Introducing Career Tracks

Career Tracks, UC’s new job classification methodology for compensation, talent management and career planning is on schedule for implementation to the UCR community in July of 2015.

A systemwide job classification structure initially targeted for nonrepresented staff employees, Career Tracks is designed to eliminate UCR’s outdated job structure and replace it with a more transparent classification system.

It’s focused on better defining jobs and job levels, aligning jobs with similar positions internally and in the external marketplace, and providing greater career development opportunities.

Career Tracks will provide greater clarity about the relationships between jobs and transferable skills — this will help employees plan their careers in specific functional areas both on campus and across the UC system. It will also help employees with career progression, and development strategies, as well as assist managers with succession planning.

Career Tracks has been successfully implemented at four UC locations: UC Berkeley, UC Merced, UC Office of the President and Agricultural and Natural Resources. It will eventually be implemented at all UC locations.

Preparing for an Emerging Workforce

UCR’s current job classification system is about 50 years old. By implementing Career Tracks, the UC system is aligning payroll titles and compensation to the appropriate labor market.

The nature of work has changed since UCR’s current classification system was developed. Career Tracks recognizes the increasing importance of highly specialized and technical skills, and allows for career advancement as an individual contributor. “Career Tracks will acknowledge advancing professional and technical expertise, and could mean that higher levels of pay are available even without a move into management,” Gaddie added. Additionally by standardizing job classification levels and job descriptions across campus and systemwide, mechanisms for employment and career advancement will be more transparent. Clear career paths will be defined and included in job standards. Development opportunities will be easily mapped out, which will allow for more focused training and development, and greater clarity about how to prepare for career progression.

Linda Gaddie, UCR’s Compensation Manager, says, “Although Career Tracks will not immediately impact pay levels, over time it will lead to a more transparent way of making salary decisions. Our current system simply does not provide the level and quality of information for decision-making that Career Tracks will provide.”

Career Tracks provides improved administration, consistency and transparency of compensation processes and systems. Once it is in place, managers will have an online resource to build job descriptions that should make the process easier and more comparable across the UC system.

Not Affecting Job Duties, Titles and Compensation

Nonrepresented staff employees are the initial focus of Career Tracks. Senior Management Group (SMG), academics and represented and student personnel are not affected.

The most important thing to know about Career Tracks is that it will not affect current job duties or functions, current working titles (“business card” titles) or current compensation.

It will, however, provide a better foundation for making future compensation decisions, and will help align unit objectives with organizational structure and resource/budget allocation.

How it Works

Career Tracks will organize jobs into families, functions, categories and levels, which will then correspond to specific job codes and salary grades.

Job Family: A group of jobs in the same general occupation (e.g. Finance)

Job Function: A more specific area within a family (e.g. General Accounting)

Job Category: Jobs will fall into one of three categories: Operational and Technical, Individual Contributor, or Leadership

Job level: Recognizes different levels, from entry level to expert

Defining jobs using consistent definitions of function, category, and career level (rather than using generic titles such as “analyst” or “manager”) allows accurate pay comparisons with other employers in our labor market for comparable jobs.

Timeline for Implementation

The Human Resources Compensation Unit is currently in the process of mapping all positions to the new structure; by March 2015, mapped positions will be compared to national salary survey data to establish new salary ranges. By April, the new job classifications will be published, and full implementation at UCR is scheduled for July of 2015.

To implement the Career Tracks program, the Compensation Unit is engaged in a highly collaborative process with vice chancellors, deans and all levels of managers and supervisors to ensure that positions are mapped to the appropriate family, function category, and level.

For more information, visit the Career Tracks Website or email You can also reach Career Tracks Project Manager Chrystelle Zimmerman at

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-2645

Additional Contacts

Career Tracks Project Manager Chrystelle Zimmerman

Archived under: Business, Inside UCR, ,

Top of Page