

fficial university job descriptions can be obtained by contacting Human Resources. In addition to the official job description, departments may choose to internally maintain supplemental documentation detailing the specific duties of a given position.

Minor changes in the duties of a job may necessitate revising an official job description. Requests for minor updates to job descriptions can be made by contacting Human Resources. Significant changes may necessitate re-analysis and re-evaluation of a job (see Job Analysis, below).

Job Analysis

Job Analysis is the process of gathering, examining, and interpreting data about a job's duties and responsibilities.

At SFA, the job analysis process occurs when a department wants to establish a new position, request the reclassification of a vacant position, or request the reclassification of a filled position (either through the annual reclassification process or a departmental reorganization) due to significant changes in assigned duties. For a change in duties or requirements to merit re-evaluation, it should meet these criteria:

  • It is a permanent change in duties; not a special project or short-term assignment;
  • The addition, deletion, or change affects a duty that constitutes a significant portion of the job (at least 15%);
  • The duty which is added, deleted, or changed is substantially different in level and type from the balance of the job duties so that it seems reasonable that the change in that one duty would affect the evaluation of the job on one or more job evaluation factors; or
  • The levels of education or experience required for the job noticeably change. These requirements should reflect minimum standards for satisfactory job performance, not an incumbent's qualifications.

In such situations, the supervisor should complete a Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ). When completing the JAQ, supervisors may find it beneficial to reference the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Bank (optional).

Once Human Resources receives a completed JAQ, the job analysis process begins. During the job analysis process, each position is evaluated based on the specific duties and responsibilities assigned to the position, the scope of the position's function, the level of independent authority held by the position, and organizational reporting structure to ensure that the position is appropriately classified.

The process conducted by Human Resources may vary depending upon the type of request. For additional information, see The Job Analysis Process.

Pay Grade Structures

Pay grade structures are used to identify the minimum and maximum salary range of pay for each position and provide a way to classify and group jobs to ensure that employees are rewarded for the work they do in a consistent way.

SFA uses one combined grade structure to establish compensation limits for jobs. The structure is based on competitive practices and internal equity considerations and provides the possibility for progression to more responsible jobs with higher and broader pay ranges. Jobs are placed into salary grades based on external salary survey information and internal job evaluation; therefore, jobs with a similar value in the external marketplace and within the university are in the same salary grade.

In order to maintain a competitive pay structure, the director of Human Resources reviews the university's pay grade structures annually as part of the budget process.

Hiring employees below the minimum of the salary range is contrary to university policy and is not permitted. Conversely, the maximum of the pay range is the upper limit of pay for a job. An employee's rate of pay may not normally exceed the respective maximum for the job. Request for payment above pay range must be approved by director of human resources.

Fair Labor Standards Act

Federal law provides that employees may be exempt from overtime wage provisions of the Fair labor Standards Act (FLSA) in varying categories. In order for an employee to qualify as being exempt and thus not required to be paid at one and one-half his or her regular salary for any work performed in excess of 40 hours of work in a workweek, the position needs to qualify in one of the following exemption categories: executive, professional, computer, or administrative.

The Human Resources department determines the exemption status of each position on campus by completing a test based on each position's duties, level of responsibility and decision making authority, and base pay rate.

To learn more about the Fair Labor Standards Act and the general distinctions between being exempt and non-exempt at SFA, see FLSA Exemption Differences and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Substitution Philosophy

The Human Resources department sets the education and experience requirements for each position by evaluating the position's duties and responsibilities and then determining the minimum combination of education and experience necessary to perform the job. Human Resources believes it is the combination of education and experience that allows each employee to be best prepared to perform the duties and responsibilities of his or her position. For many positions, Human Resources allows for additional experience to substitute for required education. Human Resources also allows additional education to substitute for required experience for some positions.

Equivalent Requirement Substitution Formulas
  • Experience for Education: Every two years of experience directly related to the duties of the job, above and beyond the minimum experience requirement, can substitute for every one year of required education. There are no substitutions for a high school diploma, GED, Ph.D., or other profession-specific advanced degrees.
  • Education for Experience: Additional education may be substituted for experience on a year-for-year basis, when applicable.

For additional information, see the SFA Substitution Philosophy.

Distributing Compensation to Staff Employees

Initial Hire Salary Offer

The hiring department, working with guidelines from the Human Resources department, determines the externally competitive and internally equitable salary for each new employee.

The hiring range for graded staff positions spans from the salary grade minimum or any institutionally established equity threshold (whichever is greater) to the salary grade midpoint. The hiring department has full discretion for placing a new employee's pay up to midpoint, budget allowing. Hiring rates above midpoint require prior approval by the director of Human Resources.

Salary Adjustments

Staff at SFA may receive salary adjustments through merit increases, equity adjustments, promotions, demotions, transfers, and reclassifications subject to the availability of funds. For additional information, see Staff Compensation and Classification. Additional information regarding reclassifications can also be found in Job Analysis, above.

Additional Compensation

Additional services, stipends, and salary supplements are types of additional compensation potentially available to faculty and staff for performing approved work outside their regularly assigned duties or providing recognition or incentives.

For information about these types of compensation, see Additional Compensation.

Forms and Instructions

Authorization for Additional Compensation Services- Paper authorization form to be completed and approved prior to any work being performed.

Authorization for Additional Compensation Payment Form - Paper payment form to be completed and approved after work is completed.

Stipend Authorization Form - Paper request form to be completed when requesting payment for an approved stipend.

EPAF Origination Request Form - Form to be submitted by departments requesting salary supplements (including teaching overloads).

It is recommended that you retain a copy of completed forms for your records as completed forms will not be returned to the originating department.

Note: Student assistants and graduate assistants may not be eligible for these types of additional compensation; additional job assignments may need to be created. Contact Human Resources for assistance before a student performs additional work.

Compensation & Classification Policies