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What Training and Development Specialists Do About this section

training and development specialists image
Training and development specialists guide employees through exercises.

Training and development specialists plan 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 multiple sources and choose appropriate materials
  • Deliver training to employees using a variety of instructional techniques
  • Assist in evaluating training programs
  • Perform administrative tasks such as monitoring costs, scheduling classes, setting up systems and equipment, and coordinating enrollment

Training and development specialists help create, plan, and run training programs for businesses and organizations. To do this, they must first assess the needs of an organization. They then develop custom training programs that may take place online, in classrooms, or in training facilities.

Training and development specialists organize or run training sessions using lectures, team exercises and other formats. Training also may be in the form of a video, a self-guided instructional manual, or an online application. Training may be collaborative, allowing employees to connect informally with colleagues, experts, and mentors.

Work Environment About this section

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

Training and development specialists held about 354,800 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of training and development specialists were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services 12%
Healthcare and social assistance 12
Educational services; state, local, and private 11
Finance and insurance 9
Administrative and support services 8

Training and development specialists spend much of their time working with people, giving presentations, and leading training activities. They also may need to travel to training sites.

Work Schedules

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

How to Become a Training and Development Specialist About this section

training and development specialists image
Training and development specialists must have strong instructional skills to meet the learning needs of a particular group.

Training and development specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree and related work experience. However, candidates who do not have a bachelor’s degree sometimes qualify for jobs if they have relevant experience.

Education

Training and development specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree, often in a business field such as organizational development or human resources. Other fields of degree include education, social science, psychology, and communications.

Candidates who do not have a bachelor’s degree sometimes qualify for jobs if they have experience developing and delivering training. The experience may need to be extensive and specific to the employer’s industry.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

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

Employers also may prefer to hire candidates who have work experience in a relevant industry or with virtual learning, mobile training, and technology-based tools. However, employers may hire candidates who have a master’s degree instead of work experience.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not usually required, certification shows professional expertise and credibility. However, some employers prefer to hire certified candidates, and some positions require certification. The Association for Talent Development (ATD) and International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) are among the organizations that offer certification programs in training and development.

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.

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

Communication skills. Training and development specialists must convey information clearly and facilitate learning to diverse audiences.

Creativity. Specialists should be resourceful when developing training materials. They may need to think of and implement new approaches when considering training methods.

Instructional skills. Training and development specialists deliver employee training programs. They must have strong training skills to meet the learning needs of a particular group.

Pay About this section

Training and Development Specialists

Median annual wages, May 2021

Business operations specialists

$76,040

Training and development specialists

$61,570

Total, all occupations

$45,760

 

The median annual wage for training and development specialists was $61,570 in May 2021. 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 $31,340, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $103,240.

In May 2021, 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 $77,280
Finance and insurance 63,460
Educational services; state, local, and private 62,600
Healthcare and social assistance 60,110
Administrative and support services 49,210

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

Job Outlook About this section

Training and Development Specialists

Percent change in employment, projected 2021-31

Training and development specialists

8%

Business operations specialists

8%

Total, all occupations

5%

 

Employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 36,500 openings for training and development specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

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 projected to grow in many 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.

In addition, some organizations meet their employees’ needs by outsourcing instruction to firms that specialize in training and development.

Employment projections data for training and development specialists, 2021-31
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Training and development specialists

13-1151 354,800 383,700 8 28,900 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about training and development specialists, visit

Association for Talent Development (ATD)

International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI)

O*NET

Training and Development Specialists

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