FAQs

  1. What type of market data do you report in your surveys?
  2. Where do you get your market data for your survey databases?
  3. How current is your market data?
  4. How do these surveys differ from ERI's Assessor Series?
  5. How do you define total direct annual compensation, annual salary, incentive/variable pay, etc.?
  6. How are benchmark job titles selected to be included in ERI Salary Surveys?
  7. Where can I find more detailed pay information?
  8. Who uses ERI surveys?
  9. How is the rate of error calculated?
  10. What is the difference between "mean" and "median"?
  11. How are percentiles defined?
  12. Do you report "gross" or "net" amounts?
  13. Who produces the surveys?
  14. Does ERI provide benefits reports?
  15. What if I can't find the job and location I'm researching in an ERI salary survey?
  16. Where should I go for compensation advice?
  17. How many hours of work are considered in your annual gross income rates?
  18. Can I get historical pay data?
  19. How do I purchase an ERI survey?
  20. What are the different survey formats that are available?
  21. If I participate in a salary or benefits survey, do I get a discount on the purchase price?
  22. How are the US regions defined?
  23. I participated on behalf of my organization last year. Can I access our previously submitted data?
  24. Do the participation discounts apply to other ERI products and services?
  25. How are the Selected Characteristics of Occupations (SCOs) defined?
  26. What is ERI's Service Agreement for ERI Salary Surveys?
  27. What is the methodology for ERI Salary Surveys?
  • What type of market data do you report in your surveys?

    Numerous industry-specific and job function surveys are published annually with data from for-profit and nonprofit organizations that vary in size from extremely small to extremely large. There are three (3) sections of data provided (when possible) on each benchmark job. The first shows data extracted from ERI's Public Database. The second section of data comes directly from the ERI Assessor Database. The third section is data reported for the current year in our Survey Participant Database.

  • Where do you get your market data for your survey databases?

    ERI reports three sections of data with their own sources:

    1. Public Databases

      Executive information is from public domain IRS Form 990 EOs/EZs/PFs and is obtained by ERI's optical character recognition (OCR) or digitization of these forms. Over 2.5 million observations are added each year, and there are now compensation amounts for over 26 million nonprofit employees in the ERI survey database. Data is, in part, also leased for perpetual use from the Urban Institute and GuideStar and may contain industry assignment and other errors. Standard errors are calculated from the distribution of the data and may be reproduced by observation. The number of incumbents are counts of actual data points. The full dataset is available with the purchase of any ERI Nonprofit Comparables Assessor subscription. This application enables many powerful analyses as it contains a wide range of management jobs, years 1992 to the present, for all US geographic areas/addresses, with all available information categorized by industry, size, year, and geographic location.

      Non-executive benchmarks are composite results of the US OES Occupational Employment and Wage Survey. The word composite refers to ERI's reporting data from over 600 US metropolitan and state areas surveyed by the OES. Reported with the OES' relative standard error and job family populations, ERI parses the family data into specific jobs using three eDOT Skills Project methodologies developed for its Occupational Assessor (Disability Determination Module) and graphically displays a probable distribution. Relative salaries by job within a job family are profiled based upon competitive ranking for these jobs found within ERI's Salary Assessor.

    2. ERI Assessor Database

      Data reported from ERI Assessor Series databases reflects data as of March 31 of the given survey year. Salary values of the Salary Assessor are the compiled results of licensed Canadian and US salary surveys and datasets collected and analyzed by ERI, as well as analyses derived from millions of data points gathered annually from loan and employment applicant earnings verifications, digitized public records including the US SEC, OCR of US IRS returns, and ERI patented online surveys. ERI's Assessor Series is by far the more robust analysis, but may not satisfy some governmental regulations' definition of a "survey." That said, over ten thousand organizations use ERI's Assessor Series analyses annually to plan salaries.

      This survey cuts a power curve, or regression line, through the data shown for the size, industry, and geographic area's grouping of data points, which are displayed as dots. Nonprofit analyses represent power curves through Form 990/EZ/PF data digitized by ERI or leased from GuideStar. Neither is a study of a job function over time; both illustrate regression curves through real data. This survey reports results as reflections of practices in only one of 1,400 industries found in ERI's Nonprofit Comparables Assessor. Data from 14,000 for-profit and 485,000 tax-exempt organizations has been digitized, making these survey databases the largest ever for executive compensation surveys. The Executive Compensation Assessor allows for city area analyses, rather than state-wide analyses (as in the Nonprofit Comparables Assessor), for data planning dates other than March 31, and unlimited industry sub-sector analyses.

      Non-management data is drawn from ERI's Salary Assessor and its 7,000+ job titles. It is also a study of jobs over time so that no single year's data collection is allowed to distort results, typically created by a vagary in a survey sample population.

    3. Survey Participant Database

      ERI solicits participant data by distributing survey questionnaires to past and potential participants via the mail and e-mail. Survey submissions are accepted online or via e-mail. Questionable submissions are verified with participants before inclusion in the survey. Market data reported are actual data points collected and calculations of simple averages, percentiles, counts, and rates of error. No attempt is made to alter the data as reported other than to normalize collected compensation amounts to a common date and remove outliers. These are not analyses like those provided to ERI Assessor Series subscribers, but rather actual reported data.

      For more information, please refer to the survey methodology.

      For the most accurate, up-to-date salary information by position, industry, employer size, and location, we direct HR Professionals to ERI Economic Research Institute Assessor Series applications.

  • How current is your market data?

    Compensation reports are released in early August, with a data effective date of March 31. The Benefits Benchmarking Survey is released in early April, with a data effective date of January 1.

  • How do these surveys differ from ERI's Assessor Series?

    ERI Salary Surveys are not "analyses" like those provided to ERI's Assessor Series subscribers; rather, they are reports of actual data points collected and calculations of simple averages, percentiles, counts, and rates of error. One source provided shows data reported by actual participants. The other two sources show data points that are reported in national surveys for comparison. No attempt is made to alter the ERI Salary Surveys data source as collected, reported, and/or graphically displayed other than to normalize collected compensation amounts to a common date and to remove outliers. This is a traditional compensation survey.

  • How do you define total direct annual compensation, annual salary, incentive/variable pay, total annual compensation, total direct annual compensation, and allowances & benefits?

    Total Direct Annual Compensation
    The Total Direct Annual Compensation is the sum of Annual Salary and Incentive/Variable Pay.

    Annual Salary
    Annual salaries are gross base pay, and are exclusive of premium, incentive, or variable pay.

    Incentive/Variable Pay
    Incentive/variable pay includes annual bonuses, commissions, and rewards from variable pay plans.

    Total Annual Compensation
    The Total Annual Compensation is the sum of Direct Compensation and Allowances and Benefits.

    Direct Compensation
    Direct Compensation includes salary, fees, bonuses, and severance payments paid, along with payments of amounts reportable as deferred compensation.

    Allowances & Benefits
    Allowances & Benefits include all welfare benefit plan payment, all other forms of deferred compensation and future severance payments, both taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits, expense allowances, and reimbursements that recipients must report as income.

  • How are benchmark job titles selected to be included in ERI Salary Surveys?

    Benchmark job titles and accompanying job descriptions are taken from either the ERI Executive Compensation Assessor or the ERI Salary Assessor. Participant data collected in ERI Salary Surveys goes directly into each of the Assessor Series databases at the conclusion of the survey cycle.

    Benchmark job titles are assigned to each survey based on industry-fit or customer request. Benchmark job titles may change from year to year, but never when participant data is obtained.

  • Where can I find more detailed pay information?

    Expert users, such as Human Resource and Compensation Departments of major companies, pay consultants, contractors, and attorneys, often conducting prevailing wage analyses, typically rely on the wide-ranging and long-proven databases of ERI Economic Research Institute. ERI has been the authoritative source of current consensus competitive pay survey information for over seven thousand corporate subscribers, including most of the Fortune 500 companies, and thousands of consultants, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies for three decades. Their survey analysis application is interactive and reasonably priced, for corporate and expert research use.

    ERI's Salary Assessor provides consensus salary ranges for more than 7,000 position titles as compiled from available published wage and salary survey sources. Estimates may be adjusted for user inputs of salary planning date, metro area, industry, and company size. The Salary Assessor includes position descriptions for job matching. Benchmark listings for jobs by industry, as well as multiple area listings for a single job in up to 500 metro areas, are provided in summary listings. The Salary Assessor includes reliability statistics to meet a Daubert challenge.

    ERI's Executive Compensation Assessor compares salaries and bonuses for more than 600 position titles in the US, Canada, and Europe. Executive compensation levels are calculated based on user input for position, industry, location, pay strategy, executive performance, and salary planning date. Compare your organization’s executive pay packages to competitors, viewing their past compensation packages for top officers, including stock options and benefits. This is the most comprehensive database of executive compensation information available.

    ERI's Nonprofit Comparables Assessor compares executive compensation at nonprofit organizations in the United States. Executive compensation levels are calculated based on user input for position, industry, pay strategy, and executive performance. Utilized by the IRS and the NY State Attorney General Charities Bureau, ERI is a trusted source of compensation data.

  • Who uses ERI surveys?

    ERI publishes compensation and benefits survey reports that are used by customers and ERI subscribers. Numerous industry-specific and job function surveys are published annually with data from organizations that vary in size from extremely small to extremely large. Clients have included such diverse organizations as associations and other not-for-profit organizations, governmental agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. in addition to the for-profit sector.

  • How is the rate of error calculated?

    Each benchmark job will have a rate of error displayed for each applicable database. Compensation levels paid may differ remarkably between these categories. Rather than combine these databases, this survey provides each separately to allow the user to make his/her own determinations and/or comparisons.

    1. 990 Tax-Exempt Database
      Data is shown on the graph using a power curve (polynomial regression analyses). A standard error is reported based upon the actual data shown in this survey data population.
    2. Public Databases
      Information is principally from government and nonprofit organizations, using composite results of the US OES Occupational Employment and Wage Survey. This US Government survey reports a Relative Standard Error which is reproduced for the year, area, and job family requested.
    3. U.S. Proxy & ERI Executive Databases
      Data is shown on the graph using a cubic spline curve through both observed and survey data. The standard error is calculated only from measurements of variance from predicted mean displayed.
    4. ERI Industry Database
      This information on primarily for-profit company employees is from ERI patented online, interactive salary surveys, and Assessor Series databases. Because data is collected for individual jobs and not reported by either years of experience, level, or compared to an organizational size dimension (as is the case with Assessor Series presentations), the calculation provides a Standard Deviation measure.
    5. Survey Participant Database
      Standard errors are calculated via the traditional formula of dividing the sample standard deviation by the square root of the sample size. The error value shown is a Relative Standard Error (which is the Standard Error divided by the Mean expressed as a percentage).

    A rate of error will not be shown where more than one source of data exists. The mixing of OES Relative Standard Error from nonprofit/public sources, regression derived Standard Errors, and ERI's Standard Deviations does not allow the presentation of a meaningful, defensible statistical measure as it might combine three different types of error measure. If shown, the rate of error is derived as described above from the one data source reported.

  • What is the difference between "mean" and "median"?

    The mean is the average of all survey data available for the particular job that is being reported. The mean can be found by first summing the values of all the observations in a sample or population and then dividing by the total number of observations. This is the most common measure of central tendency.

    The median is the value at which half of all incumbents earn more and half of all incumbents earn less than the calculated salary. The median can be found by rank-ordering all observations from lowest to highest and taking the middle observation. Medians are the preferred measure of central tendency in populations with skewed distributions or populations with large numbers of outliers.

  • How are percentiles defined?

    The general definition of a percentile is a point on a rank-ordered scale, found by dividing a group of observations into parts in order of magnitude from lowest to highest. The first percentile approximates the very lowest/bottom number found, while the 100th percentile is the very highest reported. The nth percentile is the point exceeding n percent of the observations. For example, in test taking, a score equal to or greater than 55 percent of those earned on an exam is said to be at the 55th percentile.

    Percentile amounts shown in ERI reports are a measurement of how much variation there is in the salaries paid to employees in comparison to the mean or median salary for the job. The more variation in the salaries paid to employees, the larger the difference will be between the mean/median and the 10th, 25th, 75th, & 90th percentile values. The more uniform the salaries are for employees in a job, the smaller the difference between the percentile measurements and the mean/median.

    "Quartile" is a statistical term that describes three points (or intervals) that divide a group of ordered data points (or observations) into four parts. Each quartile includes 25% of the total number of data points. Depending on how the data points are distributed, the quartile intervals could be close together or very far apart.

    The salaries displayed for the percentiles are statistically determined from the salary data of salaries paid for the job in question. Salary data is non-parametric in nature, and therefore does not follow a normal distribution (bell shaped curve) above and below the mean. The percentiles shown are as close as can be statistically determined given the nature of non-parametric data.

  • Do you report "gross" or "net" amounts?

    Our reported base pay and incentive/variable pay amounts are all pre-tax gross amounts.

  • Who produces the surveys?

    ERI Economic Research Institute staff produces all of the industry, job family, and benefits surveys in-house. No aspect of the survey process is outsourced.

    ERI assures that all data collected from participating organizations will remain confidential.

    INTERNET:www.erieri.com/salarysurveys
    PHONE: (877) 210-6563
    E-MAIL:survey.sales@erieri.com
    MAIL: ERI Economic Research Institute
    111 Academy Drive, Suite 270
    Irvine, CA 92617
  • Does ERI provide benefits reports?

    Yes, ERI publishes the Benefits Benchmarking Survey, one of the most comprehensive benefits survey published. The report is released in early April, with a data effective date of January 1.

  • What if I can't find the job and location I'm researching in an ERI salary survey?

    For the most reliable salary survey data, we recommend ERI Economic Research Institute's Salary Assessor, which provides consensus salary ranges for more than 7,000 position titles as compiled from available published wage and salary survey sources. The application covers all 298 major cities in North America, expanding to over 8,000 locations when used with the Geographic Assessor (plus hundreds of cities in the UK and Europe). Estimates may be adjusted for user inputs of salary planning date, metro area, industry, and company size. The Salary Assessor includes position descriptions for job matching. Benchmark listings for jobs by industry, as well as multiple area listings for a single job in up to 500 metro areas, are provided in summary listings. The Salary Assessor includes reliability statistics to meet a Daubert challenge.

    For those seeking global salary data, we recommend the broader, but less robust, Global Salary Calculator, which provides salary data for more than 45,000 job titles in 69 countries.

  • Where should I go for compensation advice?

    ERI does not provide compensation advice or consulting services. Please contact a qualified compensation consultant for compensation or benefits advice. You can find consultants via membership organizations such as WorldatWork or SHRM. The ERI Distance Learning Center, offers free online human resources courses and monthly webinars on compensation topics for a small fee.

  • How many hours of work are considered in your annual gross income rates?

    All amounts are stated in terms of annual gross amounts based on a standard workweek of 40 hours, and are reported in terms of a full-time work year consisting of 2,080 hours.

  • Can I get historical pay data?

    Yes, prior years of our industry and job function surveys may be purchased for historical market analysis. Information can be obtained on our website or by calling (877) 210-6563.

  • How do I purchase an ERI salary survey?

    Please call us at (877) 210 6563.

  • What are the different survey formats that are available?

    The survey report is available via an online application that includes features to download to a PDF document and to export the compensation table to an Excel file.

  • If I participate in a salary or benefits survey, do I get a discount on the purchase price?

    Absolutely! As a participant, you will receive a complimentary executive summary of the survey results by email when the study is completed and you qualify for the participant rate when purchasing the full survey report. All subscribers to any of ERI’s Assessor Seriesproducts receive survey results FREE of charge with participation. For more information, email survey.sales@erieri.com or call (877) 210-6563.

  • How are the US regions defined?

    Our compensation surveys are available with data cuts by US region. States included in each region are as follows:

    Northeast Region: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
    Southeast Region: Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
    North Central Region: Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming
    South Central Region: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah
    West Coast Region: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington
  • I participated on behalf of my organization last year. Can I access our previously submitted data?

    Yes. Your online participation history is accessible in your secured account. Past online submissions may be edited and submitted for the current participation window.

  • Do the participation discounts apply to other ERI products and services?<

    No. Participation discounts only apply to the survey in which you submit data. There is no limit to the number of applicable surveys in which you can participate.

  • How are the Selected Characteristics of Occupations (SCOs) defined?

    Please see Selected Characteristics of Occupations (SCOs).

  • What is ERI's Service Agreement for ERI Salary Surveys?

    See the ERI Services Agreement.

    Please note: You must be logged into https://online.erieri.com/ to access this document.

  • What is the methodology for ERI Salary Surveys?

    See the survey methodology.