Training specialists design training programs to help new employees and to meet continued training needs arising from the introduction of new policies or technologies. Depending on the exact job, training specialists may teach in a classroom setting or use a more experiential approach. Training specialists' goal is to ensure that employees are performing at the optimal level.
Training specialists develop employee on-boarding training programs as well as on-going skills training for technological updates or other operational changes, and they may also plan and coordinate training exercises with outside vendors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that employers prefer to hire training specialists who hold bachelor's degrees and who possess a fair amount of industry-specific experience (www.bls.gov). Human resources trade organizations provide voluntary certification opportunities, and some positions may require industry-specific licenses or certifications.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||Industry-specific experience|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||7% for training and development specialists|
|Average Salary (2015)*||$62,460 for training and development specialists|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information Overview
The nature of this job varies drastically by organization and individual. Some specialists train new employees in a classroom setting and instill company values and policies. Others are assigned to teaching employees more physical techniques such as how to run machines or work a company's computer systems. Training specialists may have stationary office roles, work for one corporation but travel between sites, or even teach seminars via the Internet. These professionals must be equipped to handle a variety of training methods delivered in many different ways.
Within an organization, most new employees receive some degree of orientation and training on company policies when they first begin working for a company. For some training specialists, this is their exclusive career role. But most companies hire specialists to help them plan out and organize a broad array of training activities for their employees at every level.
Training specialists often work with a company's personnel over the life of their employment to assess the effectiveness of delivered training programs and determine what additional training might be necessary in the future. Many businesses provide additional training to employees wishing to move up into higher positions, and training specialists also oversee this procedure. Specialists might find themselves assigned to one-on-one work with individuals or teaching whole groups.
Education Requirements for Training Specialists
Achieving a bachelor's degree is the minimal educational requirement for most people entering this profession. Many universities and colleges do not offer bachelor's degrees in human resources, labor relations, and other specialized topics until the graduate level. The BLS states that a mixture of social sciences, behavioral sciences, and business administration courses at the undergraduate level is useful for acquiring the skills necessary to do this job.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
During the decade between 2014 and 2024, the BLS predicts that open positions for training and development specialists will increase by 7%. As reported by the BLS in May 2015, the average annual salary for training and development specialists was $62,460. Records from that same year indicated that the training specialists who earned the highest average annual salaries worked in the following industries: federal executive branch ($99,140); natural gas distribution ($89,030); electric power generation, transmission and distribution ($86,570); manufacturing and reproducing magnetic and optical media ($84,600); and aerospace product and parts manufacturing ($83,180).
Training specialists want to help companies by elevating employees' skill sets and knowledge to meet or exceed company standards. If you have a knack for teaching, are interested in the personal growth of your peers and want to help businesses meet their goals then becoming a training specialist might be the career for you.