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Division of Human Resources

Staff Career Growth

The University of South Carolina values its employees and has pay programs to support and reward career growth both within current roles or through other internal job opportunities. Advancing the careers and pay of our employees is a top priority.

Growth in Current Position

Employees have multiple opportunities to grow within their current positions at USC. Increases in pay for employees within their current position are often associated with changes in their position descriptions. Managers and HR Contacts play a key role in ensuring position descriptions are accurate, up-to-date and communicated to employees.

The position description is an overall summary of a job which records the qualifications and abilities necessary to perform the job successfully and outlines the specific responsibilities of the job. Each position description should answer these questions:

  •  Why does the job exist (what is the goal of the position)?
  •  What does the position need to do?
  •  How will the job be performed?
  • Where does this position fit in the hierarchy?

For help determining how to organize positions in a hierarchy, view this tutorial.

Maintaining an accurate and updated position description is an essential task for managers and HR contacts because the position description dictates job expectations for the employee. The position description serves as a communication tool between the supervisor and employee, as well as the basis for annual performance planning and job postings. The position description can also provide the justification for a variety of pay increases for employees.

The duties and responsibilities may be allocated to the current position within a unit. This addition to a current position may result in a change in market title and possibly a change in job level.  Should the need arise to remove duties or responsibilities from a position description, the unit should work closely with the Division of Human Resources to navigate the change.

Salary Increases within Current Market Range

There are a variety of salary increases available to employees who consistently perform above and beyond the position’s requirements, gain additional skills or knowledge, and other circumstances where an employee’s performance could be acknowledged with a base salary increase.

If an employee currently occupies the position, and as appropriate, a salary increase of up to 15% may be granted for the addition of responsibilities.

  • A significant increase in service or productivity through innovation
  • Demonstrated positive attitude and spirit of service and cooperation
  • A record of exceptional service
  • A substantial contribution to the goals of the unit through the performance of special assignments or the provision of exceptional customer service not previously included in performance objectives

A performance increase may occur once within a rotating 12-month period and may be granted for up to a 15% increase.

May be granted when an employee gains additional skills or knowledge directly related to the job. An employee’s salary may be increased by up to 15% for the acquisition of additional skills or knowledge.

May be granted to correct an identified salary inequity, salary compression, or to address a job market salary discrepancy for the position.

May be granted when an employee has a bona fide job offer from another employer, either within or outside of State government, documented by an offer letter from the offering employer, and an agency wishes to retain the services of this employee in the current position. An employee’s salary may be increased by up to 15% for the purpose of retention.

Awarded by the State legislature and in accordance with the provisions of the annual Appropriation Act when applicable.

Movement to a New Position

Employees can move up, down, or laterally to new positions which may include a change in their base salary.

A promotion occurs when an employee moves from one position to a different position which is higher. A one step promotion is a promotion of an employee one organizational level above the employee’s current level, and as appropriate, the posting requirement may be waived. Employees who are promoted must be paid at least the minimum of the new market range. At the time of promotion, an employee may receive a salary increase. This increase may be up to 15% of their current salary or an increase to the market range midpoint, whichever is greater.

A reassignment occurs when an employee moves from one position to another position having the same State pay band.  If additional responsibility, beyond what is included in the employee’s current position, is taken on with the new position, an increase may be granted up to 15% of their current salary.

Movement to a Lower Position

When employees move from one established position to a different established position which has a lower state pay band or lower market range, if unclassified, this movement is considered a demotion or a reclassification down. There are several reasons for movement to a lower position.

An employee may voluntarily request the change either to a lower position or reduction in duties. The employee’s salary may be reduced and any reduction would be approved by the Division of Human Resources.

May occur due to a reorganization or restructuring of the positions within a unit to meet the institutional needs of the area. For a covered employee, the salary may be reduced, however, not for a period of six months from the date of the change. For noncovered positions or after the expiration of the six-month period for covered position, with the approval of the Division of Human Resources, the employee's salary may be reduced no more than 15% or to the midpoint of the pay band, whichever is lower.

An employee who, as the result of a disciplinary action or unsatisfactory rating on an EPMS evaluation, may have their position reclassified down.  Any resulting salary decrease, with the approval of the Division of Human Resources, would occur at the time of the action.

For more information, view the following HR policies:

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.