Training and Development Specialists

Summary

training and development specialists image
Training can occur in the form of a video, Web-based program, or self-guided instructional manual.
Quick Facts: Training and Development Specialists
2012 Median Pay $55,930 per year
$26.89 per hour
Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation Less than 5 years
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 228,800
Job Outlook, 2012-22 15% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 35,400

What Training and Development Specialists Do

Training and development specialists help 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 $55,930 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than 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.

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 may take place in a classroom, computer lab, 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 a classroom, computer laboratory, or training facility.

Training and development specialists organize or offer training sessions using lectures, group discussions, team exercises, hands-on examples, and other training formats. Some training is in the form of a video, Web-based program, or self-guided instructional manual. 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 also may monitor instructors, guide employees through media-based programs, or facilitate informal or collaborative learning programs.

Work Environment

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Training and development specialists may facilitate collaborative or informal training programs.

Training and development specialists held about 228,800 jobs in 2012, and work in nearly every industry.

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.

How to Become a Training and Development Specialist

training and development specialists image
Training and development specialists often need experience in the industry in which they work.

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 can come from 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 or the social sciences, 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 training and development, instructional design, teaching, or related work. Some employers also prefer previous work experience in the industry in which the company operates. Increasingly, employers prefer candidates with experience in information technology, as organizations introduce more e-learning and technology-based tools.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many professional associations for human resources professionals offer classes to enhance the skills of their members. Some associations, including the American Society for Training and 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. In fact, many 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.

Important Qualities

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

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. Training and development specialists need strong interpersonal skills because delivering training programs requires collaborating with instructors, trainees, and subject-matter experts. They also 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 2012

Business and financial operations occupations

$62,500

Training and development specialists

$55,930

Total, all occupations

$34,750

 

The median annual wage for training and development specialists was $55,930 in May 2012. 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 $31,910, and the top 10 percent earned more than $93,470.

In May 2012, the median annual wages for training and development specialists in the top five industries employing these specialists were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services$64,770
Educational services; state, local, and private56,400
Finance and insurance56,320
Health care and social assistance50,360
Administrative and support services47,600

Most training and development specialists work full time during regular business hours.

Job Outlook

Training and Development Specialists

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Training and development specialists

15%

Business and financial operations occupations

13%

Total, all occupations

11%

 

Employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.

In many fields, employees are required to take continuing education and skill development courses throughout their careers. In addition, innovations in training methods and learning technology should continue throughout the next decade. For example, organizations increasingly use social media, visual simulations, mobile learning, and social networks 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.

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.

Across most industries, employment of training and development specialists is expected to grow as companies develop and introduce new media and technology into their training programs. Training and development contracting firms are often better equipped with the technology and technical expertise to produce new training initiatives, so some organizations will likely contract out portions of their training or program development work to these companies.

Job Prospects

Job prospects should be best for those with a bachelor’s degree in training and development, education, human resources, computer science, or instructional design, and with experience performing training and development work.

Employment projections data for Training and Development Specialists, 2012-22
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Training and development specialists

13-1151 228,800 264,200 15 35,400 [XLS]

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 2012 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 $51,910
Compensation and benefits managers

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Compensation managers plan, direct, and coordinate 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 $95,250
compensation benefits and job analysis specialists image

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

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

Bachelor’s degree $59,090
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 $99,720
Human resource specialists

Human Resources Specialists and Labor Relations Specialists

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, payroll and benefits, and training. Labor relations specialists interpret and administer labor contracts regarding issues such as wages and salaries, employee welfare, healthcare, pensions, and union and management practices.

Bachelor’s degree $55,640
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 $60,050
Psychologists

Psychologists

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

See How to Become One $69,280
School and Career Counselors

School and Career Counselors

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

Master’s degree $53,610
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 $95,400
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Training and Development Specialists,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/training-and-development-specialists.htm (visited July 25, 2014).

Publish Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014