DEFINITION of Job Footprint

The job footprint is the scope and range of an employee's duties while under a company's employ. It is generally assumed that the larger the job footprint is, the more compensation the employee should receive, though this is not always the case. Sometimes the job footprint is referred to as the scope of work, job description, or required duties.

For instance, a secretary's job footprint might include answering phones, greeting visitors, scheduling meetings and appointments, and typing up documents. If she were promoted to office manager, her job footprint might change or expand to include ordering office supplies and equipment, managing office recordkeeping and filing systems and overseeing all administrative support staff. Likewise, a surgeon's job footprint is larger than that of a nurse, whose job footprint is larger, in turn, than the nurse's aide.


The job footprint is the scope of work responsibilities and duties an employer demands or expects from its employees, as it varies by role and rank within the company. Employees generally expect that, as their job footprint increases, their pay and/or benefits will increase to compensate them for the additional work. For instance, somebody with managerial responsibilities can expect to earn more than those who work below him or her, Despite this job footprint to earnings correlation, the pay gap between CEOs and the average worker in their company is enormous, with CEOs sometimes making more than 300-400x more than the average worker. One can argue that the chief executive officer's job footprint is larger than the average worker - but critics have argues that it is nowhere near 300 times larger.

One odd feature of the 2008-2009 Great Recession was that employees who kept their jobs saw their job footprints increase as they took over the responsibilities of laid off workers, but they did not receive any, or very little, increase in pay or benefits.

The job footprint as it relates to wages reveals inequalities in the workforce. For example, the gender pay gap reveals that men and women who perform the same duties and have the same responsibilities do not earn the same pay. Despite identical job footprints, women consistently earn less than men - with men earning earning 10% - 30% less than men depending on the industry. Similar pay gaps have been revealed with respect to race, national origin, and immigration status.