Question: I am applying for the new PERM, but am having a very difficult time figuring out what is the prevailing wage and how to figure out what level it is. Can you please explain?

Answer: There are four levels to any job. Level 1 (entry) is for beginning level employees who have a basic understanding of the occupation. They perform routine tasks that require limited, if any, exercise of judgment. The tasks provide experience and familiarization with the employer’s methods, practices, and programs. The employees may perform higher-level work for training and development purposes. These employees work under close supervision and receive specific instructions on required tasks and results expected. Their work is closely monitored and reviewed for accuracy.

Level 2 (qualified) wage rates are assigned to job offers for qualified employees who have attained – either through education or experience – a good understanding of the occupation. They perform moderately complex tasks that require limited judgment. A Level 2 wage determination would be a requirement for years of education and/or experience

Level 3 (experienced) wages are for job offers for experienced employees who have a sound understanding of the occupation and have attained either through education or experience special skills or knowledge. They perform tasks that require exercising judgment and may coordinate the activities of other staff. They may have supervisory authority over those staff.

Level 4 (fully competent) wage rates are for competent employees who have sufficient experience in the occupation to plan and conduct work requiring judgment and the independent evaluation, selection, modification, and application of standard procedures and techniques. Such employees use advanced skills and diversified knowledge to solve unusual and complex problems. These employees receive only technical guidance and their work is reviewed only for application of sound judgment and effectiveness in meeting the establishment’s procedures and expectations. They generally have management and/or supervisory responsibilities.

Question: Does the amount of the prevailing wage change with the level it is at.

Answer: Most definitively. The higher the level, the higher the wage. This new system is preferable to the older system which had only two levels which were no experience and expert. Here, we have a more realistic way of assessing the experience so that someone with some experience will not have a wage that is much higher than their actual experience.

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What is the Prevailing Wage?