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Market Pay Survey

Each year, the Office of Human Resources is required per ordinance to conduct the annual pay survey, a study of prevailing pay rates in the Denver metropolitan area for Career Service classifications. There are two potential results – occupational group adjustments and individual pay grade adjustments. 

The Annual Market Pay Survey analysis ensures that the City and County of Denver pay ranges are competitive with comparable jobs in the Denver metropolitan area. When the market data indicates the city’s pay for an occupational group (e.g., administrative, clerical, fiscal, etc.) has fallen behind market, OHR recommends a structure increase for the occupational group. If the city’s rates are above the market, OHR recommends no change.

The adjustments are presented to the mayor and City Council on or before May 1 and implemented as applicable and approved each July 1.

The occupational group adjustments are not designed to deliver a pay increase except when an employee’s pay falls below the range minimum of the adjusted pay range.  When this occurs an employee pay will be increased to the new range minimum. Approved occupational group adjustments will be effective on July 1 in accordance with DRMC.

Individual classifications may also be increased to a higher pay grade based on the results of the market analysis. Individual pay grade adjustments ensure that pay grade ranges for individual classifications are aligned to market midpoints. 

These pay grade increases are implemented as applicable and approved each January.

A pay increase is granted when a classification is adjusted to a higher pay grade as a result of the annual market pay survey. The pay increase is equal to 4.55% for each pay grade adjusted upwards. Approved pay grade adjustments will be effective on January 1 in accordance with DRMC.


Only employees whose pay rates are below the new range minimums receive pay increases to minimum.

Yes, all employees in classification titles receiving a pay grade increase will receive an ordinance-required 4.55% pay increase for each pay grade their title is adjusted upwards.

If any particular occupational group’s set of pay ranges are at or over market, the occupational group’s ranges are not increased.

If any particular classification’s pay range is at or over market, that classification’s pay grade is not increased.

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For outside organizations requesting salary survey information, please use the email address above.