Training and Development Specialists

Summary

training and development specialists image
Speaking skills are essential for training and development specialists because they often give presentations.
Quick Facts: Training and Development Specialists
2014 Median Pay $57,340 per year
$27.57 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation Less than 5 years
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2014 252,600
Job Outlook, 2014-24 7% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2014-24 18,900

What Training and Development Specialists Do

Training and development specialists plan, conduct, and administer programs that train employees and improve their skills and knowledge.

Work Environment

Training and development specialists work in nearly every industry. They spend much of their time working with people, giving presentations, and leading training activities.

How to Become a Training and Development Specialist

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, training and development specialists also need work experience and strong communication skills.

Pay

The median annual wage for training and development specialists was $57,340 in May 2014.

Job Outlook

Employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for those with a bachelor’s degree and previous work experience in training and development and online and mobile training programs.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for training and development specialists.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of training and development specialists with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about training and development specialists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Training and Development Specialists Do

training and development specialists image
Training and development specialists develop training programs that may take place in a classroom or online.

Training and development specialists help plan, conduct, and administer programs that train employees and improve their skills and knowledge.

Duties

Training and development specialists typically do the following:

  • Assess training needs through surveys, interviews with employees, or consultations with managers or instructors
  • Design and create training manuals, online learning modules, and course materials
  • Review training materials from a variety of vendors and choose appropriate materials
  • Deliver training to employees using a variety of instructional techniques
  • Monitor and evaluate training programs to ensure they are current and effective
  • Select and assign instructors or vendors to conduct training
  • Perform administrative tasks such as monitoring costs, scheduling classes, setting up systems and equipment, and coordinating enrollment

Training and development specialists create, administer, and deliver training programs for businesses and organizations. To do this, they must first assess the needs of an organization. Once those needs are determined, specialists develop custom training programs that take place in classrooms or training facilities. Training programs are increasingly delivered through computers, tablets, or other hand-held electronic devices.

Training and development specialists organize or deliver training sessions using lectures, group discussions, team exercises, hands-on examples, and other formats. Training can be in the form of a video, self-guided instructional manual, or online application. Training also may be collaborative, which allows employees to connect informally with experts, mentors, and colleagues, often through the use of technology.

Training and development specialists may monitor instructors, guide employees through media-based programs, or facilitate informal or collaborative learning programs.

Work Environment

training and development specialists image
Training and development specialists spend much of their time working with people and leading training activities.

Training and development specialists held about 252,600 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most training and development specialists were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services 14%
Healthcare and social assistance 13
Finance and insurance 11
Educational services; state, local, and private 11
Manufacturing 7

They spend much of their time working with people, giving presentations, and leading training activities.

Work Schedules

Most training and development specialists work full time during regular business hours. About one-fifth worked more than 40 hours per week in 2014.

How to Become a Training and Development Specialist

training and development specialists image
Training and development specialists need communication skills to effectively present training programs.

Training and development specialists need a bachelor’s degree, and most need related work experience.

Education

Training and development specialists need a bachelor’s degree. Specialists may have a variety of education backgrounds, but many have a bachelor’s degree in training and development, human resources, education, or instructional design. Others may have a degree in business administration or a social science, such as educational or organizational psychology.

In addition, as technology continues to play a larger role in training and development, a growing number of organizations seek candidates who have a background in information technology or computer science.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Related work experience is important for most training and development specialists. Many positions require work experience in areas such as training and development or instructional design, or in related occupations, such as human resources specialists or even teachers.

Employers may prefer to hire candidates with previous work experience in the industry in which the company operates. However, some employers may hire candidates with a master’s degree in lieu of work experience. Increasingly, employers prefer candidates with experience in information technology, as organizations introduce more e-learning, mobile training, and technology-based tools.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many human resources associations offer classes to enhance the skills of their members. Some associations, including the Association for Talent Development and International Society for Performance Improvement, specialize in training and development and offer certification programs. Although not required, certification can show professional expertise and credibility. Some employers prefer to hire certified candidates, and some positions may require certification.

Advancement

Training and development specialists may advance to training and development manager or human resources manager positions. Workers typically need several years of experience to advance. Some employers require managers to have a master’s degree in a related area.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Training and development specialists must evaluate training programs, methods, and materials, and choose those that best fit each situation.

Creativity. Specialists should be creative when developing training materials. They may need to think of and implement new approaches, such as new technology, when evaluating existing training methods.

Instructional skills. Training and development specialists often deliver training programs to employees. They use a variety of teaching techniques and sometimes must adapt their methods to meet the needs of particular groups.

Interpersonal skills. Specialists need strong interpersonal skills because delivering training programs requires collaboration with instructors, trainees, and subject-matter experts. They accomplish much of their work through teams.

Speaking skills. Speaking skills are essential for training and development specialists because they often give presentations. Specialists must communicate information clearly and facilitate learning by diverse audiences.

Pay

Training and Development Specialists

Median annual wages, May 2014

Business operations specialists

$63,880

Training and development specialists

$57,340

Total, all occupations

$35,540

 

The median annual wage for training and development specialists was $57,340 in May 2014. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $31,980, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $97,660.

In May 2014, the median annual wages for training and development specialists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services $65,460
Finance and insurance 59,930
Educational services; state, local, and private 58,480
Manufacturing 58,290
Healthcare and social assistance 51,760

Most training and development specialists work full time during regular business hours. About one-fifth worked more than 40 hours per week in 2014.

Job Outlook

Training and Development Specialists

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Training and development specialists

7%

Business operations specialists

7%

Total, all occupations

7%

 

Employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employees in many occupations are required to take continuing education and skill development courses throughout their careers, creating demand for workers who lead training activities.

Employment of training and development specialists is expected to grow across most industries as companies develop and introduce new media and technology into their training programs. Innovations in training methods and learning technology should continue throughout the next decade. For example, organizations increasingly use social media, visual simulations, and mobile learning in their training programs. Training and development specialists will need to modify their programs to fit a new generation of workers for whom technology is a part of daily life and work.

Since training and development contracting firms may have greater access to technology and technical expertise to produce new training initiatives, some organizations outsource specific training efforts when internal staff or resources are not able to meet the training needs of the organization.

Additionally, as baby boomers reach retirement age and begin to leave the workforce, organizations will need capable training and development staff to train their replacements. The need to replace a large workforce of highly skilled and knowledgeable employees should result in organizations increasing their training staff, or contracting out services, to sustain a workforce of high quality employees and maintain a competitive edge.

Job Prospects

Overall, job opportunities should be good. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in training and development, education, human resources, computer science, or instructional design, and with experience in training and development, particularly online and mobile training and development programs, will have the best prospects.

Employment projections data for training and development specialists, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Training and development specialists

13-1151 252,600 271,500 7 18,900 [XLSX]

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of training and development specialists.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2014 MEDIAN PAY
Career and technical education teachers

Career and Technical Education Teachers

Career and technical education teachers instruct students in various technical and vocational subjects, such as auto repair, healthcare, and culinary arts. They teach academic and technical content to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter an occupation.

Bachelor's degree $51,830
Compensation and benefits managers

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Compensation managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to determine how much an organization pays its employees and how employees are paid. Benefits managers plan, direct, and coordinate retirement plans, health insurance, and other benefits that an organization offers its employees.

Bachelor's degree $108,070
compensation benefits and job analysis specialists image

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists conduct an organization’s compensation and benefits programs. They also evaluate position descriptions to determine details such as a person’s classification and salary.

Bachelor's degree $60,600
Human resources managers

Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.

Bachelor's degree $102,780
Human resource specialists

Human Resources Specialists

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.

Bachelor's degree $57,420
Instructional coordinators

Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators oversee school curriculums and teaching standards. They develop instructional material, coordinate its implementation with teachers and principals, and assess its effectiveness.

Master's degree $61,550

Labor Relations Specialists

Labor relations specialists interpret and administer labor contracts regarding issues such as wages and salaries, healthcare, pensions, and union and management practices.

Bachelor's degree $56,950
Psychologists

Psychologists

Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people relate to one another and their environments.

See How to Become One $70,700
School and Career Counselors

School and Career Counselors

School counselors help students develop academic and social skills and succeed in school. Career counselors assist people with the process of making career decisions by helping them develop skills or choose a career or educational program.

Master's degree $53,370
Training and development managers

Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers plan, direct, and coordinate programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees. They also oversee a staff of training and development specialists.

Bachelor's degree $101,930
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Training and Development Specialists,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/training-and-development-specialists.htm (visited February 07, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015