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Division of Human Resources

USC Market Structure

In 2023 the university implemented a market structure for all full-time equivalent (FTE), research grant (RGP) and time limited (TML) positions that includes a job library, leveling guide and market pay structure. The University of South Carolina’s compensation system is a market-driven structure aimed at recruiting and retaining top talent and equitably paying employees.

Job Library

The job library is the collection of job specific roles that exist within the university. It is comprised of job families, job functions, market titles and levels. Each position within the university is aligned to a job within the job library based on the essential duties, scope of responsibility, and minimum qualifications and is used to facilitate comparison with positions internal and external to the university.

Commonly Used Definitions 

Job Families

A job family is a collection of jobs that involve work in the same general occupation. These jobs have differing, and increasing, levels of related knowledge requirements, skills, and abilities to carry out progressively higher-level job responsibilities and duties.

Job Functions

A job function is a sub-set of a job family, usually more specific areas of responsibility or more specialized in nature.

Job Levels

A job level identifies typical education and experience requirements and expected scope of responsibilities for jobs

USC Market Title

Each distinct job has a USC Market Title. The USC Market Title is a general reflection of the position’s essential duties and scope of responsibility and is meant to facilitate comparisons with positions outside of USC.

Market Pay Ranges

The Market Pay Range is a position–specific pay range that balances external market value with the ranges established by the State.


Leveling Guide

The leveling guide compliments the job library by organizing each specific market title into the organizational job levels for job type.  It provides expectations for organizational impact, supervisory scope, expected knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as typical education and experience requirements.  The leveling guide is designed to serve as a tool when developing new positions and planning employee career paths.

Market Pay Structure 

A market-based pay structure is a hierarchy of pay ranges that is used to align or group jobs into the individual ranges based on scope of responsibility, level, and competitive value.  Each range represents the level of pay that is fair and competitive for the aligned jobs based on the university’s desired market competitiveness.  Market ranges are reviewed annually and updated as necessary.



A collection of employers with comparable jobs to the University’s job library.  Includes USC's peer and peer aspirant institutions, additional comparable institutions, as well as private and public sector employers.  Jobs typically recruited locally were priced compared to South Carolina employers and those typically recruited nationally were priced using employer data across the nation. 

Market title assignment is based on the information provided in the position description request. Duties, responsibilities, requirements, knowledge/skills/abilities are key factors in ultimate assignment of market title. The market title assignment is not tied to the position’s current incumbent.  

New market titles are requested by departmental HR contacts. If the HR contact does not find a market title that fits the needs of a new or updated job in their area, a PD modification action is initiated. In the justification section include information about the ideal job function, family, and level the position should be and submit the request to Class/Comp for evaluation.   

The market title is independent of the internal title. In some instances, they may be the same, but the internal title can be more specific than the market title.  


Market title – Administrative Assistant 

Internal title – Office Manager

Reclassification is a State term for the change from one State classification to another. 

Additional duties and responsibilities could alter the job level and could alter the market title. However, not all ADRs will be associated with a change in market title. It would be dependent on the how the whole of the updated position description now best aligns to the market structure. 

The market ranges are narrower and more meaningful than state broad banding. They relate the position to the market value for the job. 

Employees who were actively employed on or before 1/1/2023 may be ‘red circled,’ meaning their salary is above the max of their position’s assigned market range. Red lined employees are not eligible for salary increases in the current position, with the exception of State mandated increases, but may be eligible as they progress in their career path, i.e. the scope and level of responsibility increase to a higher level.’. 

Positions may exist at different levels across departments. A position's level is determined by the duties, responsibilities, requirements, job complexity, and knowledge/skills/abilities. As the level increases, the market range increases accordingly.

View this example of how levels differ within the same market title. 

Market titles are available for employees to view on their position description. Follow this user guide for step-by-step instructions on how to access the position description.



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