Training and Development Specialists

Career, Salary and Education Information

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a training and development specialist with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Training and Development Specialist Jobs

  • Sales Specialist - Ziehler Lawn and Tree Care - Centerville, OH

    Become a trusted advisor for customers and build long-term relationships that result in increased retention and add-on sales

  • Senior Training and Development Specialist - Ashley Furniture - Arcadia, WI

    Established in 1945, Ashley offers one of the industry’s broadest product assortments to retail partners in 123 countries. Design, Build, Deliver

  • Training and Development Specialist - EMMES Corporation - Washington, DC

    Emmes offers support for the entire process of clinical trials from study design and protocol development through data analysis and manuscript

See all Training and Development Specialist jobs

What Training and Development Specialists Do[About this section] [To Top]

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

Duties of Training and Development Specialists

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 sources and choose appropriate materials
  • Deliver training to employees using a variety of instructional techniques
  • Assist in the evaluation of 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, administer, and deliver training programs for businesses and organizations. To do this, they must first assess the needs of an organization, and then develop custom training programs that take place in classrooms or training facilities. Training programs are increasingly delivered through computers, tablets, or other hand-held devices.

Training and development specialists organize or deliver training sessions using lectures, group discussions, team exercises, hands-on examples, and other formats. Training can also be in the form of a video, self-guided instructional manual, or online application. Training 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 for Training and Development Specialists[About this section] [To Top]

Training and development specialists hold about 282,800 jobs. The largest employers of training and development specialists are as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services 14%
Healthcare and social assistance 13
Finance and insurance 11
Educational services; state, local, and private 10
Administrative and support services 7

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

Training and Development Specialist Work Schedules

The vast majority of training and development specialists work full time during regular business hours. About 1 in 5 work more than 40 hours per week.

How to Become a Training and Development Specialist[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Training and Development Specialists near you!

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

Education for Training and Development Specialists

Training and development specialists need a bachelor's degree. Specialists may have a variety of education backgrounds, but most 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.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation for Training and Development Specialists

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 teachers.

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

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Training and Development Specialists

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 for Training and Development Specialists

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 for Training and Development Specialists

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

Communication 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. Specialists must communicate information clearly and facilitate learning by diverse audiences.

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.

Training and Development Specialist Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for training and development specialists is $59,020. 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 $32,410, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $101,010.

The median annual wages for training and development specialists in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services $68,870
Finance and insurance 62,410
Educational services; state, local, and private 60,180
Healthcare and social assistance 52,820
Administrative and support services 50,890

The vast majority of training and development specialists work full time during regular business hours. About 1 in 5 work more than 40 hours per week.

Job Outlook for Training and Development Specialists[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 11 percent over the next ten years, faster than 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 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. 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 in order to fit a new generation of workers for whom technology is a part of daily life and work.

Because training and development contracting firms may have greater access to technical expertise in order 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.

Job Prospects for Training and Development Specialists

Overall, job opportunities should be good. Job prospects should be best for those with experience developing online and mobile training programs.

Employment projections data for Training and Development Specialists, 2016-26
Occupational Title Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26
Percent Numeric
Training and development specialists 282,800 315,300 11 32,500


*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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