Salary

Salary Differential Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a salary differential?
Who can apply for a salary differential?
When should I apply for a salary differential?
When do I qualify for a salary differential?
Other than approved college/university courses, what other types of courses qualify for the salary differential?
Is there any limit to the number of alternate forms of credit I can apply toward my differential?
How do I apply for a salary differential?
What if I am eligible for several differentials at once? Do I need to submit a separate application for each differential?
What documentation will I need to submit with my application?
Where can I turn for additional help in understanding the application process?
How long will it take to process my application?
How do I read my salary differential certificate?
What if I receive my salary differential certificate but don’t receive an increase in pay?
Is there any limit to the number of differentials I can earn?
Will I be entitled to retroactive pay?
Who do I contact if I have additional questions about salary differentials?


What is a salary differential?
A salary differential is an increase in annual salary based on academic credit/coursework/degrees earned beyond what is required by the position.
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Who can apply for a salary differential?
All teachers, clinicians (guidance counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and laboratory specialists), and school secretaries can apply for salary differential.
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When should I apply for a salary differential?
The answer differs depending upon whether you are a new employee or an existing employee.

  • New Employees: If you are a new employee to the DOE and qualify for a differential upon hire, then your application for salary differential must be filed within six months of your first day at work.

    New employees who apply within six months of their date of appointment will receive an effective date retroactive to their appointment date provided all courses were completed prior to the date of appointment. This entitles them to receive retroactive pay (i.e., the difference between the new salary, reflecting the differential, and the salary without the differential).

  • Existing Employees
    If you are not new to the DOE, then your application must be filed within six months of completing coursework. The guide below will help you determine when you must submit your application:

Coursework Completed In

Approximate Date of Completion

Last Date for On-Time Filing

Fall Semester

January 31

July 31

Spring Semester

June 30

December 29

Summer Semester

August 31

February 28

If your application is determined to qualify for the differential, then you will receive an effective date corresponding to the semester in which you completed your coursework as follows:

Coursework Completed In

Effective Date

Fall Semester

February 1

Spring Semester

July 1

Summer Semester

September 1

The effective date signifies the date you should have been paid at the higher salary rate, provided you filed your application on time; you will receive retroactive monies payable from the effective date of your application. Applications submitted after six months from the date coursework was completed will result in late effective dates and will not be entitled to retroactive pay. Therefore, if an employee files a complete application after the six-month period, s/he shall receive an effective date of the first day of the month following the date of submission of the complete application.

At times, employees may leave the DOE due to an approved leave of absence, retirement, or resignation and return at a later date. If the employee completed coursework during the separation in service that qualifies him/her for a differential, s/he must file a salary differential application within six months of return. An effective date corresponding to the date of the return will be granted, and the employee will be eligible to receive retroactive pay (retroactive to the effective date).

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When do I qualify for a salary differential?
Teachers and laboratory specialists can apply when they have completed at least 30 credits beyond their bachelor’s degree.

School guidance counselors, social workers, and psychologists can apply when they have completed a 60-credit master’s degree in their license area.

School secretaries can apply when they have completed at least 60 credits of coursework.
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Other than approved college/university courses, what other types of courses qualify for the salary differential?
There are several ways employees may earn credits toward their differentials. Credits may include those earned:

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Is there any limit to the number of alternate forms of credit (e.g., in-service courses, CLEP exams) I can apply toward my differential?
No. There is no limit to the number of alternate forms of credits that can be applied toward a differential.
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How do I apply for a salary differential?

Salary differential applications are completed and submitted online. You can access our online application here. Once you electronically submit your application, you will receive confirmation of its receipt via email. This email will need to be printed and attached, as a cover sheet, to all required supporting documentation. The entire package (i.e., confirmation email and supporting documentation) will need to be mailed to the Office of Salary Services before your application is considered complete and ready for review.
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What if I am eligible for several differentials at once? Do I need to submit a separate application for each differential?

If you qualify for several salary differentials at once, you do not need to submit an application for each differential. Simply submit one application for the highest differential for which you qualify. If you are awarded the differential but do not yet possess the lower differentials, you will automatically receive any lower differentials as well.
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What documentation will I need to submit with my application?

Along with your application, you must also submit documentation supporting your eligibility. How you earned the credits needed to qualify for the differential will determine the type of documentation you will need to submit. This documentation may include:

  • College/University Transcripts: You must submit all original transcripts that document your eligibility to receive the salary differential. This is even the case if you submitted some or all of the transcripts previously for a prior differential. Transcripts must include the date your degree was conferred (i.e., your graduation date). Note that grade reports and computer printouts are not accepted.
  • Excess Credits Letter: In some instances, additional credits required by a particular differential may have been earned prior to the conferral of a bachelor’s or master’s degree but were not credits used toward or required for the degree. If this is the case, an original letter signed by the school’s registrar and bearing the school seal must be submitted identifying the exact number of credits required for the degree and the number of excess credits (see Eligibility Requirements for more information).
  • CLEP Test Results: Original CLEP transcripts must be submitted (computer print-outs of CLEP test results will not be accepted).
  • In-service Coursework: Original Certificates of Completion provided by the program where coursework was completed (i.e., either the DOE’s After School Professional Development Program or NYSUT) must be submitted as part of your application.
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certificate: The original certificate must be submitted along with a letter, both issued by NBPTS, indicating that the employee passed the National Board exam.
  • SVA Program Completion Letter: If you participated in the Success Via Apprenticeship (SVA) program, you must submit a letter from the program director verifying your successful completion.
  • FEMA: For salary differentials, FEMA credits can be submitted as long as they were earned at Frederick Community College. The DOE no longer accepts FEMA credits for salary differentials from Thomas Edison College. When submitting supporting documentation for your salary differential, you must submit an original transcript from Frederick Community College that includes both the date and the credits earned. Note that Frederick Community College lists the FEMA course in the semester it is received, not the date that you took or paid for the course. The DOE grants differentials based on the semester that is listed on the transcript, not when you actually took the course. When you transfer FEMA credits to Frederick Community College, please check their semester schedule to avoid confusion.

Note to employees submitting foreign transcripts: The New York City Department of Education will accept copies of foreign transcripts only if they are notarized and accompanied by a notarized English language translation service. Click for a list of approved foreign education translation services.
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Where can I turn for additional help in understanding the application process?
The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) provides assistance to its members in completing salary differential applications. As a first step, you should speak with your school’s UFT Chapter Chair. If you still have questions after you speak with the Chapter Chair, the UFT has five borough offices, which are open on school days between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. The UFT borough offices are located at:

UFT Bronx Office
2100 Bartow Avenue
Bronx, New York 10475
(718) 379-6200

UFT Brooklyn Office
335 Adams Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
(718) 852-4900

UFT Manhattan
52 Broadway
New York, New York 10004
(212) 598-6800

UFT Queens
97-77 Queens Boulevard
Rego Park, New York 11374
(718) 275-4400

UFT Staten Island
4456 Amboy Road
Staten Island, New York 10312
(718) 605-1400

If you still have unanswered questions after speaking with a UFT representative, please contact HR Connect at (718) 935-4000.
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How long will it take to process my application?

Approximately four to six weeks. The salary corresponding to the salary differential you have been assigned will appear in your paycheck within two to four pay periods after your application has been processed.
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How do I read my salary differential certificate?

Click to see our guide for understanding your Certificate of Salary Differential.
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What if I receive my salary differential certificate but don’t receive an increase in pay?
If you receive your salary differential certificate and don’t receive an increase in pay within four pay periods of your application being received, ask your payroll secretary to contact Pedagogic Payroll for you. Once your certificate has been issued, you must work with the Pedagogic Payroll Office to resolve any payroll issues. The Pedagogic Payroll Office can be reached at (718) 935-3542.
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Is there any limit to the number of differentials I can earn?
No. You may apply for all differentials available for your title. For example, there are five differentials available to teachers. As long as a teacher meets the eligibility requirements, he or she may apply for and receive all five differentials.
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Will I be entitled to retroactive pay?

If your salary differential application is processed after your effective date, you will be entitled to retroactive monies payable back to the effective date. If entitled to retroactive pay, you will receive it in a subsequent paycheck—approximately three pay cycles after your salary has been updated.
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Who do I contact if I have additional questions about salary differentials?
For additional questions about salary differentials, please contact HR Connect at (718) 935-4000.
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