Training specialists plan, coordinate and oversee the training and development activities for employees. A training specialist evaluates a company or organization and decides where training would be helpful and develops a training program to meet the needs. They also evaluate current training programs and make adjustments or create a new program that is more effective.
Sample job titles include training and development specialist, job training specialist, corporate trainer, training coordinator and technical trainer.
They're employed by government agencies, businesses and institutions. Training specialists work in virtually all industries. Many work for private consulting firms and some are self-employed.
Training specialists' objectives often include developing skills, improving productivity, improving the quality of work and building worker loyalty to the company. They also instruct employees regarding a new management and reporting system and about health and safety precautions. Training programs are also designed to help employees deal with mergers and acquisitions.
They often use role-playing, classroom instructions and computers in their training programs. After the training sessions are finished they analyze the effectiveness of the training to make sure the desired results are being achieved.
Sometimes businesses employ training and development specialists to help personnel deal with the fast pace of organizational and technological change and the complexity of work environments. Training specialists help employees stay up-to-date with the latest knowledge in their field.
- Perform surveys to identify training needs
- Provide orientation sessions and arrange for on-the-job training for new employees
- Evaluate training and apprenticeship programs
- Plan, develop and provide training and staff development programs
- Prepare training manuals
- Measure the effects of training programs
- Provide training to instructors and supervisors in techniques and strategies for training and dealing with personnel
- Make improvements to existing programs
Training specialists need a solid foundation in the methods and principles for curriculum and training design. They should have a thorough knowledge in teaching groups and individuals, instructional methodologies, and in adult learning theory.
Education and development specialists should have excellent teaching, communications, leadership, interpersonal and presentation skills. The ability to motivate and encourage others are important assets for the profession.
Training specialists typically work 40 hours per week. Some training specialists travel to provide training to employees at different company locations or to training settings such as hotels and conference centers.
Employment of training and development specialists is forecasted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 23 percent from 2008 to 2018. Due to the increasing complexity of many jobs and technological advances, companies are forecasted to provide more resources to job specific training programs for their employees.
The median annual earnings of training and development specialists in 2008 was $51,450. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $85,160. Regarding the industries employing the largest amount of training and development specialists, the highest paying industry is computer systems design and related services.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Most training and development specialists have earned at least a bachelor's degree. Many colleges offer two and four year programs or specialized classes that are related to training. Employers often seek candidates that have earned a degree in human resource development, organizational development, personnel administration or education and human resources. Beneficial courses include audiovisual techniques, public speaking and management science.
Some employers prefer applicants that have a technical or business background or have a well-rounded liberal arts education. Some training specialists have a master's degree in a training related subject. A doctoral degree is becoming increasingly popular with personnel workers that specialize in the development of new training programs.
For training specialists that seek to move up to a training manager position, certification is beneficial. The American Society for Training and Development, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources and the Society for Human Resources Management provide certification. The Chartered Specific Institute of Personnel and Development provides professional qualification. Theory certifications are also available.
Some of the top employers are health services, government agencies, banks, private consulting firms, manufacturing companies, commercial training providers and retail companies.
Schools for Training Specialists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.