above (one's) pay grade

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above (one's) pay grade

1. The responsibility of those who are of a higher authority than oneself, denoted by the level of pay that one receives in comparison to one's superiors. All these questions you're asking are above your pay grade. He had some great ideas about how to run the company, but contributing such things was above his pay grade.
2. Above or beyond one's general skill, knowledge, ability, or willingness to participate. He soon realized that the details of the IT development project were a bit above his pay grade. Sorry, fishing garbage out of the lake is above my pay grade.
See also: above, grade, pay
References in periodicals archive ?
He added: "I think he is acting way above his pay grade in talking about these matters anyway.
The idea of privileging civilians seems to suggest that some poor grunt forced or enticed to fight wars begun by people way above his pay grade, or who are claiming god-given authority, has less right to live.
Questions about the trade-offs between the rights of the Chinese to free speech, free assembly, dissent and the like are handled above his pay grade.
Obama responded by saying that decision was above his pay grade.
ElBaradei is offering confident judgments, well above his pay grade, about Kim Jong Il's motives -- and cautious ones about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's.