A market gap is the difference between an current employee's salary and the market competitive level that has been identified for the employee's respective position. To address the market gaps that were identified in the Mercer Study, nearly two dozen job families, based on the size of each job family’s overall market gap, have been prioritized into three Market Gap Priority Groups – Modest, Moderate and Major. (See below.)

In order to begin addressing the market gaps and ensure that our pay is progressing toward market competitive levels, a market adjustment pool was approved by the Board of Trustees for FY2023.

Each of the three priority groups, based on their respective job family market gaps, were assigned a progressively larger portion of the recommended FY2023 adjustment pool.

The three groups, their overall average market gaps, and their portion of the FY2023 market adjustment pool are indicated on the charts below:


The FY2023 pool will be used to begin addressing the market gap priorities. As a result some employees will receive market adjustments. These market adjustments will begin to address the market gaps and ensure that current and new employees’ pay is rapidly progressing toward, or at, market competitive levels.

Individual Employee Market Adjustments

  • Ensures that employees’ salaries are progressing toward or at competitive market levels. Individual market adjustments will be determined using a leadership-approved methodology identifying those employees most warranting a competitive market adjustment based on the following factors:

    • The Market Gap Priority Group to which the employee’s job’s is assigned

    • The size of employee’s individual gap to competitive range

  • No management discretion was permitted at the individual employee level.

Auburn has worked with Mercer to review market data and perform salary benchmarking on over 1,300 jobs across campus. Our Compensation and Classification team worked with Mercer to match Auburn jobs and their descriptions to similar jobs and descriptions in the market (such as those within other SEC, R-1 or peer institutions) and identify the market pay rate for each job.

For over 60% of jobs, Auburn's pay is competitive with other institutions and employers. However, we also identified hundreds of jobs within job families where our pay can be more competitive. In these cases, we segmented the market gaps into groups of “market gap priority."

  • Auburn currently has one pay structure for almost all non-faculty jobs. The study results are the basis upon which the university has developed nearly two dozen newly-identified Job Families. Each job family will have its own pay structure with individual pay grade ranges.

  • On Oct. 1, 2022, the new structures will become effective.

  • All Staff and A&P jobs will be assigned to the newly created structures and pay ranges.

  • Pay ranges will continue with our current range design, where pay-position-in-range “has meaning.”


  • New pay structures and ranges will be reviewed on a regular basis to monitor their alignment with the competitive market for their respective job family.

Please review the Merit Increase and Promotional Increase Guidelines for additional information. 

Last updated: 02/16/2023