Training and development specialists help businesses reach their goals by enhancing workers’ experiences, which improves morale and productivity and may decrease turnover. Proper training and development of employees’ skills and talents helps move companies toward success and profitability.
Training and development specialists implement training initiatives, plans, strategies and processes that help an organization reach its goals. They survey employees, managers and organizational leaders to determine their needs and desired outcomes regarding development, and then propose the appropriate solutions.
These HR professionals also may partner with department heads to develop performance improvement plans, conduct new hire orientation sessions, and plan, organize and direct new employee training. They may work with employees to strengthen their skills and prepare them for advanced positions, or develop individualized training programs for the organization’s future leaders.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that opportunities for training and development managers will grow by 7% before 2020. In May 2015, the median annual wage for these professionals was $102,640, according to the BLS. Salaries can vary widely depending on factors such as the industry, employer, region and the applicant’s education level. Job seekers are encouraged to do their own research on salary for any positions they are seeking.
Most training and development specialist positions require a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business or a related field. Candidates with a high school diploma may qualify for interviews, though employers usually require many years of work experience as a substitute for education. Some positions, such as human resources generalists, may require work experience. A bachelor’s degree — most often in human resources, business administration or a related field — is typically required to enter this field.
Some employers prefer a master’s degree, usually with a concentration in organizational leadership, training and development, human resources management or business administration. Managers would also benefit from studying instructional design, behavioral psychology or educational psychology.
Human resources professionals who wish to advance their career possibilities can earn certification acquired from The American Society of Training and Development or The Society of Human Resource Management.
Employers look for these qualities when considering applicants for training and development manager positions:
With the right combination of skills and education, you can aspire to a successful career as a training and development specialist. This exciting career is suited to professionals with project management, communication and interpersonal skills, who have integrity and the ability to work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. If you possess these attributes, are a team player and enjoy working with people, you could be a good fit for a training and development specialist career. Adding a Human Resources Administration minor to your bachelor’s degree program is a great way to start on this in-demand HR career track. Continuing your education with an MA in Organizational Leadership can help you advance to senior level positions in this field.