Training and Development Specialist Career Description


Training and development specialists plan and administer programs that improve the skills and knowledge of their employees.

What they do

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

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.

How to become a Training and Development Specialist

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

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.

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.

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.



The median annual wage for training and development specialists was $61,210 in May 2019. 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 $32,680, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $104,200.

Job Outlook

Employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2019 to 2029, much 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.


Similar Job Titles

Computer Training Specialist, Corporate Trainer, E-Learning Developer, Job Training Specialist, Management Development Specialist, Senior Instructor, Supervisory Training Specialist, Technical Trainer, Trainer, Training Specialist

Related Occupations

Human Resources Manager, Training and Development Manager, Human Resources Specialist, Management Analyst, Health Education Specialist


More Information

The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field.  Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas.  As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.


Magazines and Publications



Video Transcript

Delivering an effective training program takes creativity along with communication skills and the ability to adapt teaching methods to a particular audience. Training and development specialists plan and conduct programs that train employees and improve their skills and knowledge. These specialists often begin developing a program by assessing needs through surveys, interviews, and meetings with managers. Taking what they learn, they develop curriculum, manuals, videos, or online applications. They may include different formats to engage learning through group discussion and team activities, and often follow up their training with evaluation to improve for the next session. Training and development specialists increasingly develop tools and materials for use on computers and tablets. Administrative tasks are also common, such as scheduling classes or webinars, setting up equipment, and taking registrations. Training and development specialists work in nearly every industry— from healthcare and finance, to education and government. They spend much of their time working with people, giving presentations, and leading training activities. They generally work full time, during regular business hours. Training and development specialists need a bachelor’s degree and work experience in a field such as training, human resources, teaching, or instructional design. A master’s degree may take the place of work experience.


Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH,
CareerOneStop, O*Net Online