Career Banding


Career Banding



Our Career Banding system at UNC helps us recruit, retain and develop a qualified, motivated and diverse workforce. It allows us to compensate our employees fairly and helps us in build a stronger workforce and stronger careers for our employees in the long-run.


Policy Statement

Job Families

Job families are major groupings of jobs that represent general fields of work where career paths are identified and career planning is emphasized. OSHR has established 10 job families:

  • Administrative & Managerial
  • Institutional Services
  • Engineering & Architecture
  • Law Enforcement & Public Safety
  • Human Services
  • Medical & Health
  • Information & Education
  • Environment, Natural Resources & Scientific
  • Information Technology Operations
  • Skilled Trades

Each job family is further categorized into branches, which in turn contain roles. Roles represent the various classifications that have been banded together due to similarities in position attributes, nature and scope of the work, and competencies required to meet business needs.

  Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 Example 4 Example 5
Job Family Environment, Natural Res. & Scientific Environment, Natural Res. & Scientific Admin. & Managerial IT IT
Branch Research Research Social/Clinical Reserach Systems Systems
Role Technician Specialist Assistant Analyst Technician

Position Competencies

Each role has its own unique pay band, and three position competency levels: Contributing, Journey and Advanced. Position competencies represent a set of knowledge, skills and abilities required of the position based on business needs as determined by the manager. Position competencies required in a role are outlined in a competency profile developed by the Oice of State Human Resources with the assistance of the career banding transition teams. The competency profiles are reviewed and validated through statewide focus groups with final approval by the State Personnel Commission.

Position competencies play an important role in many Human Resources functions:

  • For recruitment and selection, decisions are based on the specified levels of competencies needed for each position, and how well a potential employee meets the position's requirements;
  • In performance management, a department manager/supervisor looks at how well the employee applies the competencies required for the position to achieve the established goals and objectives for the position.
  • Once an employee's competencies are assessed against the position competencies, training and career development plans can be established for the employee. Training and development programs can be modified and expanded to enhance needed competencies.
  • In workforce planning, competencies drive planning strategies as departments review their business needs and the skill sets (competencies) required to meet those needs to assure organizational success in the future.
  • When making compensation decisions, the career banding system allows managers to pay for those skills which are most valuable to the organization and which meet their business needs.

Each manager, in conjunction with OHR, determines the overall level of competency required for the position based on the organization's business needs and standards. Each role has three position competency levels:

  • Contributing competencies required in a position include knowledge, skills and abilities minimally necessary to perform a job from entry to journey.
  • Journey competencies required in a position represent a fully-applied body of knowledge, skills and abilities.
  • Advanced competencies required in a position include the highest or broadest scope of knowledge, skills and abilities.

Employee Competencies

A sound competency assessment process ensures that employees have and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities required to meet stated business needs and that contribute to the success of the organization. Managers are responsible for determining the employee's demonstrated competency level for each of the competencies required in the position.

Each position requires a particular set of knowledge, skills and abilities (i.e. position competencies), based on the department's needs for the position. And just as positions have competency levels, so too do employees. Each employee brings to the position their own expertise, knowledge and skills, and each employee will be assessed to determine how well and to what extent the employee demonstrates the position's required competencies. Learn more about Performance Management.

Career Banding Pay Plan Provisions

  1. Only active, permanent full-time, part-time, and time-limited SHRA employees are eligible for adjustments under this system. Please note limitations described in bullets numbered 2 through 4 below.
  2. Employees who have an active disciplinary action are not eligible to receive career banding salary increases.
  3. Employees with an overall "Not Meeting Expectations" performance rating are not eligible to receive career banding salary increases. Employees with an overall performance rating of "Meeting Expectations" or better are eligible to receive career banding salary increases. Employees must have the most recent required probationary or annual performance review completed with at least the required rating in order to be eligible for a salary increase.
  4. Employees must have the last required Employee Competency Assessment completed in order to be eligible for a salary increase.
  5. Employees on unpaid Leave of Absence are not eligible for career banding salary adjustments.
  6. Promotional, new hire and reclassification balances from actions that occurred prior to career banding shall not be recognized after the employee is transferred into a career banded role.
  7. The career banding salary adjustment request will not be reviewed by the Oice of Human Resources (OHR) until all required supporting documentation is completed and submitted to OHR.
  8. Career banding salary adjustments are effective on a current basis; they are not retroactive (except for actions to adjust salaries to minimum with implementation by OSHR of Band Minimum Adjustments). The earliest possible effective date of any career banding salary adjustment is the Monday of or following the receipt of all required approvals.
  9. Career banding salary adjustments shall not be communicated to employees until after the actions have received all necessary approvals.
  10. Salary adjustments are not mandatory with the exception of salaries below the overall band minimum for the role, and in certain situations where a salary is over the band maximum (i.e., demotions or reassignments).
  11. Salaries paid as a result of a recruitment shall not exceed the maximum amount published for recruitment purposes in a vacancy announcement (i.e., the published hiring range that was established, budgeted and approved by the hiring manager).
  12. Promotional and re-employment priority: Until career banding is implemented for all job families, employees in career banded roles will be assigned a pay grade equivalency only for promotional and re-employment priority purposes as stated in the State Personnel Manual. The pay grade equivalency is not a determining factor in establishing salaries for employees in career banded positions.
  13. Employees in career banded positions are eligible for shift premiums and overtime premiums as allowed through the pay policies in the State Personnel Manual and/or University's SHRA policies.
  14. Career banding adjustments may be recommended for temporary position changes or temporary promotions. Existing HR policies must be followed to support and process requests for all dual, acting, temporary and secondary appointments.
  15. Salaries may not meet or exceed the next highest competency level market rate except in the case of a temporary increase for additional duties or as may be allowed in cases of across-the-board actions such as legislative increases. Salaries may not exceed the maximum of the pay band for the role except in the case of a true acting appointment or as may be allowed in cases of across-the-board actions such as legislative increases.
  16. In no case may a salary adjustment or offer salary create a pay inequity (i.e., a salary outside the parameters of the career banding pay factors) within the work unit.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

Career Banding Forms

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures


Contact Information

Policy Contact
Address Phone Number Email

Office of Human Resources

104 Airport Drive, CB #1045

Chapel Hill, NC 27599

(919) 843-2300


Article ID: 131723
Thu 4/8/21 9:15 PM
Thu 7/29/21 12:22 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
01/01/2015 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
01/01/2015 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
10/01/2008 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
12/01/2002 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Office of Human Resources