University of California, Riverside

Human Resources

Career Tracks


Career Tracks is a new job classification structure that aligns jobs at the University to their respective labor market by occupation and supports the development of possible career paths designed to enhance career mobility. Levels for individual contributor, supervisory and management roles within each distinct functional area are defined consistently across occupations and with the labor market for comparable jobs.

Job Descriptions

As part of the Career Tracks implementation, Human Resources generated individual job descriptions based on the relevant job standard for each position which transitioned to Career Tracks. All UC staff who are not represented by unions and are not part of the Senior Management Group (SMG) will be mapped to the Career Tracks structure by 2015/16 fiscal year-end. Academic and represented positions will not be affected at this time. 

Job Description Tip Sheet

Human Resources is pleased to provide you with a Job Description Tip Sheet. This resource will guide you through on how to seamlessly complete a job description and includes tips on how to get started, effective job writing, common action verbs and more.

Continued Application of Consistent Methodology

Our Career Tracks implementation has been successful thanks to the collaborative work between HR and each of the organizational units. We have worked to ensure a high degree of consistency across the campus and across the system. This continues to be critically important to the integrity of the system-wide Career Tracks structure. When President Napolitano made the implementation of Career Tracks a system-wide initiative, all campuses agreed to abide by a set of procedures to ensure consistency, and to actively engage in leveling our positions to reflect a single set of standards.

As we reviewed hundreds of job descriptions, comparator positions, and the leveling of positions, we applied that consistent methodology in reviewing the system-wide job standards. 

With the transition to Career Tracks we now have a classification structure that reflects the external job market and makes it easy to identify relevant benchmarks and comparators. Going forward, our compensation decisions will be informed by relevant data. Our structure, based on specific job families and functions, allows us to map paths for career progression and individual employee development so that we can manage our careers at UCR. As other UC locations transition to the common Career Tracks structure, career planning can encompass positions across the UC system.  

Career Tracks Structure 

Career Tracks organizes jobs into families, functions, categories and levels which corresponds to specific job codes and salary grades. Job categories and career levels are used as needed within each family and function. Each staff member will receive a new job description, or job standard, based on this structure which will be further customized to the position.

  • 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 standards within families fall into one of the following categories:

Job family, function, category, and career level structure

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.

Job Families & Functions

Job Categories & Levels

How does this impact me?

Career Tracks does not affect current job duties, functions, or current base pay. 

  • Current responsibilities will not change as a result of mapping to the new structure, Career Tracks job descriptions provides a better foundation for performance and career management.
  • Career Tracks only changes payroll titles. Employees may still use the current working titles of coordinator, assistant director, director, etc., as appropriate. 

SMG and represented employees are outside the scope of the Career Tracks implementation and were not affected..

Career Tracks Illustrated

There are multiple paths to success. The following chart is a sample of possible career paths.

Career Tracks Career Path

This chart illustrates career mobility in the Career Tracks structure. Every job in the Career Tracks structure will fall within a cell on the chart.

At the highest level, jobs are organized by job family and function.

A job family is a grouping of jobs that are related. Within each job family, jobs are more narrowly defined by occupation, or job function. Jobs are further defined by category, which defines the type of work performed, as opposed to the occupation or subject matter.

There are three categories, Operational & Technical, Professional (individual contributors) and Supervisors and Managers, who achieve results through the efforts of staff.

Lastly, jobs are defined by career level that defines the scope, impact, responsibility and requirements of a given job title within a job category and function. The number of available levels within a given job family has been determined by looking at market survey data and working with subject matter experts for that family and function. For example, a Financial Analyst in the Professional job category could be a level 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 professional.

Career Tracks Supports the development of career paths that enhance career mobility and development by defining options for next steps in a career progression within a job function.

Here are a few examples of mobility in the Career Tracks structure:

  • Professional, Level 2 (intermediate level) may choose to move into Professional, Level 3 (Experienced level) or could choose to apply for a position in the Leadership Series (e.g. Supervisor or Manager level).
  • An entry level professional (P1) could opt to move through the professional levels until an advanced (P4) or expert level (P5).

Salary Structure  

Career Tracks is a market based classification structure, not a salary program. However, some information regarding how the structure is graded may be helpful. UC uses consistent national and regional third-party salary surveys at each location to provide compensation information for common or benchmark positions, factoring in relevant job factors. Surveys include public, private, and higher education employee salary data. This is actual data supplied by participating institutions and verified by the survey organizations. This is in marked contrast to several popular websites (e.g. which are not  reliable sources for data because they rely on self-reported data, and don’t apply consistent benchmarks and/or compensable factors.



  • Please check back for future events.


If you have questions, please contact the Total Compensation unit.

More information will be posted as it is available. Check back for future updates.

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