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. I would love to sign off on those documents for you, Jim, but that's above my 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. Al's a great handyman but electrical work is above his pay grade.
See also: above, grade, pay
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