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Salary and Compensation Insights

Explore salary structures and compensation details in Guam

Market competitive salaries

Understanding market competitive salaries in Guam is crucial for both employers and employees. It ensures fair compensation practices and attracts top talent.

Balancing Act: Cost of Living vs. Salary Levels

Guam presents a unique challenge: a relatively high cost of living coupled with average salaries lower than the U.S. mainland. An average salary of $52,561 is reported, which translates to an hourly rate of $25. However, Guam's median income sits at $55,950, indicating a potential gap between average and typical salaries. This highlights the importance of considering cost-of-living adjustments when evaluating market competitiveness.

Resources for Competitive Salary Research

Several resources can guide employers and employees in Guam's job market. Salary Expert is a platform that offers salary data based on surveys from employers and employees. Users can search for specific job titles and see average salaries and salary ranges based on experience level.

The ERI Economic Research Institute (ERI) compiles salary survey data and provides insights into compensation trends. Their resources can be valuable for businesses seeking comprehensive salary benchmarks.

Additional Tips for Researching Competitive Salaries

Industry associations often compile salary data specific to their sectors. Many job boards list salary ranges alongside job postings. While not guaranteed to be perfectly accurate, they offer valuable insights. The Guam Department of Labor may publish salary information for various occupations.

By combining data from these resources and considering the cost of living in Guam, employers can establish competitive compensation packages, and employees can negotiate for fair wages that meet their needs.

Minimum wage

Guam has its own minimum wage established by the Guam Minimum Wage Act Public Law 5-143, Section 45004. This act is administered by the Department of Labor and Personnel's Wage and Hour Commissioner.

Minimum Wage Rate

The current minimum wage rate in Guam is $9.25 per hour, effective from September 1, 2021.


The Guam Minimum Wage Act might not apply to certain employees covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) if the federal minimum wage is higher than Guam's minimum wage. The Minimum Wage Commissioner has the authority to grant exceptions under specific circumstances outlined in the Act.

Bonuses and allowances

In Guam, employee bonuses and allowances can vary greatly depending on the employer, industry, and position. Here's a breakdown of some common types:

Merit-Based Bonuses

For government classified employees in Guam who receive the highest rating on their performance evaluations, there is a specific bonus. However, these bonuses are not mandated for private sector employees.

Performance-Based Bonuses

Performance-based bonuses are offered by many companies in Guam, both private and public. These bonuses are typically tied to achieving specific goals or exceeding expectations. The specifics of the program will vary depending on the employer.

Other Bonuses

  • Sign-on bonuses: To attract qualified candidates, particularly for hard-to-fill positions, some employers may offer sign-on bonuses.
  • Retention bonuses: These bonuses are offered to incentivize employees to stay with the company for a certain period.
  • Profit-sharing bonuses: Some companies share a portion of their profits with employees based on overall company performance.


Allowances are regular payments given to employees to cover work-related expenses. Common allowances in Guam include:

  • Meal allowances: These are provided to cover the cost of meals while working overtime or traveling for business.
  • Transportation allowances: These help employees cover the cost of commuting to work, especially if public transportation is limited.
  • Cellular phone allowances: These reimburse employees for work-related phone usage.
  • Housing allowances: In some cases, employers may offer housing allowances to help employees with rent or mortgage payments, particularly if relocating for the job.

Remember, most bonuses and allowances are not mandated by Guam law. Always check with your employer about their specific policies and offerings.

Payroll cycle

In Guam, a U.S. territory, payroll practices are governed by both federal labor laws and unique local regulations.

Pay Periods

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there is no specific pay period mandated. In Guam, employers can choose their pay periods, provided they adhere to the following:

  • Frequency: Guam law does not mandate a minimum frequency. However, payments must be made at least twice a month for salaried non-exempt employees and weekly for exempt administrative, executive, and professional employees.
  • Pay Period Length: Pay periods can be weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly.

Payment Methods

Employers in Guam can offer various payment methods:

  • Direct Deposit: This is the preferred method as it ensures timely and secure payments.
  • Paper Checks: This is still a valid option, but employers may require written employee consent to avoid potential delays or security concerns.
  • Paycards: Prepaid cards can be used, but all associated fees cannot be borne by the employee.

Notice of Pay Periods and Payment Methods

Employers are required to provide written notice to employees about:

  • Pay Period: The length of the pay period.
  • Payday: The specific date when wages will be paid.
  • Payment Method: The method chosen for delivering wages (direct deposit, check, etc.).

This notice should be given at the time of hire and whenever there's a change in the pay period, payday, or payment method.

Minimum Wage and Overtime

Guam's minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage and may be adjusted periodically. Employers must comply with the current minimum wage set by the Guam Minimum Wage Commission.

Overtime pay requirements follow the FLSA guidelines. Employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek must be compensated at a rate of one and a half times their regular pay rate for those overtime hours.

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