A Commitment to Our Greatest Asset

Several years ago, Auburn University’s senior leadership committed to implement several compensation initiatives to enhance competitive pay for Staff and Administrative & Professional (A&P) employees.


Why was the Market Study Needed?

In 2019, Auburn University (AU) partnered with Mercer, an internationally respected consulting firm, to execute a competitive compensation study and infrastructure development study for Staff and A&P employees. 

  • The Mercer study provided Auburn with the overall “market competitive level” for Staff and A&P pay. We now have data and information that show how competitive AU is within the markets from which we recruit talent. As a result, we identified specific jobs that have “market gaps” -- where our pay could be more competitive.

  • A majority of our Staff and A&P pay levels are currently at or above market competitive levels. However, there are others, to a greater or lesser extent, that may be below market competitive levels.

  • Compensation and Classification has partnered with campus leadership, HR Liaisons, and units across campus to identify and assess these gaps through this study.

Phase I

  • Phase I implementation began on Sept. 1, 2022, with the creation and implementation of new pay structures in 23 occupational job families. The new pay structures were implemented on Oct. 1, 2022.

  • Preliminary market adjustments were processed for approximately 1,300 employees whose salaries were below a market-competitive level. The approved market adjustments improved AU’s market position for these jobs. Most adjustments for employees were effective on Oct. 1, 2022. 

Phase II

Phase II began shortly after the start of fiscal year 2023. In this phase, AU is taking additional steps to further assess market competitive pay for employees. 

  • From November 2022 to February 2023, employees were given the opportunity to submit individual data primarily related to education and work experience to support this analysis for pay related to the current market.  A total of 3,100 employees, or over 96% of eligible employees, submitted job-related credentials (education, experience, certifications and licensures, and other recognitions and affiliations).

  • This information is being used to further assess current pay rates for employees in the respective pay ranges based on the Pay Evaluator©. The Pay Evaluator© ratings are being evaluated to determine any needed market adjustments.

  • In partnership with Department Leadership, Finance, and Human Resources, eligible employees may be considered for a market-based pay increase at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2024.  

  • Funding for market adjustments must be approved by the Board of Trustees at their August meeting.



Auburn partners with Mercer, an internationally respected consulting firm, to execute a competitive compensation study of Staff and A&P jobs.

2019 to 2021

University Human Resources (UHR) partners with over 100 campus stakeholders to gather information regarding jobs across campus.

2021 to 2022

The Compensation Market Study recommendations are finalized, and results are shared with senior campus leadership. 

September 2022

Phase I implementation begins with the publication of new pay structures for nearly two dozen occupational job families.

October 2022

Preliminary market adjustments are approved for approximately 1,300 employees whose salaries were below a market competitive level.

November 2022 to February 2023

Employees are given the opportunity to submit their updated qualifications to determine where they should be placed in their new pay range.

June 2023

The information that was submitted by employees will be placed in the Pay Evaluator©, which will be utilized by departmental leadership to determine proposed market adjustments. 

October 2023

Funding for market adjustments must be approved by the Board of Trustees at their August meeting. If funding is approved for Fiscal Year 2024, most market adjustments would occur in October 2023.


Nationally, the challenges of recruiting and retaining a high-quality workforce continue to increase. While Auburn is considered an employer of choice in this region, we are not immune to these challenges.

Labor shortages and cost increases, along with historic consumer price increases, are also impacting the workforce. Some colleges and divisions are reporting hiring offer “turndowns” and counteroffers along with smaller applicant pools.

We now have more complete pay data and information which show how competitive our pay levels are within the markets from which we recruit talent. This information shows that while many jobs on campus are currently competitive with, or even exceed, the average median market, there may be market gaps for certain jobs. Planned market adjustments for Fiscal Year 2024 will help to close those gaps.

Updates to this website will be made as warranted.

Employee Groups Included in the Study

  • University Staff – full-time and part-time

  • Administrative and Professional Staff – full-time and part-time

Employee Groups Not Included in the Study

  • Student Workers

  • Graduate Assistants

  • Post-Doctoral

  • Contracted Athletic Staff Members

  • Temporary Employees

  • Continuing Education Instructors (UStaff)

  • Clinical Associates (UStaff)

Over 1,300 employees (or 39% of covered employees) received a market adjustment.

There are employees in jobs that warrant market adjustments. However, other employees are already being paid competitively when compared to market. The unit leadership and Human Resources will determine eligibility for each employee in the unit. 

If funding for market adjustments is included in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, employees will be notified whether they will receive an adjustment by September 2023. Most adjustments would be effective on Oct. 1, depending on pay cycles.

By The Numbers


Auburn partners with Mercer


Campus stakeholders 


New job families


Employees receiving Phase 1 adjustments 


Employees submitting job credentials for Phase 2

Last updated: 06/16/2023