Learn About the Different Types of Job Titles

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Learn About the Different Types of Job Titles

Image by Chelsea Damraksa © The Balance 2019

A job title is a term that describes in a few words or less the position held by an employee. Depending on the job, a job title can describe the level of the position or the responsibilities of the person holding the position.

When you are job searching, you can search for particular job titles based on the qualities you are looking for. For example, you can search by job title on Indeed, CareerBuilder, and the other major job sites to find open positions. For an employer, a job title describes the type of position and level an employee holds.

Here’s information on what is included in a job title, and how you can use a job title in your job search. Also, see lists of job titles and job descriptions organized by industry and level of experience.

Types of Job Titles

  • A job title can describe the responsibilities of the position, the level of the job, or both. For example, job titles that include the terms “executive,” “manager,” “director,” “chief,” “supervisor,” etc. are typically used for management jobs.
  • Other job titles reflect what the person does on the job (e.g., “chef,” “accountant,” “housekeeper,” “social media specialist,” “programmer,” “guest services coordinator,” “mechanic,” etc.).
  • Some job titles reveal both the job level and the job responsibilities, such as “head chef,” “lead accountant,” “electrical superintendent,” “marketing manager,” etc.

How Employers Use Job Titles

Employers use job titles to categorize positions in their organization. A company's organization chart will show all the positions in the company, listed by job title, the reporting structure, and company management.

Progressive Job Titles: Large organizations typically have a formal set of job titles for each set of positions with a clear progression, such as “assistant,” “junior,” “lead,” “associate,” “manager,” and “senior.” A small business or startup may have a more flexible list of job titles, with only one or two people in each role.

Compensation Management: Employers also use job titles as part of their compensation management system. Certain job titles can be tied to pay grades. There may be a salary range for new employees coming on board, and for what current employees can expect to earn in a specific position.

Career Paths: Job titles are also used to determine a career path at a company, both by employees eligible for promotion and by employers who are evaluating candidates for employment. There is typically a stepped progression from entry-level positions for new hires to senior staff or management roles for employees who have progressed with the company.

When employers post jobs, the job posting will include a job title. That makes it easy for the company to track candidates, and for applicants to apply for relevant positions.

How Employees and Job Seekers Use Job Titles

When you're job hunting, you can search using your current job title or the title of the jobs you're interested in as keywords.

Keywords for Job Searching: Using keywords to job search will help refine your search to quickly find jobs that are a match. You can use job titles to narrow down jobs you’re interested in based on responsibilities and/or job level.


Use variations of the job title you're interested in to see a broad selection of open positions.

Most job sites have advanced search options you can use to drill down and expedite your job search.

Job Titles on a Resume: It is also important to use appropriate job titles on your resume. This gives the person reviewing your application a quick overview of your previous employment, so be as specific as possible. Do be sure what you list on your resume matches your LinkedIn profile, and lines up with what your previous employers will say, when your references are checked.

Research Jobs: For employees, lists of job titles will enable you to discover what other types of jobs you could be doing both at your organization and at other employers. They show you positions you can aspire to as you move up the career ladder, as well as jobs you can qualify for if you’re seeking a career change.

List of Job Titles

Use the job title lists below to help you get a sense of what positions are available in career fields that interest you. Look at job titles for occupations of interest to see what types of jobs might be a good fit for your background.

Business Job Titles

The world of business includes many job titles and a number of them refer to specialty areas within the business arena. For instance, an accountant could work for himself and provide services to individuals. In this role, he might simply have the title of a CPA. He might also work for a corporation where he takes on the title of chief financial officer, director of financial operations, or bookkeeper.

Many of these business titles can be used in a variety of industries. For instance, the title of manager can mean a variety of things and be used in any number of industries. These could include finance, retail, medical services, etc. See a list of job titles related to business below:

  • Administrative
  • Banking
  • Consulting
  • Corporate
  • Human Resources
  • Insurance
  • International Business
  • Legal
  • Public Relations
  • Purchasing
  • Sales

Creative Industry Job Titles

Many jobs require a creative spirit and industries like advertising are filled with these positions. Some of these jobs cater to the business market while others, like the media, work with the public in mind.

Quite often, a career in a creative field can open up your prospects for a greater variety of job options. The skills needed are often interlinked and the experience you gain at one position can be useful in another.

Service Industry Job Titles

There are also jobs that are designed to provide a service to the public. Most work with consumers and help them purchase items and enjoy experiences they value. Others, such as police officers, firefighters, and other health and safety services, have a completely different goal in mind. The key skill universal to most service jobs is communication and the ability to work with a variety of people.

Skilled Trade Job Titles

Skilled trades are the backbone of many of the things we enjoy in daily life. From building the bridge you drive over every day to making your TV set or getting it to your local store, the men and women in these fields are essential to modern life. Many of these positions require on-the-job training or some degree of technical education in order to learn the specific skill set required on the job.

  • Construction
  • Maintenance
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation

Technical Job Titles

It's time to get technical, and the job titles in these industries can get very technical and complex. The majority of these positions require a four-year degree or more and are among the highest-paying careers.

  • Engineering
  • Environmental
  • Healthcare/Medical
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Science

Job Titles for Beginners

Your first few jobs are important for experience, and you can use these to build your resume. Over time, you may be able to drop them from your list, but for now, they show your work ethic and that is important to potential employers.

More Job Titles

These job titles have either very specific or very universal purposes and don't really fit into any of the other categories. Within each segment is a variety of individual positions that provide services, entertain, are technical, or have some other outstanding quality.

  • Animal
  • Fundraiser
  • Non-Profit
  • School
  • Sports

Key Takeaways

WHY JOB TITLES ARE IMPORTANT: Job titles are the key search terms you’ll use during your job search. They can denote job types, experience levels, and / or responsibilities.

HOW EMPLOYERS USE JOB TITLES: Different organizations use different types of job titles in their organization chart to clearly define their chain of operations and leadership and available career paths.

USE JOB POSTINGS AS YOUR GUIDE: When you apply for jobs, use the specific job title listed in the job posting in your resume and in your cover letter. The job title is one of the most important keyword phrases that employers’ applicant tracking systems will look for when screening the applications they receive. 

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