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2015 Professional Staff Salary Survey

Professional Staff Compensation Study

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Background

The University of Washington retained Milliman to conduct a cash compensation survey for its professional staff positions.

Milliman evaluated cash compensation for fifty-six (56) benchmark jobs in the University's professional staff group. Base salary and total cash compensation data were collected from regional and national institutions of higher education via a custom survey for thirty-eight (38) jobs and published surveys for eighteen (18) jobs.

A similar survey was conducted by Milliman in 2007 and 2012.

The fifty-six (56) benchmark jobs, chosen by the University's Compensation Office, the Professional Staff Salary Survey Advisory Group (a committee of professional staff employees) and Milliman, provide a solid representation of benchmark positions within the University's grade structure and across job groups as summarized by the tables that follow.

Findings

Market conditions have changed somewhat from the period when the last survey was completed:

2006 2012 2015
Unemployment (Washington) 4.0% 8.6% 5.9%
Turnover (Washington) 20.6% 15.8% 3.3%
Minimum wage (Washington) $7.93 $9.04 $9.47
Prevalence of variable pay (U.S.) 79% 82% 84%
Median pay increase (Puget Sound) 3.8% 2.7% 2.2%

The chart below illustrates the changes in market compensation over the past thirty-one years and also shows the University's annual professional staff salary increase merit pool percentage for the most recent twenty-one years.

*Note: State-imposed salary freeze February 2009 through 2012.

The fifty-six benchmark jobs, chosen by the UW Compensation Office, the Professional Staff Salary Survey Advisory Group, and Milliman provide a solid representation of jobs and employees within the University's grade structure and across job groups as summarized by the tables below.

The University's entire professional staff supports one of the nation's premier public research universities. There are 8,555 professional staff in grades 5 through 11. The University's teaching hospital is a leading health care provider in the region and nationally known for a number of its programs. The staff in this group provide expertise to support the University's teaching, research and public service mission.

The University, like other major organizations in the Puget Sound region, recognizes the importance of hiring and retaining a highly talented staff. The cost of turnover can be significant with the costs equal to 25% to 50% of pay (a conservative estimate) per replacement. For jobs in high demand or those with skills that are scarce in the marketplace, the cost of turnover can be significantly higher.

Maintaining competitive levels of compensation is critical to staff retention. Compensation for new hires is also critical in that the University must offer competitive rates consistent with what their peers are offering as well as what existing employees at the University are being paid.

This analysis covers professional staff jobs in grades 5 through 11, which includes 8,555 employees.

The University sources professional staff employees from the education sector and from general industry (including the private sector). In most areas, the University loses employees to both of these markets. The private sector can often provide a total pay package that includes elements that the University does not offer and which make competing difficult for most educational institutions. For example, the private sector is able to offer direct compensation that consists of base salary, annual incentives, benefits and often long-term incentives such as stock options.

The University is limited in the value of its total compensation package by the absence of annual and/or long-term incentives. Historically the University has addressed this limitation by:

Additionally, when making a national hire the University is more challenged than many of its peer institutions because of its location. The cost of living in the greater Seattle area is roughly 40% higher than the national average, according to Economic Research Institute data. Cost of living certainly impacts the decisions of potential employees from other parts of the country. While the cost of labor in Seattle is 13% higher than the national average and new recruits can make more dollars here than in many locations, the difference can present obstacles to recruiting.

While the above elements can impact recruitment, the University provides a number of significant attractions beyond direct compensation. These include a highly desirable location, the opportunity to work at a premier institution of higher education, a stimulating work environment, job security, and rich cultural experiences to name just a few.

This compensation analysis included a custom survey of institutions of higher education and data from published surveys. Published data used are primarily regional in nature while the custom survey included universities across the United States (global challenge peer institutions as well as the University's primary peer group). All data in this report, both published survey data and data from the custom survey, have been geographically adjusted to reflect the Puget Sound area.

Conclusions

Cash compensation in general is well aligned with the market TCC 50th percentile, though on average it is 3% below that competitive level across all jobs when comparing the UW structure to the market. When comparing the University of Washington individual salaries to the market TCC 50th percentile, the University employee-weighted average is 4.7% below the market.

In contrast to the study completed in 2012, the results here suggest that the University has been able to provide competitive compensation around the market target, though somewhat below the desired level on average. The chart below shows how the University's base pay compares to a normal range around the market TCC 50th percentile (a normal range is usually considered between 80% and 120% of the market competitive level). As illustrated, nearly all jobs fall within a "normal" range around the market 50th percentile.

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Methods

Benchmark Positions and Compensation Data Sources

The University's Compensation Office, the Professional Staff Salary Survey Advisory Group (a committee of professional staff employees) and Milliman consultants reviewed previous benchmark positions used in this study and identified an additional position for inclusion and elimination of two jobs that did not provide adequate data in the past.

The following table lists the benchmark positions and the survey data sources used for each job.

Survey Data Sources are: CUPA
,
Compdata
,
Custom Survey
,
Hospital Salary & Benefits
,
Integrated Healthcare Strategies
,
McConnell
,
Mercer
x
,
Milliman
,
Pearl Meyer
,
Sullivan Cotter
,
Towers Watson
, and
Wamser
.

Job Family Benchmark Survey Data Source
Hover to view source
Counseling/Student Services
C Academic Counselor
x
x
x
C Academic Counselor - Lead
x
C Counseling Services Coordinator
x
C Education Outreach - Program Manager
x
x
C Education Outreach Specialist (Entry)
x
x
C Mental Health Therapist
x
x
C Student or Academic Services Director
x
C Student Services Advisor/Counselor
x
C Student Services Advisor/Counselor (Lead)
C Student Services Advisor/Counselor (Senior)
x
x
Development
D Development Officer
x
x
x
x
D Major Gifts Officer
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Health Care
H Chief Clinical Dietician
x
x
x
H Clinical Nurse Specialist Educator
x
x
x
x
x
H Clinic Manager
x
H Diagnostic Imaging Administrative Director
x
x
x
x
H Financial Analyst/Decision Support
x
x
x
H Nurse Manager
x
x
x
x
Manager/Strategic Advisor
M Administrative Assistant
x
x
x
x
M Administrator (Large Organization)
x
M Administrator (Small Organization)
x
M Auditor
x
x
x
x
x
M Budget Analyst
x
x
x
x
x
M Compliance Analyst
x
M Construction Project Manager
x
x
M Executive Assistant
x
x
x
x
x
M Food Service Assistant Manager
x
x
x
x
x
M Food Service Manager
x
x
x
M Grants and Contracts Program Manager/Specialist
x
x
x
x
M Human Resources Consultant - Employee Relations
x
x
x
M Program Director/Manager (Large Program)
x
M Program Director/Manager (Small Program)
x
Public Information/Communications
P Graphic Designer
x
x
x
x
P Public Information Specialist (Entry Level)
x
P Public Information Specialist (Journey Level)
x
x
x
x
P Public Information Specialist (Senior Level)
x
x
x
x
P Publications Coordinator
x
P Web Content Specialist
x
x
x
x
Research
R Assistant Research Scientist/Research Engineer
x
R Associate Research Scientist/Research Engineer
x
x
R Principal Research Scientist/Research Engineer
x
x
R Research Consultant
x
R Research Coordinator
x
R Research Scientist/Research Engineer
x
x
Information Technology
T Business System Analyst
x
x
x
x
x
T Department IT Manager
x
x
x
T Director, IT (Large Organization)
x
x
x
x
T Network Engineer
x
x
x
x
x
x
T Principal Technology Program Manager - Enterprise-Wide Systems
x
x
x
T Senior Applications Systems Engineer - Enterprise-Wide Systems
x
x
x
x
x
T Senior Computer Specialist
x
x
x
x
x
x
T Software Engineer
x
x
x
x
x
T Systems Programmer
x
x
x
x
x
x
T Technology Program Manager - Enterprise-Wide Systems
x
T Technology Project Manager
x
x
x
x
x
T Web Computing Specialist
x
x
x
x


Benchmark Positions and Compensation Data Sources

Custom survey invitees included peer universities and a group of regional higher education institutions. The following tables show organizations contacted and those submitting data for the 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2015 survey.

Peer Institutions 2002 Participant 2005 Participant 2007 Participant 2012 Participant 2015 Participant
Baylor University
2005
Boise State University
Colorado State University
2012
Cornell University
2002
2005
2007
2012
2015
Duke University
Florida State University
2002
2005
2007
Georgetown University
2007
Georgia Institute of Technology
2005
2005
2015
Indiana University
2005
2015
Iowa State University
2002
2005
2007
2015
Johns Hopkins University
2012
Michigan State University
2015
Montana State University
New York University
2012
North Carolina State University
Ohio State University
2015
Oregon Health Sciences University
2005
2007
2012
Penn State
2005
Rutgers University
Stanford University
2005
Syracuse University
2002
2005
Temple University
2012
2015
Texas A&M University
2002
2005
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
2002
2005
2007
University of California - Berkeley
2002
2005
2007
University of California - Davis
2002
2012
University of California - Irvine
2005
2007
2012
2015
University of California - Los Angeles
2002
2005
University of California - San Diego
2002
2012
University of California - San Francisco
University of Chicago
University of Cincinnati
2007
2012
University of Colorado
University of Connecticut
University of Dayton
2002
2005
2007
2015
University of Florida
2005
2007
University of Georgia
2007
2015
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2005
2012
University of Illinois - Chicago
University of Iowa
2002
2005
2007
2012
2015
University of Kansas
2007
2015
University of Kentucky
2005
2015
University of Maryland
2002
2005
University of Massachusetts
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
2002
2007
2012
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
2005
2007
University of Missouri - Columbia
2012
University of Montana
2007
2012
2015
University of New Mexico - Albuquerque
2002
2005
2015
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
2002
2012
University of Notre Dame
University of Oregon
2005
University of Pennsylvania
2005
University of Pittsburgh
2002
2005
2007
2015
University of Rochester
2005
2015
University of Texas - Austin
2002
2005
2007
2012
2015
University of Utah
2002
2005
2012
University of Virginia
2002
2005
2007
2012
2015
University of Wisconsin at Madison
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
2005
West Virginia University
2005
2007
2012
Yale University
2015


Regional Higher Ed Institutions 2002 Participant 2005 Participant 2007 Participant 2012 Participant 2015 Participant
Bellevue Community College
Cascadia Community College
Edmonds Community College
2005
Everett Community College
2002
2005
2015
Green River Community College
2007
Highline Community College
2005
Pierce College
2002
2015
Seattle Central Community College
Seattle University
2002
2005
2007
2015
Shoreline Community College
2015
South Puget Sound Community College
2002
2005
2015
Tacoma Community College
Washington State University
2002
2005
2007
2012
2015
Western Washington University
2002
2005
2007
2012


Published survey sources included both regional and national surveys. The list of surveys used in these analyses follows:

National Surveys Regional Surveys
Compdata Benchmark Milliman Northwest Health Care
Compdata Not For Profit Milliman Northwest Management & Professional
CUPA Milliman Puget Sound Regional
Higher Ed Custom Milliman Technology
Hospital Salary & Benefits
Integrated Healthcare Strategies
McConnell & Company Institutional Advancement
Mercer Benchmark
Mercer Integrated Health Networks
Pearl Meyer Research & Development
Sullivan Cotter Manager & Executive Comp in Hospitals
Towers Watson Health Care & Professional
Towers Watson Middle, Professional & Support
Wamser University Foundation/Development

Data Reporting and Analyses

Data gathered from all surveys were aged to May 1, 2015

Job descriptions were provided to custom survey participants to assist them with job matching. Milliman followed up with each participant to clarify job matches and input where necessary.

Milliman consultants reviewed the University's job descriptions and matched each position to the published survey description. The compensation staff at the University reviewed all matches and provided input and recommendations.

Data provided in this report for all survey matches, where such data were available, (additional detailed data on market percentiles are included in the appendix) include base 50th and total cash 50th.

Milliman compared the University's benchmark average data to the market median total cash compensation (50th percentile). Other comparisons can be made using this data, but Milliman believes the 50th percentile is the strongest point of comparison because:

Explanation of Data Terms and Tables

Job Family
The group to which the benchmark is connected for purposes of evaluating competitive pay within a group of benchmarks
UW Job Code
The unique number assigned to a job at the University
UW Job Title
Current University of Washington job title which may be different from the survey title
# UW Employees
Current count of employees assigned to the job title/code
UW/Market 50th TCC
The ratio of average pay for the job at the University of Washington compared to the market target
UW Salary Grade
Current pay grade assigned to the jobs

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Survey Findings

Summary of Competitive Analyses

The following tables summarize the competitive position of each benchmark against the market 50th percentile total cash compensation. The last column indicates the ratio of the University's average pay to the market 50th total cash compensation.

Job Family UW Job Code Counseling/Student Services # UW Ees UW/Mkt 50th TCC
C 1347 Academic Counselor 35 -2.9%
C 1349, 1350 Academic Counselor - Lead 35 2.3%
C 1377, 9617 Counseling Services Coordinator 151 -14.5%
C 1209 Education Outreach - Program Manager 47 6.9%
C 1207, 1967, 9837 Education Outreach Specialist (Entry) 68 1.5%
C 1308 Mental Health Therapist 8 10.9%
C 1361 Student or Academic Services Director 42 -13.2%
C 1341, 9596 Student Services Advisor/Counselor 25 -10.5%
C 1343 Student Services Advisor/Counselor (Lead) 20 7.3%
C 1342, 9597 Student Services Advisor/Counselor (Senior) 28 3.2%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 459 -5.0%
Job Family UW Job Code Development # UW Ees UW/Mkt 50th TCC
D 1629 Development Officer 9 -7.8%
D 1554 Major Gifts Officer 62 -16.7%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 71 -15.6%
Job Family UW Job Code Health Care # UW Ees UW/Mkt 50th TCC
H 1595 Chief Clinical Dietician 4 13.9%
H 1200 Clinical Nurse Specialist Educator 43 12.5%
H 1590 Clinic Manager 55 14.4%
H 1183, 1251 Diagnostic Imaging Administrative Director 2 18.0%
H 1184 Financial Analyst/Decision Support 20 0.6%
H 1580 Nurse Manager 53 10.5%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 177 11.3%
Job Family UW Job Code Manager/Strategic Advisor # UW Ees UW/Mkt 50th TCC
M 9806, 1176, 1926, 9514, 9552, 9556, 1386, 9586, 1315, 9626, 1336 Administrative Assistant 32 -9.0%
M 1250, 1300, 1500 Administrator (Large Organization) 82 8.4%
M 1248, 1298, 1503 Administrator (Small Organization) 82 -3.8%
M 1556 Auditor 11 12.2%
M 1532 Budget Analyst 9 -2.6%
M 1799 Compliance Analyst 45 -2.9%
M 1070 Construction Project Manager 25 5.6%
M 1157, 1257, 1314, 1944, 9557, 9587, 9517, 9807, 9817, 9627, 1337, 9553, 1927, 1387, 1177, 9513 Executive Assistant 214 -15.0%
M 1506 Food Service Assistant Manager 7 -3.3%
M 1508 Food Service Manager 6 1.7%
M 1775 Grants and Contracts Program Manager/Specialist 17 -2.4%
M 1089 Human Resources Consultant - Employee Relations 21 -5.6%
M 1110, 1130, 1150, 1510 Program Director/Manager (Large Program) 233 10.1%
M 1108, 1128, 1148, 1508, 1528 Program Director/Manager (Small Program) 45 1.2%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 829 -0.9%
Job Family UW Job Code Public Information/Communications # UW Ees UW/Mkt 50th TCC
P 1697 Graphic Designer 19 -8.1%
P 9735 Public Information Specialist (Entry Level) 1 -17.9%
P 1537, 9737 Public Information Specialist (Journey Level) 75 -8.1%
P 1538, 9738 Public Information Specialist (Senior Level) 80 -12.8%
P 1672, 9777 Publications Coordinator 10 -16.8%
P 1687, 9687 Web Content Specialist 27 -11.9%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 212 -10.8%
Job Family UW Job Code Research # UW Ees UW/Mkt 50th TCC
R 9691 Assistant Research Scientist/Research Engineer 75 -13.8%
R 9693, 1493 Associate Research Scientist/Research Engineer 338 -25.6%
R 1497 Principal Research Scientist/Research Engineer 87 -11.1%
R 9696 Research Consultant 52 -31.8%
R 1758 Research Coordinator 129 5.1%
R 1495 Research Scientist/Research Engineer 299 -17.2%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 980 -17.1%
Job Family UW Job Code Information Technology # UW Ees UW/Mkt 50th TCC
T 1681 Business System Analyst 27 0.0%
T 1735 Department IT Manager 40 -15.0%
T 1745 Director, IT (Large Organization) 13 -13.4%
T 1564 Netw ork Engineer 23 16.5%
T 1741 Principal Technology Program Manager - Enterprise-Wide Systems 24 -5.9%
T 1730 Senior Applications Systems Engineer - Enterprise-Wide Systems 68 -5.0%
T 1568 Senior Computer Specialist 319 -10.3%
T 1490, 1560 Software Engineer 84 5.0%
T 1572 Systems Programmer 21 -5.1%
T 1739 Technology Program Manager - Enterprise-Wide Systems 5 -7.9%
T 1680 Technology Project Manager 31 5.7%
T 1743 Web Computing Specialist 28 4.1%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 683 -5.3%

Note: TCC or total cash compensation is defined as base salary plus annual incentives/bonuses, such as short-term incentives. For jobs where there is little or no incentive opportunity, median total cash is effectively the same as the market 50th (median) base. Most jobs in higher education in fact have no bonus or incentive pay and therefore, for these jobs, base salary equals total cash, since the value of bonuses and annual incentives for these jobs is zero.

The University's identified market statistic for comparison purposes is median total cash. This presents somewhat of a problem for the University since some of the key surveys relied on for this study, such as CUPA, do not report total cash data. Other surveys, such as Towers Watson, may report average total cash but not median total cash. In light of this, for the purposes of this study the University requested Milliman make the working assumption for survey sources not reporting median total cash that median base be equal to median total cash.

Competitive Analysis By Salary Grade

The following tables provide comparison by grades for the benchmark positions.

Job Family UW Job Code Job Title UW Salary Grade # UW Ees UW/Mkt 50th TCC
H 1251, 1111 Diagnostic Imaging Administrative Director 11 2 18.0%
T 1745 Director, IT (Large Organization) 11 13 -13.4%
R 1497 Principal Research Scientist/Research Engineer 11 87 -11.1%
T 1741 Principal Technology Program Manager - Enterprise-Wide Systems 11 24 -5.9%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 126 -9.9%
M 1250, 1300, 1500 Administrator (Large Organization) 10 82 8.4%
H 1595 Chief Clinical Dietician 10 4 13.9%
H 1590 Clinic Manager 10 55 14.4%
H 1200 Clinical Nurse Specialist Educator 10 43 12.5%
M 1070 Construction Project Manager 10 25 5.6%
T 1735 Department IT Manager 10 40 -15.0%
D 1554 Major Gifts Officer 10 62 -16.7%
T 1564 Network Engineer 10 23 16.5%
H 1580 Nurse Manager 10 53 10.5%
M 1110, 1130, 1150, 1510 Program Director/Manager (Large Program) 10 233 10.1%
T 1730 Senior Applications Systems Engineer - Enterprise-Wide Systems 10 68 -5.0%
T 1490, 1560 Software Engineer 10 84 5.0%
T 1680 Technology Project Manager 10 31 5.7%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 803 5.1%
M 1532 Budget Analyst 9 9 -2.6%
T 1681 Business System Analyst 9 27 0.0%
M 1799 Compliance Analyst 9 45 -2.9%
D 1629 Development Officer 9 9 -7.8%
C 1209 Education Outreach - Program Manager 9 47 6.9%
H 1184 Financial Analyst/Decision Support 9 20 0.6%
M 1089 Human Resources Consultant - Employee Relations 9 21 -5.6%
R 1495 Research Scientist/Research Engineer 9 299 -17.2%
C 1361 Student or Academic Services Director 9 42 -13.2%
T 1572 Systems Programmer 9 21 -5.1%
T 1739 Technology Program Manager - Enterprise-Wide Systems 9 5 -7.9%
T 1743 Web Computing Specialist 9 28 4.1%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 573 -9.7%
C 1349, 1350 Academic Counselor - Lead 8 35 2.3%
M 1248, 1298, 1503 Administrator (Small Organization) 8 82 -3.8%
M 1556 Auditor 8 11 12.2%
M 1508 Food Service Manager 8 6 1.7%
M 1775 Grants and Contracts Program Manager/Specialist 8 28 -2.4%
H 1308 Mental Health Therapist 8 8 10.9%
M 1108, 1128, 1148, 1508, 1528 Program Director/Manager (Small Program) 8 45 1.2%
P 1538 Public Information Specialist (Senior Level) 8 80 -12.8%
R 1758 Research Coordinator 8 129 5.1%
T 1568 Senior Computer Specialist 8 319 -10.3%
C 1343 Student Services Advisor/Counselor (Lead) 8 20 7.3%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 763 -4.6%
R 9693, 1493 Associate Research Scientist/Research Engineer 7 338 -25.6%
C 1377, 9617 Counseling Services Coordinator 7 151 -14.5%
C 1207, 1967, 9837 Education Outreach Specialist (Entry) 7 68 1.5%
M 1157, 1257, 1314, 1337, 1387, 1944, 9557, 9587, 9553, 1177, 9517, 9807, 9817, 1927, 9513, 9627 Executive Assistant 7 214 -15.0%
P 1697 Graphic Designer 7 19 -8.1%
P 1537, 9737 Public Information Specialist (Journey Level) 7 75 -8.1%
P 1672, 9777 Publications Coordinator 7 10 -16.8%
C 1342, 9597 Student Services Advisor/Counselor (Senior) 7 28 3.2%
P 1687, 9687 Web Content Specialist 7 27 -11.9%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 930 -16.3
C 1347 Academic Counselor 6 35 -2.9%
M 9806, 1176, 1926, 9514, 1315, 9552, 9556, 1386, 9586, 9626, 1336 Administrative Assistant 6 32 -9.0%
M 1506 Food Service Assistant Manager 6 7 -3.3%
R 9696 Research Consultant 6 52 -31.8%
C 1341, 9596 Student Services Advisor/Counselor 6 25 -10.5%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 151 -15.4
R 9691 Assistant Research Scientist/Research Engineer 5 75 -13.8%
P 9735 Public Information Specialist (Entry Level) 5 1 -17.9%
Total Incumbents & Weighted Average: 76 -13.9

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UW Benchmark Job Descriptions

Counseling/Student Services

Development

Health Services

Managers/Strategic Advisors

Public Information/Communications

Research

Information Technology

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