How to Become a Training & Development Specialist

If you love helping people learn more and develop professionally, you may be interested in the human resources position of training and development specialist. A training and development specialist is an expert in the training and educational requirements of staff members.

What Is a Training and Development Specialist?

A training and development specialist, sometimes known as a training and development manager, is a human resources professional that helps in all of the training needs of a company as pertains to their staff. The specialist will meet with employees to determine whether they need additional training or development, and if so they will align the training with the business’s budget and goals. A specialist may develop unique strategies and training programs that are cost-effective, such as new employee initiations and seminars.

How to Become a Training & Development Specialist

Advancement as a training and development specialist is usually a matter of acquiring seniority.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals may also be responsible for integrating new staff members into a company.

The specialist needs to be very good with people and very knowledgeable about the demands of different types of position. As an example, the specialist should be able to identify certifications that are useful for accountants or IT staff members, and may need to push to get them this type of certification. Holding these certifications not only increases the employee’s value to the company but also the company’s external reputation, and some certifications can even get a company discounts on certain products.

What Does a Training and Development Specialist Do?

The training and development specialist will often begin by investigating the current knowledge and standing of an employee. From there, the specialist may initiate the employee in their specific role within the company and then may find more specific training packages that the employee might desire. These training packages, continuing education plans and seminars will all usually need to be approved by someone higher up in management.

A training and development specialist will often need to organize company-specific training programs and may need to create or select course content for specific companies. When new software programs or other types of protocol are being implemented, it may be the specialist’s responsibility to determine the best way to introduce these changes to the staff. Overall, it is the specialist’s job to ensure that employees are trained well enough to be highly successful in their position.

How Do You Become a Training and Development Specialist?

Most training and development specialists will have at least a few years of experience within the human resources industry before shifting into the training and development field. Certification can also help within this industry. The American Society for Training and Development offers certification and seminars, as well as networking opportunities for those that want to get into the field.

Companies generally look for someone who is strong enough to lead and very knowledgeable about training programs. An individual needs to have been successful in the past when they created training programs or offered training to employees. Those that have their heart set on this type of career may need to spend a couple of years building their reputation.

How Do You Advance as a Training and Development Specialist?

Bachelor's Degree
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Advancement as a training and development specialist is usually a matter of acquiring seniority. The longer a specialist is with a company, the more they should increase in rate of pay. This is especially true if the specialist has shown the company that they can offer employees training programs while keeping the actual costs of the company down, such as by negotiating packages for training or creating unique training opportunities.

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