Research paper on compensation: salaries


People are complex and lots of different factors contribute to their overall level of job satisfaction. Happiness, career aspirations, challenges, money, stress are all factors that contribute to the employee motivation. Reward management is the method of recognition of employees’ performance by the financial and non-financial means. The components of financial rewards are basic performance pay (salary) and worker benefits, which are mutually involved in overall compensation. The non-financial rewards are connected with the promotion, admiration, success, accountability and personal growth (Armstrong, 2006). The crucial objective of the employee reward practices is to help attract, maintain and motivate high-quality staff. Therefore, “ the most important factor in considering a job opportunity is salary. 89% of the respondents in one survey rated salary as being as most important when deciding whether to accept a job offer.” (Doyle, 2004).

Calculation Based on Salary Indicators

One of the highest paid occupations in the United States is the medical qualification. According to data for 2014, the average salary of a doctor in the United States is $150, 000 per year (varies $80000-$250000). The second and third positions are occupied by teachers ($50000-$150000) and engineers ($40000-$150000) respectively. Most poor families in the United States are people with incomes of less than $40, 000 per year for a family of three members.
My fields of work are Security, Recreation and Personal Trainer. The state is Texas, my city is Killeen. I’ve decided to concentrate the attention on Personal Trainer.
Personal Trainer is “ responsible for developing and implementing a specialized exercise regimen for a client, ensures the fitness program meets the needs of the client and may include elements such as physical fitness, nutrition, cardiovascular training, and weight training” (Salary. com, 2014). Another responsibility is to offer supervision and maintenance to customers to facilitate the achievement of their purposes. In order to be a Personal Trainer, the person should have at least high school diploma as well as 2-4 years of practice.
According to the information from about. salary. com, Personal Trainer has an annual average salary of $49, 013 (shown in the Figure 1 below). But, in general, the salary varies from $24, 254 to $70, 383.
Figure 1. Average Salary of Personal Trainer (About. Salary. com, 2014)
It is worth to mention that Personal Trainer in Killeen, TX, additionally can have some benefits, which include social security, disability, healthcare, pension and 401K/403B retirement plans. The full information is presented in the Table below.

There are different categories of Personal Trainer. Thus, the salary also varies depending on the field of training, namely group coach, wellness coach, fitness trainer, and even the availability of special certification will ensure higher payments (as shown in the Figure 2 below).
Figure 2. Average Salary of Jobs with Related Titles (Indeed. com, 2014)
For example, in Houston and Dallas, where the salary of Personal Trainer is almost the similar, the average salary is higher there ca. 12. 7% and amounts to $55, 253 in comparison with Killeen (Salary. com, 2014). So, in Texas State, there is an increase in the salary. However, the cost of living in Killeen is approximately the same as in Dallas and Houston, but is lower than in the whole USA. Therefore, it is better to have the salary of $55, 000.
In the USA the profession of Personal Trainer is very popular in Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, etc. the highest salary among mentioned cities is observed in New York and reaches $64, 759, while the lowest is in Chicago ($57, 756).
It is always offending, when applying the same efforts, the reward is worse than of others. In my opinion, the salary of Personal Trainer could be a little higher in Killeen, at least at the level of Dallas and Houston.
Based on the Salary Calculator, I have assessed my relevance to the market of Personal Trainers, and U. S. National Averages showed the information of the salary at the level of $54, 922 according to my qualification and experience (see Figure 3). Also, the assessment included level of performance, which in my case meets expectations, and education reputation. However, there are only general criteria, but assessment, in my opinion, should be based also on the quality of the work, its volume, employee discipline and loyalty to the organization. So, the work is performed without errors (or with minor errors that are corrected personally), carefully and thoroughly. This means that the person understands the term of work quality. Work is carried out in a planned volume related to the work size. When the person during business hours is busy with work and has rare excused absences stipulated in advance, he is familiar with the discipline. Respect for the organization reflects the attitude of the employee.

Unfortunately, my salary is lower not in comparison with the US average, but even below it.

Figure 3. Projected Salary of Personal Trainer, U. S. National Averages (About. Salary. com, 2014)
My job can be defined as exempt, because it is skilled. “ Exempt jobs get a salary, that is, a fixed amount of money per time interval, usually a fixed amount per month. It’s not uncommon for exempt positions to receive higher compensation and benefits than non-exempt jobs, although non-exempt jobs often can make more money than exempt jobs simply by working more hours” (McNamara, 1999).
Thus, providing efficient reward management helps not only in attracting, maintaining and motivating high-quality staff of any company, but also supporting the company’s strategy. These processes consider awareness of company’s employees own interests, principles, strengths and weaknesses; receiving information about job perspectives within the company; the identification of career objectives and the establishment of action plans in achieving career objectives; recognition of employees’ performance by the financial and non-financial means.

Perceptions of Pay Inequity

Changes in the income of the population and the stratification of society lead to very negative consequences. The layers of people below the poverty line are created, which is unacceptable in a developed society. Moral stratification of society into “ us” and “ them” occurs, the common goals and interests and a sense of healthy patriotism are lost. As a result of the division of society, the population of regions and individuals, on rich and poor interregional and even ethnic conflicts that leads to the destruction of the country’s unity appear. The outflow of skilled workers in areas that do not require relevant knowledge is made abroad. As a result of deteriorating, educational and professional potential of society, knowledge-intensive industry degraded. Due to poor quality of life labor activity of the population is reduced, deteriorating health, reduced fertility, which leads to a demographic crisis.
In 2013, about 19 million white Americans remain below the poverty line and earn less than $23, 021 for a family of four members. The total number of hopelessly poor (below the poverty line) is 46. 2 million people. Thus, the poor whites are now almost two times more than the poor blacks. One of the reasons for what is happening is the collapse of small businesses, which managers and staff are predominantly white people. It is also worth noting that the city, state, and federal agencies are much more likely to employ ethnic minorities than whites. There are almost half as much optimists among black and Latino workers.

The main deals with pay inequity can be considered as follows:

– The creation of quality jobs.
– Tax policy as a means of reducing inequalities of income and as a source of additional funding for social programs.
– Improving public services in education.
– It is necessary to avoid delays in payments to employees.
However, these actions are in the competence of state authorities. As for personal perceptions, one of the ways is to search for the relevant job because this job exists and the person can find it only in case of making efforts.


“ Only financially successful organizations can afford to provide competitive compensation and other rewards to employees” (Zingheim & Schuster, 2007). Development of human resources, improving their quality, leads to a greater impact of material resources through more efficient use, and this, in turn, provides organizations with an additional incentive to invest in human resources. For each activity in the field of human resource development organization has a wide range of methods of practical work. Systematic work with the staff, attention to the organization’s staff, care about improving working and living conditions, the development and implementation of appropriate social programs – all contribute to strengthening human resources and more efficient use of production factor – the human resource. The success of the organization depends on competent implementation of the work, and this, in turn, is a reserve for improving its effectiveness.


About. Salary. com (2014). Personal Trainer, Killeen, TX. Retrieved from http://about. salary. com/salarywizard/Personal-Trainer-Salary-Details-Killeen-TX. aspx?&hdcbxbonuse= off&isshowpiechart= false&isshowjobchart= false&isshowsalarydetailcharts= true&isshownextsteps= true&isshowcompanyfct= true&isshowaboutyou= true
Armstrong, M. (2006). A handbook of management techniques: a comprehensive guide to achieving managerial excellence and improved decision making. 3rd ed., Kogan Page Publishers.
Dickel, T., & Watkins, C. (2008, July). Hiring and Compensation Trends. The China Business Review, 35(4), p. 20-23.
Doyle, A. (2004). How much are you worth? Retrieved May 23, 2010, from http://jobsearch. about. com/library/weekly/aa022700a. htm
Indeed. com (2014). Personal trainer, Salary in Killeen, TX. Retrieved from http://www. indeed. com/salary? q1= personal+trainer&l1= killeen%2C+tx&tm= 1
McNamara, C. (1999). Employee benefits and compensation. Retrieved May 23, 2010, from http://www. mapnp. org/library/pay_ben/pay_ben. htm
Salary. com (2014). Personal Trainer Salaries in Dallas, TX. Retrieved from http://www1. salary. com/TX/Dallas/Personal-Trainer-Salary. html
Salary. com (2014). Personal Trainer Salaries in Houston, TX. Retrieved from http://www1. salary. com/TX/Houston/Personal-Trainer-Salary. html
Zingheim, P. K., & Schuster, J. R. (2007, June). What Are Key Pay Issues Right Now? Compensation and Benefits Review, 39(3), p. 51-55.