Community Forum - How is your tech ladder structured for promotion opportunities?

We are currently re-evaluating our technical career ladder to ensure that we are aligned with industry norms.  We don't wish to divide too finely, but would also like to provide appropriate promotional opportunities.  Feedback on structure of your ladder system would be appreciated.




  • We have unique titles for each role.  For example, we might have a Design Engineer II and a Design Engineer III which are different.  We also have sub-disciplines like Design Engineer II, Mechanical and Design Engineer II, Electrical which also may have different salary grades.  Salary grades are established by HR consulting research such as Mercer and/or Hewitt, etc. and vary regionally based on the market.
  • A comp range is offered at each level. Important - we use steps not a ladder. Step 1. competencies for the levels are defined, with each level having a common title (e.g., chemist). Step 2. promotion is discussed whether the candidate has progressed in their level to master their required competencies and for their likelihood to effectively perform in the next level.
  • We try to be as consistent as possible for different roles at the same level but the rungs follow a natural progression similar to academia. 
  • No but some are confusingly similar.
  • Titles as defined by salary grade are unique.
  • We do have 2 different titles within the same grade though, with differences in other benefits.
  • We try to change title for each salary grade so that a clear progression path is visible to the employee
  • We recognize that our ladder is too short, and are working to increase it.



4. Other:

  • R&D Key Expert
  • Senior engineer
  • R&E Technical Director