The training and development manager is one of the primary positions in many human resources departments. Training and development managers coordinate programs to develop the skills of company employees.  They oversee training and development specialists, who are tasked with bringing in new employees and assisting in training.  

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that opportunities for training and development managers will grow by 15% before 2020. Training and development specialists are predicted to see 21% more opportunities in the same time frame. According to BLS data from 2012, training and development specialists earn a median salary of $55,930. Training and Development Managers earn, on average, $95,400.

What Does Training and Development Involve?

Both positions, manager and specialist, involve ensuring that employees have the capabilities to help grow the business and receive the training necessary to contribute to increased profitability and growth. The difference between the two is that managers typically create the programs that the specialists teach to employees.

Managers are responsible for overseeing the education of current employees. This involves determining core training requirements by working closely with management, budgeting and creating e-learning curricula, as well as overseeing the creation of educational materials, reviewing those materials, then teaching the necessary training methods to Specialists, who then educate the employees. Managers also create client-targeted training for software and services, and develop internal and external training metrics reports.

Training and development specialists hire employees. This involves consulting with management to determine what type of candidate they prefer for an open role, interviewing applicants, conducting background checks, choosing appropriate candidates, then hiring and training them. Specialists may also work with employee relations, payroll and benefits and regulatory compliance.

Why Training and Development Matters

Company executives have realized that developing the skills of their employees is essential to business success. In addition, employees are often more attracted to companies that provide opportunities for education and skill development. Training and development specialists contribute to profitability by weeding out top job applicants. Managers contribute by working with departmental managers, executives and financial officers to create developmental strategies and training materials that align with company goals. They also oversee specialists to ensure that the materials are being conveyed effectively.

Where to Find Jobs in Training and Development

Training and development specialists work in offices in every sector of the economy. About 17% work in the employment services industry, which includes employment placement agencies, temporary help services and professional employer organizations. Training and development specialists are most likely to find work in company and enterprise management, finance and insurance, or professional scientific and technical services.

Education Required for Training and Development Jobs

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.

To become a training and development manager, a bachelor’s degree is typically required, most often in human resources, business administration or a related field. Some employers prefer a master’s degree, usually with a concentration in training and development, human resources management, organizational development or business administration. Managers would also benefit from studying instructional design, behavioral psychology or educational psychology.

Important Qualities

Training and development specialists should be detail-oriented and possess decision-making, interpersonal, listening and speaking skills. Training and development managers should be decisive and have critical-thinking, interpersonal, managerial and speaking skills.

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