Acquiring New Skills

Acquiring New Skills

A salary increase may be warranted when new skills or additional knowledge is used on a regular basis, and the employee can do his/her job at an expanded level as a result of the new skills/knowledge.

The Process

  • Where required, obtain approval from the designated senior administrator to ensure that established procedures within a department or school are followed.
  • Consult with Compensation and/or your Human Resources Officer for guidance in making an informed decision before discussing any salary change with an employee.
  • Review the guidelines and “key considerations” (below) in determining whether an increase is appropriate.
  • Compare the employee's current salary to salaries of those in his/her peer group. An increase may or may not be appropriate, based on internal equity.


  • A pay increase, typically up to 5%, may be considered when an employee has acquired and makes regular use of significant new skills/knowledge.
  • An increase may vary depending on market forces and, in some cases, a request may warrant a market study.
  • There are two categories of skill acquisition:
    1. Acquisition and use of premium skills/knowledge

      Such skills or knowledge is rare but critical to the department/Institute for either a specific initiative or an ongoing process.

      Example: Specific, computer/software skills may be relatively rare in the market and generally require specific, focused training.

    2. Acquisition and use of special skills/knowledge that an employee demonstrates

      These are not required by all individuals currently in the position, but they significantly enhance the value of the individual and benefit the department/Institute.

      Example: An employee's facilitation skills may enhance the effectiveness of all team members and the productivity of the team.

Key Considerations

    • If an individual's work changes as a result of acquiring a new certification or degree, then an increase may be warranted due to the increased responsibilities or complexity of the position.
    • Acquiring a new skill or obtaining additional knowledge while remaining in the same position does not always translate into a pay increase.
    • Acquiring skills/knowledge to remain current in a position does not always warrant a pay increase.

Example: When there is a change in technology or software for the entire Institute, everyone must learn the new technology to do their job and stay current (as when the Institute moved legacy systems to SAP).