Larimer County’s compensation philosophy aims to retain and attract employees who deliver the highest standards of public service to our community. Employees are compensated based on the nature and level of work performed and how well the employee accomplishes the work.

Larimer County is dedicated to administering pay and benefits in a way that is fair and transparent, that provides equal pay for equal work, and that does not take into consideration race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or other factors unrelated to work performance.

In evaluating competitive and responsible compensation, Larimer County will consider:

  • The relevant labor market salary information primarily focused on large public employers in Colorado, as well as, private sector employers in Northern Colorado as applicable to the job.  The market salary information is obtained from third party salary survey sources.
  • The relative value of jobs to one another. To determine relative value consideration includes responsibilities, skill level, knowledge, ability and judgment to determine similarity, and evaluate the equity of pay differentials.
  • Financial sustainability including economic forecasts and revenue projections, competing service priorities, long-term liabilities, capital improvement and other budgetary requirements.
  • Other relevant factors may include unforeseen economic, regulatory or service changes.
Pay Structures:

Larimer County uses two compensation structures:  a step pay plan and an open range pay plan. 

A Step Plan is typically used in Law Enforcement jobs. Jobs are assigned to a pay grade. Each grade has a set number of steps an employee can advance through. There is no overlap between the maximum step into the minimum step of the higher level job.  Employees may progress from step to step on the basis of performance and time in job/rank.

Jobs are assigned to an occupational group and then a pay grade. Each pay grade is 40% wide (50% for executive level jobs) and assigned a minimum, midpoint, and maximum. Each pay grade has a 10% difference from midpoint to midpoint. Employees are paid a base rate within the pay range established for their job. Employees may progress through the pay range on a basis of performance (merit increases).

How it Works:

Annually, the Human Resources staff participate in salary surveys. The survey data is used to establish market value for our jobs.  The surveys consist of benchmark jobs meaning jobs that are common within a specified labor market; i.e. Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Engineer, etc. We match Larimer County jobs to benchmark jobs and report in actual earned salaries of each employee in that job.  The survey company provides compensation data back to us, including market averages from all the participants that reported in.

For jobs that do not have a benchmark within the salary survey, we use internal equity to position the job in the correct pay grade. Some of the considerations to compare job to job are minimum qualification requirements like education and experience, decision making abilities, consequence of errors, or environment.

The open range pay plan is reviewed annually using the salary survey market data averages to ensure Larimer County is remaining competitive within the market. The step pay plan is reviewed annually using market data to compare minimum and maximum rates to ensure the Sheriff’s Office is remaining competitive within the market.

Mid-year recommendations for adjustments to the pay ranges, known as market increases and employee merit increases are provided to the Board of County Commissioners along with internal and external workforce analysis and metrics.  The Board of County Commissioners consider many factors when determining market and merit increase amounts, including: budget/funding, market and economic factors, workforce impacts and current demographics.



Human Resources Department

HOURS: Monday - Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm

200 West Oak, Suite 3200, Fort Collins, CO 80521
PO Box 1190, Fort Collins, CO 80522
PHONE: (970) 498-5970 | FAX: (970) 498-5980
Email Human Resources