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How Much Are Stock Plan Administrators Paid?

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March 05, 2019 | Barbara Baksa

How Much Are Stock Plan Administrators Paid?

Members occasionally ask me for salary or compensation benchmark data for stock plan administrator roles. For today’s blog entry, I thought I’d summarize some sources for this data.

Two Types of Salary Data

Before I get to the data sources, it’s helpful to understand a little about the sources of compensation data. There are two ways to collect compensation data:

  • HR-Reported: In this approach, compensation data is collected from HR professionals. This is generally the preferred method of collecting compensation data.
  • Self-Reported: In this approach, individuals report their own compensation data. The problem with this is that the people reporting the compensation data have an interest in inflating it. At a minimum, this can result in a tendency to round up. Survey respondents might even exaggerate their compensation. For this reason, self-reported data is not as preferable as HR-reported data.

Self-Service Salary Data

Now that we are in the age of the internet, salary data is not as hard to come by as it once was. There are at least two or three, maybe more, websites where you can get current data on salaries for stock plan administration positions. Here are ones I am aware of:

Salary.com: I like Salary.com because their data includes HR-reported (rather than just self-reported) salary data. The free version of Salary.com reports compensation data for four levels of stock plan administration roles and allows you to segment the data by experience, number of direct reports, and location. Not only can you get the report for free, you don’t even have to create an account or tell Salary.com anything about yourself (besides, of course, the salary data you are interested in).

Payscale: Payscale provides a lot of criteria that can be used to make sure you are looking at salary data for the right position, including education level, credentials, experience necessary for full and minimal proficiency, skills, a host of information about direct reports, and title. One thing I like about Payscale.com is that when I search for data on stock plan administrator positions, it identifies the CEP as a possible credential required for the role, which gives me some assurance that they have the right role and have a lot of data on it. Payscale is also free, but you need to create an account to use it. Their data is self-reported.

Glassdoor: I think it’s likely that Glassdoor also has data on stock plan administrator positions but I haven’t been able to ascertain this. Glassdoor requires you to create a profile and uses that information to provide a personal salary estimate. This is great if you are doing the job you want salary data on, but because I’m not a stock plan administrator I’d either have to lie on my profile (which seems inappropriate) or I’d be getting data on Executive Director positions (which might be interesting to me but not so helpful for you). Glassdoor is also free and their data is self-reported.

Other Salary Data

In addition to the free sources of data on the internet, there is a wide world of salary surveys and reports available and your HR team likely subscribes to some of them. Some of these reports also likely include data on stock plan administrator positions. Two that I’m fairly certain include stock plan administrator compensation data are Radford and Culpepper. Ask your HR team if the surveys they subscribe to include data for your team’s roles. These surveys generally do not use self-reported data and, since your HR team has chosen to subscribe to them, your HR team will likely give a lot deference to them.

Why Doesn’t the NASPP Collect Salary Data?

Well, the main reason is that we’re not experts on cash compensation. There is an art to collecting and reporting on compensation data, especially for positions like stock plan administrator roles, which vary quite significantly from one company to another. We feel like this is a task best left to the experts, given the gravity of it. We have put a lot of effort into trying to get firms that do this type of work to partner with us but have been unsuccessful.

If anyone is aware of any other sources for stock plan administrator salary data, please let me know.

- Barbara

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