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Technical ladder

Good career prospects lead to innovation – innovation leads to good career prospects

The Carl Zeiss technical ladder was successfully launched throughout the Group in 2005. More than 350 employees from the fields of research and development have already begun climbing the rungs of the technical ladder – a clear indication of the excellent prospects that Carl Zeiss offers employees who can demonstrate specialist expertise.

Innovation is the key to success

Carl Zeiss has a long tradition of innovation. “Carl Zeiss is looked upon as the most innovative company in its respective business areas” is one of the central aims defined in the Carl Zeiss corporate vision. It is a bold claim that can only be achieved by superbly qualified specialists. Experts from a wide range of areas contribute their know-how and energy to develop and enhance the Carl Zeiss Group's technological and scientific leadership.

Working with the management on equal terms

Anyone who views their professional future in terms of their technical expertise – whether they are an employee or an external specialist – will appreciate the opportunities offered by the Carl Zeiss technical ladder. It is a superb system for providing research and development staff with individually tailored opportunities for personal development, higher earnings and career advancement. For people with outstanding knowledge and proven expertise, it opens the door to a glittering career. Top performers who gain a place on the technical ladder get the chance to work together with management and top management on equal terms.

International focus

The Carl Zeiss technical ladder fulfils the highest international standards: All the titles awarded on the technical ladder are recognized and established in the world of international business as shown in the table below.

Leadership ladder Expert ladder
Top management Fellow Senior Principal
Middle management Principal Staff
Employees and commercial leadership responsibilities Technical ladder

Focus on a specialist subject

The main purpose of the technical ladder is not to promote leadership and management responsibilities, but rather to allow people to enhance and actively apply their own expert knowledge. This form of career advancement is less about climbing the career ladder and more about deepening our employees' knowledge of their specialist fields. The technical ladder is individually tailored to each expert in order to ensure they reap the maximum reward from the experience.

Defined criteria for getting on the ladder

Specialists in Carl Zeiss research and development departments can be recommended for the technical ladder and obtain places in the program based on the following criteria:

  • Technical expertise
  • Thought leadership
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Impact and market availability


The technical ladder itself forms part of the expert ladder which encompasses all non-managerial employees of the Carl Zeiss Group – because every Carl Zeiss employee is an expert.