Salary Surveys for Atypical Jobs

An issue that often arises in small companies is the issue of how salaries are (or aren't) tied to external data. Many small companies have people who have titles that are 'typical', such as Office Manager, or Salesperson, but who actually do a wide variety of tasks outside what is normally associated with that role in a company. For example, the Office Manager might run the dispatch center, or be responsible for scheduling 15 part-time workers. The salesperson might also order company supplies and be responsible for performance reviews. A good, accurate, job description is the most important component of a fair salary analysis. (And that is the subject of another blog post.)

Ideally, you will have an idea of how much time is spent on the various tasks your employee spends on each area. If our Exemplar Office Manager spends half of her time on dispatch or scheduling, that is a significant change and needs to be compensated for appropriately. If its only a small portion of her typical week, it might not be necessary.

After you’ve verified the tasks’ distribution by percentage, go looking for salary data. To get the best data, examine several places online (and at least three) for salary data based on relevant job descriptions. In the end, I weight the data, and then use those weighted numbers to create an average and put it all together.

Here is an example for a job title I recently went through this process for:
Research Analyst Job Analysis
20% Market Research Analyst I
20% Research and Development Associate I
20% Project Manager I
15% Statistician I
15% Database Analyst I
10% Appraiser

That led to a spreadsheet with data from three places online, with data for each of the six jobs descriptions and salary that make up the role I was researching, distributed by the typical percentages. (10% of the workforce are paid X amount, 50% Y amount, etc.)

Payscale

Market Research Analyst
Research and Development Associate
Project Manager I
Statistician I      
Database Analyst I
RE Appraiser

Salary.com

Market Research Analyst I
Research and Development Associate I
Project Manager I
Statistician I     
Database Analyst I
Commercial RE Appraiser
Residential RE Appraiser

Workforce Explorer

Market Research Analyst            
Operations Research Analyst*         
Business Operations Specialists ***            
Statistician           
Computer Occupations, All Other        
RE Appraiser

* equiv. to R&D                                     
** equiv to Database Analyst                                    
*** equiv to Project Manager                                    

I weighted them by percentage and then added and averaged the rates to get my final pay data.

Average Weighted Salary Data

  10% 25% 50% 75% 90%
TOTAL $41,938 $49,048 $64,954 $66,513 $75,417
Hourly $20.16 $23.58 $31.23 $31.98 $36.26


The process is a bit tedious and time-consuming; and free information can be somewhat unreliable as it is based primarily on self-reported information. But this is an effective method of getting solid data upon which to base your salary ranges. Moreover, its based on data, not 'gut' or guesswork and is repeateable year after year.

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