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Below is a list of commonly used terms to assist you when dealing with classification and compensation issues. This glossary is simply a guideline and any System Regulation or Rule would prevail any information listed.

Budgeted Staff Employee

A non-faculty employee whose position is specifically identified in the budget with a unique position ID. Budgeted staff positions are 50% or more effort (20 or more hours per week) for 4.5 months or longer and are benefit and retirement eligible.


When an individual moves from one position to another position having a lower pay range and/or less senior title requiring less education, experience and responsibility.


Salary adjustments made for the purpose of establishing a fair and more comparable relationship between the salaries of two or more employees in the same job title or pay range with consideration given to experience, education and certification. Equity adjustment requests may be submitted at any time throughout the year as deemed necessary by the employee’s manager.

Exempt Employee

An employee who is exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act does not have to be paid overtime when he or she works more than 40 hours in a work week. The three major general exemptions relate to executives, administrative employees, and professionals. Exempt status is based on the employee’s actual job duties and responsibilities.

Faculty Equivalent Positions

A term to define a non-teaching position that requires similar qualifications of a faculty position (i.e. Ph. D. or equivalent) and executes research activities such as designing, carrying out, and managing research, including services as principal investigators when appropriate, submission of research proposals, preparing research publications, supervising research staff and students. Because of the specialized nature of these positions, posting is limited to only that required by state and federal law.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

A federal law governing minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor and record-keeping requirements.

Hiring Manager

An employee that makes hiring decisions for budgeted employees.

Hiring Salary Adjustment

A salary adjustment that may be given to newly hired or promoted employees, after six months of service, who have specific skills and experience above the minimum qualifications for the position.

Job-Related Skill Enhancement Pay

May be given to staff who take the initiative through their own efforts to complete a prescribed course of study that is directly related to the position held. The employee must present evidence of mastery such as a degree, certificate, or license for consideration. Requests should be submitted within three months of employee obtaining additional degree or certification.


An increase that is added to an employee’s base pay in recognition of meritorious job performance as recorded in a formal and documented performance evaluation; merit increases are governed by System Regulation 31.01.08 Merit Salary Increases.

Merit Payment

A lump-sum payment that is not added to an employee’s base salary

Nonexempt Employee

A non-exempt employee is entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Overtime at Texas A&M Engineering is paid at a rate of one and one-half the nonexempt employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

Position Description

A standardized job description used to record duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of a position.


Occurs when an employee moves to a position with increased responsibilities or requiring greater skill, a higher salary grade/rate of pay and usually a different title. The rate increase is normally up to 10% based on the unit’s availability of funds, internal equity and the individual’s level of responsibility.


When the job duties and/or responsibilities of a position change significantly, the position should be evaluated for appropriateness of title and salary range. This evaluation may result in a title change and/or pay range adjustment.

Security Sensitive Position

A position is considered security sensitive if the answer is "Yes" to any one of the following questions.

  1. Do the duties of the position require dealing with currency?
  2. Does the position require access to master keys?
  3. Does the position require access to sensitive computer databases?
  4. Does the position require working in an area of the institution that is designates as a security sensitive area?
  5. Does the position require working in an area of the institution that involves working with children under the age of 18?

Temporary Salary Increase

An increase to compensate an employee who assumes additional or a higher level of responsibilities and duties on a temporary basis.

Total Compensation

Includes not only direct pay but also indirect compensation including insurance, retirement benefits, and time off programs.

USA Patriot Act

A federal law passed in 2001 that makes it illegal for restricted individuals to work with certain biological agents, toxins or delivery systems.