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At the University of Kentucky, we know a competitive total compensation package helps us recruit and retain outstanding faculty and staff.

In addition to take-home pay, your total compensation at UK also includes:

  • Our generous 200% match on your retirement savings
  • A rich health insurance benefit
  • Robust health and well-being offerings
  • Tuition benefits for you and your eligible family members
  • Much more

All these factors contribute to make UK such a rewarding place to work. You can see your total compensation by logging into myUK and under Employee Self Service, click “Benefits and Payment,” then “Total Compensation Statement.”

You can also use our Total Compensation Calculator to find out the total value of all your UK pay and benefits.

Our compensation philosophy

Competitive salaries are a key component of our total compensation. UK has budgeted for campus staff and faculty salary increases in 10 of the past 11 years. Last year, the university invested more than $12.5 million in pay increases.

Our HR Compensation team strives to ensure all salaries at UK are competitive for our market and are equitably administered.

For every position at the university, including UK HealthCare, HR Compensation reviews the functions and context of the job responsibilities. 

Benchmarking jobs means that we match specific jobs to comparable jobs in the labor market. A benchmark job is one with a standard and consistent set of responsibilities from one organization to another. In those cases, data included in valid salary surveys tends to be reliable. 

The benchmark job is then slotted into the salary grade with a grade midpoint that is closest to the median salary reported in the surveys. 

At the same time, non-benchmark jobs are those for which valid and reliable salary survey data is not available. They may be unique to our organization or can’t be accurately matched to comparable positions in published surveys.

To determine the salary grade for a non-benchmark job, we take an objective approach. First, we compare non-benchmark jobs to benchmark jobs to find similar positions. The similarities are based on important factors like skill requirements, management responsibilities and scope, educational requirements, decision-making responsibilities, etc. We then slot the job into the appropriate salary grade based on other similar positions at that level.

Benchmarking also refers to grouping higher education institutions like ours. In addition, we consider the SEC colleges and universities to be part of our peer group. We then look at the median compensation for similar roles in the benchmark groups. We try to align the position’s salary grade mid-point with the market median. Of course, pay grading depends on the job duties, span of control, hierarchical departmental/area structures, budget and other factors. You can review all salary grade levels here.

HR Compensation recommends UK departments pay the midpoint of the salary grade level for employees with seven years of related experience. However, all salaries will be dependent upon many factors, including department budgets.

Pay equity

When any new employee is hired, we look for the same job title elsewhere within the department or in similar colleges or divisions. If a current employee in the same job title has more combined education and related experience than a candidate, the department can offer that candidate no more than 5% more than the current employee in the comparable position.

Here are the groups of colleges and divisions where we search for comparable positions:

Provost area
Dentistry, Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health
Engineering; Agriculture, Food and Environment
Business and Economics, Arts and Sciences, 8Zxxx Provost areas (includes Registrar, International Center)
Social Work, Communication and Information, Education, 89xxx Provost areas (includes PBO, Faculty Advancement)
Design, Fine Arts, Graduate School, Law, Honors College, Libraries
President’s areas
Student Success
Legal Counsel, Internal Audit, Institutional Diversity, Office of the President
EVPFA areas
Human Resources
Risk Management
Business and Finance
UKPD, Auxiliary Services, Transportation
Research areas
Finance and Administration, Tech Commercialization, VP of Research
Institute for Biomedical Informatics
Interdisciplinary Human Development
Kentucky Geological Survey
Research, Lab Animal Research/Veterinary Services
Center for Applied Energy
CCTS/Clinical Research


The university strives to attract, retain and motivate employees by maintaining a total compensation system that is externally competitive and internally consistent while being fiscally responsible.

Contact our office

Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(859) 257-9555 option 6
21 Scovell Hall
Contact Compensation