Technical career route

We launched the University of Sheffield technical career route in March 2024.

A graphic of lots of hand-drawn cartoon technicians doing various tasks, with the University crest in the centre.
We have over 700 technicians in a huge variety of roles across all areas of our University

About our technical career route

The Sheffield technical career route, developed based on insights from our technical workforce, provides a map of what technical roles and skills look like across our grades and disciplines.

This is an important step forwards in our commitment to ensuring technical roles, skills and careers are better recognised, understood, developed, respected, and aspired to.

Our career route is a tool that can be used by individual technicians in all disciplines as well as by colleagues responsible for recruiting technicians, managers of technicians and leadership teams.

What does your technical career route look like?

The career route is made up of a set of competency-based grade profiles and standardised job title prefixes.

The grade profiles map out the knowledge, skills and behaviours; and the qualifications, accreditations and memberships commonly demonstrated in our technical roles.

The job title prefixes seek to introduce consistency to our technical job titles. They can be personalised by adding a descriptor relevant to the role.

The grades and job title prefixes are as follows: 

  • Grade 3 – Assistant Technician
  • Grade 4 – Support Technician
  • Grade 5 – Technician
  • Grade 6 – Senior Technician
  • Grade 7 – Technical Specialist 
  • Grade 7 – Technical Manager 
  • Grade 8 – Senior Technical Specialist 
  • Grade 8 – Senior Technical Manager 

Progression to Grade 9 and above is likely to require a move away from a solely technical focus into higher management roles, which necessarily require broader focus and experience.

Our technicians are encouraged to explore how their transferable skills might allow them to find opportunities in technical roles in different areas of the University. Developing skills and experiences in different parts of the University can really help people prepare for and succeed in more senior roles.

Many of our technicians have also successfully transitioned into other career routes. There are opportunities to explore in our professional services career routes and in our academic career pathways, which include roles at Grade 9 and above.

How is your career route being used?

Individual technicians can use the grade profiles to understand the competencies demonstrated at different grades and to explore what they might need to develop in order to move to a higher graded job or to make a sideways step into an area of interest.

Managers of technicians can use the career route as a tool for development conversations.  

Recruiting managers can use the career route to help them grade roles appropriately and to inform how they write technical job descriptions.

Over time this should build consistency across the University, making it easier for individuals to plan progression, and giving us a better understanding of our technical workforce.

We also hope that the technical career route will help to raise the visibility of technical skills with colleagues across the University, helping to open up more development opportunities for this group of staff.