Recent research shows that permanent change management jobs are on the rise. But where has the change management job market come from, and how is it evolving? 

Evolving to Meet Demands

Over the last 20 years, we have seen change management emerge from a foundational understanding of how humans experience change, into change management concepts and frameworks. Today change management is considered a formalized discipline, with an increasing number of organizations creating permanent positions for change management professionals.

Prosci first conducted research on job roles in 2011 and found that 43% of the organizations participating in the studies had permanent job roles dedicated to change management. Descriptions of these positions varied, but common titles included:

  • Director, Change Management
  • Change Management Specialist
  • Change Analyst
  • Change Management Consultant
  • Change Manager
  • Change Management Analyst
  • Manager – Organizational Change Management

Change Management Roles Today 

Let’s now consult the most current research. Prosci’s Best Practices in Change Management – 2016 Edition, reveals that over half of all participant organizations have permanent job roles for change management. This is a 10% increase within four years. For many of these organizations these roles are very new, in operation for a few years or less. Over 50% of these positions are two years old or younger. What does this mean? These statistics suggest that the industry is building momentum! As change management continues to gain support and prominence, we can expect to see these numbers continue to grow.CM-job-length

Change Manager - Then and Now

Primary Responsibilities

What does the role entail? The Best Practices in Change Management – 2016 Edition asked change managers to define their role. Here are the top six responsibilities: 

  1. Support change management at the organizational level
  2. Apply a structured methodology and lead change management
  3. Support communication efforts
  4. Support training efforts
  5. Apply interpersonal skills
  6. Possess change experiences

In 2013, the final two responsibilities had been identified as: "Assessing the change impact" and "Supporting training efforts". In the 2016 research, the final two responsibilities have changed, a slight but significant difference that hints at the new complexities facing change managers. In this fast-growing discipline, interpersonal skills and prior change experience are now considered essential requirements for a change manager.

Secondary Responsibilities

 In the 2016 research, participants also highlighted additional responsibilities of change managers:

  • Complete change management assessments by conducting change analyses and identifying key stakeholders

  • Assess current awareness of the change and identify areas of resistance and readiness

  • Create alignment of goals, objectives and strategic initiatives

  • Identify and manage adoption, use and reinforcement of change

  • Provide leadership and direction to enhance effectiveness of change

  • Influence and engage stakeholders and leaders

  • Perform autonomously, independently and flexibly in ambiguous dimensions

  • Allocate budgets and resources efficiently

  • Identify, analyze and prepare risk mitigation tactics

what does thIs mean for the industry and its professionals?

There is a steady increase in the creation of change management positions. We are also witnessing the development of existing roles, expanding and adapting to meet new demands. The change management industry is growing fast. If you are innovative and dedicated to change, there are opportunities for you.

The change management industry needs not only practitioners, but advanced practitioners with a deepened level of knowledge and experience, professionals who can meet the growing complexities of their role with confidence.


Written by
Tim Creasey
Tim Creasey

Tim Creasey is Prosci’s Chief Innovation Officer and a globally recognized leader in change management. His work forms the foundation of the largest body of knowledge in the world on managing the people side of change to deliver organizational results.