Salary Range: The Dreyfus Model


The salary range model is related to the Dreyfus model of skills acquisition. One way to look at it is that the longer a person is at a job, the more we expect him or her to be better at it. You can recognize this from the expectations set out in the following table.

Expertise Expectations

Source: Table 1. Expectations of Novice and Expert (adapted from Flyvbjerg 2001).

Five Levels of Learning

The 5 levels of learning in the Dreyfus Model presented here below correspond to the 5 knowledge and skills in a salary range.

Dreyfus 5 Levels Model

Source: Wildfire Magazine

The following are some diagram on the salary range model.

Salary Range Model 1

Source: The Perfect Pay Plan website

Salary Range Model 2

Source: Compensation Café

You will notice that for most jobs, employers will hire at most at the competent level. They do not want to hire the proficient performer and the expert.

Salary Range Model 3

Source: Pun to Retail

What It Should Not Be Used For

The Dreyfus model is inappropriate for performance rating and for use with a bell curve.


Novices, Experts and Errors: Toward a Safer Fire Ground

Why Setting Engineering Salary Ranges is so Tricky

The Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition: A Career Development Framework for Succession Planning and Management in Academic Libraries Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis and Deborah S. Grealy

Do You Know What Your Salary Ranges Mean?

Flyvbjerg, B. (2001). Making social science matter: why social inquiry fails and how it can succeed again. Oxford, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press.