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Understanding Your Student Salary

To see the most current salary scales for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, visit the Salary Scales page.

Graduate student academic employees are paid monthly, in arrears (at the end of the pay period).  For example, if you work during the month of October, your first salary payment will be made to you on November 1st.

Your student employment salary is paid to you by the UC Davis Payroll Department and the salary payments are not posted to your student account, i.e. your salary payments are not reflected on your student bill, which is visible via MyBill and SISWeb.  We highly recommend that all student employees enroll in Employee Payroll Earnings Direct Deposit. All notifications to direct deposit recipients are made via e-mail.

We strongly encourage hiring units to provide each employed graduate student with an appointment letter. For examples, see a sample GSR appointment letter or a sample TA appointment letter.

The official salary scales for student titles are maintained by the University of California-Office of the President (UCOP) and list salary levels at a monthly amount that would be paid to you if you worked "full-time".  Full-time is defined as 40 hours per week.  Workload (hours/week) is also commonly represented in Full-time Equivalent (FTE) units. An employed person working full-time (40 hours/week) has a 100% FTE appointment while a half-time employee (20 hours/week) has a 50% FTE appointment.  Therefore, the amount of your gross, monthly, salary is dependent on your position (GSR, TA, etc.), salary step (applicable to GSR's and Postdoc's only), and the % FTE of your appointment. For example, a GSR, Step III, with a 50% FTE appointment in the 2016-17 academic year will receive a gross monthly salary of $1,890.50 (half of $3,781). Your FTE appointment percentage should be reflected on your appointment letter.

After calculating your gross salary using the information above, your actual net salary (take home pay) is your gross salary minus the mandatory withholding tax.  The amount of withholding tax is dependent on the amount of the gross salary, your individual tax situation, and how you chose to complete your Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate.

Should you have any questions about your salary, please contact the staff administrator who completed your hiring process or your faculty supervisor.