Harvard offers competitive salaries that are designed to attract, retain, and reward the performance of talented employees. We do this through vigilant attention to both market conditions and our position within the higher education and local and national employment markets.

Our salaries – combined with comprehensive benefits, generous paid time-off, access to education and professional development, and a vibrant campus with abundant cultural and recreational opportunities – create a competitive and compelling total rewards package.

Determining compensation at Harvard

Harvard is committed to a systematic, data-driven approach to staff compensation in all occupational areas and in all schools and units. Harvard’s compensation system for staff is designed to:

  • Ensure pay that is competitive
  • Flexibly respond to changing internal and external circumstances
  • Promote pay equity and consistency across Harvard

The Harvard Human Resources Compensation department gathers and analyzes market data about salaries from higher education and industry sources on a regular basis and also reviews and adjusts University salary ranges to compete with this external market. Survey sources represent local and national markets, along with specialty markets such as biotechnology, information technology, museums, etc. Eligibility for overtime pay, as well as review of internal equity is also closely monitored.

Individual compensation discussions begin during the hiring process. They may then occur at a variety of times, including following a job review, during the annual increase process, and related to the performance assessment discussion.

Pay practices for staff members represented by a union at Harvard are established through the collective bargaining process.

Starting salaries

Starting salaries vary depending on experience, skills and the market for the position. The hiring department, working with guidelines from the Harvard Compensation department, determines the externally competitive and internally equitable salary for each new employee. Starting salaries will generally be in the lower part of the salary range for the position.

Annual salary increase program

Harvard annual salary increase program depends up your employee type. For administrative and professional staff and other nonunion staff, consideration for an annual merit salary increase typically follows the formal performance management process near the end of each fiscal year. To strengthen the link between performance and pay, the University encourages regular meetings between staff and supervisors throughout the year.

Salary increases for staff represented by a union are established through the collective bargaining process and union members should consult their contract for details.