Ball State University utilizes a student wage plan that includes variable pay rates recognizing the complexity of the work performed, current merit/market conditions, job experience, special skills, and other factors. In addition, departments may award longevity increases to student employees at the end of each semester to become effective with the next academic term.
The student employee wage levels included in this document are provided as suggestions to assist departments in recognizing and appropriately compensating the differences in student positions within their vice-presidential areas. Differences in student wage rates should be based upon the complexity of the work activities and the skill level and experience required performing them.
The current campus minimum wage rate is $7.25 an hour which coincides with the federal minimum wage rate. Regular undergraduate student employees may not earn more than $9.00 an hour.
Each vice president approves wage guidelines for departments in his or her unit. Questions about wage rates will be referred to the vice president, dean, or department chair, depending upon the one who assumes responsibility for establishing wage rates in a particular area. The Career Center does not have the authority to approve wage rates and longevity increases nor to determine market or equity issues.
Three factors may be used to evaluate student positions: 1) the level of skills and previous experience required, 2) the complexity of the essential functions of the position, and 3) the amount of supervision by a university supervisor that the position requires. For purposes of job review and determining wage level, these factors may be broken down into nine elements: 1) previous experience required, 2) previous training required, 3) licensing or certification required, 4) complexity of general duties, 5) decision making, 6) technical complexity, 7) supervision received, 8) supervision provided, and 9) job context.
There are three suggested student employee wage levels.
Student Wage Level I
Jobs at this level are typically entry-level or trainee jobs requiring basic skills that may be performed without previous training or work experience. Essential duties are routine tasks following prescribed procedures. The employee may follow standardized instructions, operate basic equipment, and perform repetitive duties. Some independent judgment or decision making is required. The student works under close supervision and may receive on-the-job training. The suggested wage range for Level I positions is a minimum of $7.25 an hour to a maximum of $7.75 an hour.
Student Wage Level II
Jobs at this level are typically intermediate positions requiring related experience or training. Essential duties vary from routine to semi-complex requiring independent judgment or decision making; previous knowledge of the work area may be required; duties are varied and may require specialized technical skills; the student may be eligible for certification opportunities. The student works under moderate supervision and may receive additional training or specialized instruction. The suggested wage range for Level II positions is a minimum of $7.75 an hour to a maximum of $8.25 an hour.
Student Wage Level III
Jobs at this level are typically advanced positions requiring special skills acquired through previous experience, specialized training, or related course work. Essential duties are complex and require independent decision making, problem solving skills, and individual initiative not covered by routine procedures; the student may be responsible for creating or developing processes, procedures, or materials; he or she may also research and analyze information, make recommendations, consult with others, and creatively apply related skills; the student may assign, review, or monitor the work of other student employees, may be required to have certifications, and may receive advanced training. The student works under indirect supervision. The suggested wage range for Level III positions is a minimum of $8.25 an hour to a maximum of $9.00 an hour.
Other employment categories include the following:
Internships are advanced positions requiring special skills and knowledge acquired through the student’s academic program. Essential duties may be complex and require the student to use problem-solving and decision-making skills or to apply subject matter expertise related to the academic discipline; the student may also research and analyze information, make recommendations, consult with others, and creatively apply related skills and specialized experience. The student is usually responsible for the creation of a final project, process, report, or materials. The supervisor may be required to complete academic performance reviews and evaluations. The rate of pay for on-campus internships may not exceed the hourly equivalent for graduate assistants within the hiring department.
Graduate students may be employed in advanced positions requiring a bachelor’s degree and specialized knowledge acquired through academic preparation. Essential duties may be complex and require the student to use problem-solving and decision-making skills or to apply subject matter expertise; the student may also research and analyze information, make recommendations, consult with others, and creatively apply related skills and specialized experience; he or she may perform work similar to that of a graduate assistant. The student may assign, review, or monitor the work of other student employees. The rate of pay for graduate student positions may not exceed the hourly equivalent for graduate assistants within the hiring department.
A limited number of campus positions selling advertisements may be paid on a commission basis. These positions typically involve soliciting advertisers, monitoring contracts, and reviewing ad layouts and proofs. The rate of commission and the basis used to calculate the commission must be approved by the chairperson of the department hiring the student as well as the appropriate university officer. Federal Work-Study students are not eligible for these positions. Guidelines are available from the Career Center.
Supervisors may award longevity increases to students at the completion of an academic term provided the student has performed satisfactorily in his or her work assignment and is returning for the subsequent semester or term.
Requests for longevity increases must be submitted no later than the last working day of each semester, to become effective with the next full pay period of the following semester or term. Longevity increases may range from 5¢ an hour up to 25¢ an hour (or in increments of 5¢, 10¢, 15¢, etc.). Reminder: total student employee compensation, including longevity, cannot exceed $9.00 an hour.
Supervisors will be responsible for submitting Longevity Pay Increase Electronic Employment Authorization Form (EPAF) forms for each student eligible for a longevity increase. The department head must also approve the change in rate.
Longevity increases are not transferable to other departments if students choose to change jobs. Students changing jobs begin at the base wage rate established for the position for which they’re applying.
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