Forbes reported that funds for corporate training have risen by 15 percent to $70 billion in America and $130 billion globally. Soaring spending indicates the greater focus of today’s businesses on keeping employees’ skills up-to-date for our blossoming economy. Corporate trainers are leading the organizational change by creating effective learning programs for the workforce to remain competitive. Formerly called training and development specialists, corporate trainers are skilled instructors who prepare a company’s human capital for carrying out the business objectives. It’s their duty to identify areas where improvement is needed and coordinate curricula that helps employees perform better. Whether they’re employed full-time or contracted for consultant roles, corporate trainers help senior HR management retain a skilled, motivated workforce for maximum business performance.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the 254,060 training and development specialists in the U.S. earn a mean annual wage of $62,460, or $30.03 per hour. Corporate trainers working at trade schools make slightly less at $61,520, but those employed in computer systems design bring home a higher average at $73,670. The top-paid corporate trainers are hired by the federal executive branch for an average salary of $99,140 yearly.
Newly hired corporate trainers, especially at smaller organizations, usually land in the bottom 10th percentile with an annual income around $32,170. However, it’s important to note that corporate trainers with experience can break the six-figure mark making over $99,710. Those who advance as training and development managers glean a mean yearly wage of $111,680. On Salary.com, surveys show that top training executives earn $132,288 to $219,765.
Corporate trainers carry hefty responsibility in planning, analyzing, and administering the professional development programs organizations need to improve job skills. They utilize various methods to teach employees, such as online seminars, roundtable discussions, hands-on workshops, team exercises, and business simulations. Many corporate trainers work with HR staff to organize formal training manuals aligned with organizational objectives. They’ll cover administrative tasks like drafting budgets, scheduling courses, setting up instructional equipment, overseeing employee enrollment, and finding vendor sponsors. They also conduct surveys or interviews to ascertain how employees received the training and tweaks to be made. Corporate trainers play pivotal roles in keeping T&D programs a priority for business growth.
Succeeding as a corporate trainer requires the communication skills to speak clearly to diverse audiences in presentations and lectures. Trainers need the collaboration skills to work with HR staff, managers, subject-matter experts, and employees for effective instruction. Pedagogical ability is essential for corporate trainers to design curriculum that adapts to each team’s needs. Corporate trainers should have the creativity and innovation to update outdated teaching methods with fresh material. Technical skills are a must corporate training integrates digital technology like web conferencing, eLearning, and social media. Corporate trainers need analytical research skills to pinpoint exact problems for extra instruction. Active listening, critical thinking, organizational, and persuasion skills are also needed.
Degree and Education Requirements
Although corporate trainers don’t have strict requirements like classroom teachers, an accredited bachelor’s degree is generally required as the minimum education level. Many T&D specialists major in education, human resources, instructional design, or business. Social science backgrounds like organizational psychology or sociology could prove helpful. Increases in educational technology make degrees in computer science attractive too. Corporate trainers who pursue graduate school can unlock advanced manager roles. Degree options include an MBA in Training and Development, Master in Human Resources, or Master of Organizational Leadership. Teachers could also consider programs like Colorado State’s Online M.Ed. in Adult Education and Training.
Pros and Cons of the Position
Stepping into the T&D side of human resources can provide both rewards and challenges. On the positive side, corporate trainers earn a solid average salary with excellent advancement potential for big pay raises. Fast industry growth will keep job opportunities looking bright. Corporate trainers can find success with only a bachelor’s degree, rather than a master’s degree in several teaching specialties. Training positions can be found in diverse industries from healthcare to agriculture and manufacturing. Being a corporate trainer also provides personal satisfaction in helping employees conduct their best work. However, corporate trainers can temporarily decrease productivity by scheduling courses during working hours, which could breed discontent in management. Identifying the apt training option for each employee with differing strengths and weaknesses can be cumbersome. Organizations could potentially outsource or cut corporate training with eLearning methods. Investing in and maintaining certification can also be expensive for corporate trainers.
Getting a relevant bachelor’s education won’t be sufficient if corporate trainers lack experience. It’s essential for aspiring trainers to learn the job through hands-on internships and co-ops or entry-level training assistant positions. One search on Indeed reaps intern programs from companies like Daimler, Publix, ALCOA, and Amica Insurance. Improving your teaching skills in adult education classes could also help. After graduation, aspiring corporate trainers can position themselves for HR specialists jobs involved in workforce development. Professional certification can go a long way toward promotion. For example, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) offers the Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM) program. This credential involves passing 10 online modules, team-based practicum, and a final exam. Joining the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) could facilitate networking too.
From mobile learning to 3D simulations, corporate training is being transformed with high-tech innovations to reach the newest generation of workers. Most industries are expected to grow their T&D efforts to make requisite skill development more accessible. Baby boomers reaching age 65 will likely retire from the training staff and leave vacancies needing fulfilling. The only negative aspect that could hinder growth would be outsourcing to external staff or third-party consulting firms. The BLS projects that hiring of corporate trainers will jump by 7 percent for roughly 18,900 new jobs through 2024. Look for favorable prospects in healthcare, finance, insurance, educational services, vocational schools, manufacturing firms, and government.
For 2017, CNN Money recognized training and development specialists for holding America’s 71st best job. Graded A for low stress and B for benefit to society, corporate training is a noble HR field concerned with boosting employee performance. Corporate trainers create a collaborative learning environment in which workers shape their skills to suit business goals. Becoming a corporate trainer is a rewarding, in-demand path for individuals seeking to utilize their teaching ability outside the traditional classroom.
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