Sources of Salary Market Data

The University has selected a number of reliable, well established salary surveys to provide salary market data reflecting the markets in which we recruit and compete for professional and scientific talent.  This includes:

  • Different geographical markets (national, regional, local),
  • Different business sectors (education, health care, general industry), and
  • Internal market comparisons (SEIU/AFSCME).

In order to get reliable information on a majority of University positions, a number of survey sources were identified.  Whenever possible, multiple sources were used for a specific benchmark job, using data that most closely reflects our size, complexity and geographic location.  A summary of the specific surveys used is provided below:


The Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey is conducted by the College and University Personnel Association (CUPA).  The survey collects salary and demographic data for approximately 200 selected administrative positions (typically at the level of director or above) from colleges and universities nationwide.  The Professionals in Higher Education Salary Survey collects salary and demographic data for approximately 300 selected mid-level positions (typically below the director level).  For our analysis, we focused specifically on the salary information from Big Ten Universities and other peer institutions within each survey.

Mercer Benchmark

The Mercer Metro Benchmark survey is for general industry and our analysis focuses on the North Central region of the United States. It is recognized by compensation professionals as a leading survey to determine salary levels for employees. This survey provides salary information for over 400 positions.  Mercer is committed to being your leading compensation data provider and constantly strives to improve the value and relevance of the survey data for their clients. The results allow for market refinements such as industry super sector, employee work location, net sales revenue and full-time equivalents.


This nationwide survey collects compensation data for over 400 professional, managerial and director-level staff positions specific to higher-education institutions.  This survey provides national salary information for selected positions's Comp Analyst tool is an online service that allows users to market price jobs by industry, geography, and organization size.  It also allows jobs to be blended when a specific job classification match isn't appropriate.  This service is not the same as that is available to the public on the internet.  The service that we are using is a special professional-grade compensation database that has been compiled using specialized salary surveys.  The online library allows access to market price more than 4000 positions.

Towers Watson Professional Administrative Services

The Professional Administrative Services survey provides salary information for non-management and administrative positions in more than 150 different job families.  The data is reported at multiple levels of responsibility and experience within each job family.

Towers Watson Professional Specialized Services

The Professional Specialized Services survey provides salary information for non-management and administrative positions in approximately 100 different job families.  The focus is on IT, supply chain and other specialized professional classifications.  The data is reported at multiple levels of responsibility and experience within each job family.

Towers Watson Health Care Management & Executive

Survey provides salary information for more than 140 health care executive and management classifications.  The data is broken out by For-Profit, Not-For-Profit and Government health care institutions.

Compdata - Benchmark

BenchmarkPro provides cross-industry salary data for more than 350 general staff titles, as well as comprehensive benefit and pay practices information.  This is a national, general industry survey.

Compdata - College

The Compensation Data Colleges and Universities survey results provides a comprehensive look at salary information for approximately 150 job titles across the campus, including Faculty administration, higher education and general staff positions.

Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP)

This survey provides salary information for Arts, Culture and Entertainment job classifications and comes from a consortium of 21 United States university presenting organizations. The consortium was formed in 2002 to share best practices and information, organize joint projects, provide a format for peer to peer contact and advocate for the role of performing arts presenters in major research universities.

Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)

The AUTM Salary Survey is the most comprehensive survey for academic technology transfer professional positions. This survey assesses 10 common professional positions from over 100 organizations. 

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

This survey collects information about compensation for administrative positions in basic and clinical science departments, as well as interdisciplinary centers, which include cancer centers and clinical and translational science award programs. Ninety-one medical schools reported compensation data for over 1,800 administrators.  Information is separated by Public and Private medical schools.

Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH)

This survey contains data from over 200 health care organizations covering over 275 positions.  Almost all professional level medical center positions are surveyed. The survey has multiple modules with salary information for both multiple hospital systems and single facilities.  Analysis is summarized by organization size and geographic area.

Division 1A Athletic Directors Compensation Survey

Athletics Departments throughout the country participate in an annual survey of over 150 professional, administrative and coaching positions.   For our analysis, we focused specifically on the salary information from Big Ten Universities and other peer institutions.

Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) analyzes salary data for all professional staff working in over 120 ARL member libraries covering over 1,000 professional staff in more than 100 university ARL libraries.

National Association of College and University Attorneys

The NACUA survey provides salary information for attorneys in higher education.  There are breakdowns for types of institutions, geographic regions, operating budgets, enrollments, total employees, and more.