Job Evaluation: Classification

Jobs are classified into an existing grade/category structure or hierarchy. Each level in the grade/category structure has a description and associated job titles. Each job is assigned to the grade/category providing the closest match to the job. The classification of a position is decided by comparing the whole job with the appropriate job grading standard. To ensure equity in job grading and wage rates, a common set of job grading standards and instructions are used. Because of differences in duties, skills and knowledge, and other aspects of trades and labor jobs, job grading standards are developed mainly along occupational lines.

The standards do not attempt to describe every work assignment of each position in the occupation covered. The standards identify and describe those key characteristics of occupations which are significant for distinguishing different levels of work. They define these key characteristics in such a way as to provide a basis for assigning the appropriate grade level to all positions in the occupation to which the standards apply.

  • Simple.
  • The grade/category structure exists independent of the jobs. Therefore, new jobs can be classified more easily than the Ranking Method.
  • Classification judgments are subjective.
  • The standard used for comparison (the grade/category structure) may have built in biases that would affect certain groups of employees (females or minorities).
  • Some jobs may appear to fit within more than one grade/category.


  1. Use Well Defined Grades/Categories Attempt to define the grades/categories so that they do not overlap one another. Overlaps in the descriptions and factors used to identify the grade would lead to problems when assigning jobs to the grades where there is overlap between them.
  2. Biases Examine the Grades/Categories for inherent biases against females and minorities.

Government Classification

After ranking, the jobs should be grouped to determine the appropriate salary levels.