Press Release


April 25, 2016                                                          

Contact Information:
Missy Kline
Content Manager – Communications and Marketing  

Survey Finds Earnings of Hourly Employees in Higher Education Vary Widely by Geographic Region 
Workers in the Northeast Have Highest Median Salaries, Those in the South Have Lowest  

Data from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2015-16 Non-Exempt Staff in Higher Education Salary Survey show that hourly employees in colleges and universities in the Northeast and West fare better than those in the South and Midwest when it comes to base pay. Of the four job categories for which data was collected (office/clerical, technical/paraprofessional, skilled craft, and service/maintenance), skilled craft workers have the highest variation in salary by region — in the Northeast, they make more than $7,000 more than the median for skilled craft workers overall; in the South, they make nearly $5,000 less than the median.

Other Findings

  • The overall median base salary increase this academic year for non-exempt (hourly) staff in higher education was 2.0% — on par with the increases seen by administrators, faculty and professionals.
  • For all institutions combined, skilled craft workers have the highest median salary, and electrician supervisors are the highest-paid hourly employees in that category or any other. Paralegals are the highest paid technical/paraprofessionals; police/public safety leads are the highest paid service/maintenance staff; and executive assistants are the highest paid office/clerical workers.
  • The lowest paid non-exempt positions in higher education overall are in the area of service/maintenance. Food servers are the lowest paid positions in that or any area. Cashiers are the lowest paid office/clerical staff; textile workers are the lowest paid skilled craft workers; and nursing assistants are the lowest paid technical/paraprofessionals.

Findings from the 2015-16 Non-Exempt Staff in Higher Education Salary Survey reflect the salaries of more than 180,000 job incumbents in public and private institutions nationwide. Salaries were reported by 808 institutions for 148 hourly-paid positions.

Visit the CUPA-HR website to order results and to see more data from the 2015-16 Non-Exempt Staff in Higher Education Salary Survey.

CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. We serve higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and serving more than 20,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at more than 1,900 member organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.

CUPA-HR is the recognized authority on compensation surveys for higher education, with its seven salary surveys designed by higher ed HR professionals for higher ed HR professionals and other campus leaders.