Career Choice: Training and Development Specialist

Career Choice: Training and Development Specialist
  • Type: Career Type
  • Opening Intro -

    Training and development specialists are Human Resources professionals tasked with identifying the employee development needs for their company or for clients.


These professionals design and conduct training sessions based on training requirements, in a bid to help people improve their performance. Specialists use a variety of printed and visual aids, and may supplement their in-person training with online seminars and questionnaires.


The training and development specialist must possess strong interpersonal skills and have an understanding of human psychology and sociology. These professionals must develop customized training plans and present this information to superiors for their review. The trainer must be able to demonstrate the value of a particular training method and show outcome based results that positively reflect on her training strategy.


Most specialists have a bachelor’s degree with O-Net Online reporting that 13 percent have a master’s degree. A degree in Human Resources or Personnel Administration, particularly on the graduate level, can be beneficial. These professionals can benefit from taking courses in labor relations, human psychology, organization structural, business management and law. Great weight is placed on the specialist’s ability to teach and to manage. Possessing certification from the American Society for Training and Development Certification Institute or other accredited organization can be helpful.

view current positions for training and development specialists


As of May 2010, the mean annual wage for training and development specialists was $57,280 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages ranged from $31,110 to $89,490 with the median salary set at $54,160. The middle 50 percent of these specialists earned from $40,640 to $71,180.


The BLS recorded 203,870 training specialists who worked across a variety of industries. One of the largest employer groups was corporations and other large businesses, paying $60,330 per year on average. Insurance carriers and state governments also retained large numbers of training specialists, paying $59,470 and $50,650, respectively. Computer systems design companies offered average annual pay of $66,490 and hospitals paid $61,250 per year on average. The top pay for training and development specialists was the federal government where salaries averaged $94,190 per year.


Pay levels for training specialists is highest around Washington, D.C., and greater New York City where these professionals earned $68,980 and $72,160, respectively. States with the highest pay averages included Washington at $68,020, New Jersey at $67,940, California at $67,010 and Connecticut at $65,020. On the lower end of the spectrum, states such as Oklahoma, Arkansas on Montana had the lowest average salaries, below $47,020 per year.


The job forecast of training and development professionals is good according to the BLS. In its forecast of job growth from 2008 to 2018, the bureau predicts a 22 percent growth which is about twice as fast as all jobs. Among the reasons the bureau cited for the strong outlook are government regulations that require companies to keep employees updated about their benefits including retirement plans, their work environment and other employee factors. The professionals who are on the leading edge of training and has the educational background and qualifications should find ample opportunities in their chosen profession.


O-Net Online: Summary Report for: 13-1151.00 – Training and Development Specialists

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition; Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Managers and Specialists

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Employment Statistics; 13-1151 Training and Development Specialists

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