Job Grades/Career Progression


I work in a manufacturing plant, where we are lean in the different positions we have where employees feel they are stuck in their same position for 15 years and not progressing. I am leading a project to try to come up with different job levels, such as Engineering I, II, III etc.. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I thought I would reach out to see if anyone has something like this they would be able to share with me.  Any information or guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Christina Abercrombie

HR Manager at Crane Composites

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  • Hello Christina.  I understand, coming from a Manufacturing Environment as well.  We recently had this same conversation, particularly about our Engineering Dept.  But we only have three in-house mechanical engineers and one of them is the Manager, so it didn't seem necessary for us to use the I, II, III classification system.  We are planning to distinguish one with a Sr. Engineer title however.  As for our Machinists, we do use a I, II, and III classification system.  Then we have Lead Machinists, Supervisors, etc.  We use the Lead title in a few other departments as well.  If I can help answer any other questions, please let me know.

    Misty White

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  • Hi, have you thought about creating a career progression map? In some cases, the department may not be big enough to create levels but the job functions may serve as a foundation to get into other departments or roles within the organization - often times employees are looking for opportunities to do something different or learn something new and having a picture of where to go next helps.

  • Mairy Hernandez  Thank you for the response! I have thought about this a little, but guess I wasn't sure really where to start. The hard part is, I think I am thinking about the project too broadly and need to just start digging into one specific job description at a time. Not only am I doing this for our manufacturing plant, but 3 other manufacturing plants and our divisional office.  So, job descriptions vary from plant to plant etc.. Is there a certain structure/form for the career progression map or just map out the career progression in general?

  • Misty White Thank you for the response! I think I will try mapping this out for our plant similar to what you described above and see where we end up. Thank you!

  • Christina Abercrombie I would suggest you define the stages of your project. Here is my suggestion:

    - Select one location

    -Engage management team

    - Reviewing and validating job descriptions

    - Identify if individuls with same title are doing different work or more complex work; this may lead to levels.

    - Identify employees who have moved to different positions and identify the skills they had and why it worked to progress in their career that way

    - Start discussions with manager on what makes sense as movement within departments

    -Map out career progression based on all information you gather and make sure employees know its a guideline that will evolve with time.

    -Implement similar process in other locations

    Good luck!


  • Mairy Hernandez  Thank you for mapping out the different stages, this was helpful! Thank you :)

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