Becoming a Corporate Trainer: Job Description & Salary Info

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Get the truth about a corporate trainer's salary, education requirements and career prospects. Read real job descriptions and see the pros and cons of becoming a corporate trainer to see if this career is for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Career in Corporate Training

Corporate trainers are human resources specialists who are responsible for offering training and guidance to the employees of an organization. Read on for pros and cons to help you decide if this career is right for you.

PROS of a Career in Corporate Training
A bachelor's degree is often enough to begin entry-level work*
Many different industries seek corporate trainers*
Fast job growth expected (7% increase in jobs between 2014 and 2024)*
Good average salary (training and development specialists earned an average of $61,530 as of 2014)*

CONS of a Career in Corporate Training
Travel is sometimes necessary*
Many organizations outsource human resources duties*
Technology may eliminate some of the need for corporate trainers*
Most corporate trainers work full-time, so part-time positions may be limited*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Duties and Career Information

Corporate trainers handle many responsibilities related to the training of an organization's staff. In this career, you may conduct orientations for new employees, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of training programs and analyze training needs. While conducting training sessions, you may use a variety of instructional techniques, such as group discussions, role playing, lectures, videos, team exercises and simulations. You could conduct surveys, focus groups, meetings or interviews to gain the information needed to evaluate training programs and determine training needs. You may also develop training manuals and other instructional materials. Other duties can include following a training budget and teaching training skills to supervisors.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in May of 2014, training and development specialists earned an average annual salary of around $61,000. The bottom ten percent earned $31,000 or less, while the top ten percent earned $97,000 or more. The agency also expected that jobs for human resources specialists in general would increase by 5% between 2014 and 2024, which was as fast as the average. The BLS attributed this growth to growing companies needing more human resources services as they expand.

What Are the Requirements?

Companies seeking corporate trainers are typically looking for trainers with professional experience in their specific industry or field. Since corporate trainers are human resources specialists, many have bachelor's degrees in human resources. However, companies that prefer or require bachelor's degrees often don't specify any specific major. Some companies will hire you even if you don't have a degree, just as long as you have professional experience. In some cases, you may also need to have a background in teaching or curriculum design. Communication, speaking, presentation and related skills are important for this position so you may consider taking public speaking, communications or speech courses.

Real Job Listings

Most employers seek trainers with some degree of professional training experience, sometimes in the specific field of the company. Many employers also look for trainers with an ability to design curricula and instruction manuals. Below are real job listings that were posted in April of 2012:

  • A Michigan marketing company is seeking a corporate trainer with at least one year of training experience to design, implement and monitor training programs. A bachelor's degree was preferred, but not required. Also required were the ability to travel, knowledge of media production, the ability to design curricula, Microsoft Office proficiency and experience working in a call center environment.
  • A transportation firm is interested in hiring a corporate trainer with 3-5 years of experience for a location in Illinois. The company prefers a trainer with a bachelor's degree in adult education or human resources management, but only a high school diploma is required. Experience teaching classes with at least 15 students is also required. The successful candidate should also have knowledge of Microsoft Office and other software programs, strong customer service skills and the ability to travel.
  • A Texas company is looking for a corporate trainer with at least three years of experience to be responsible for training and staff development within the company. The candidate should have a bachelor's degree, sales training experience and strong public speaking skills. Also required is advanced experience with Microsoft Office and the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously.

How to Stand Out in the Field

If you're interested in separating yourself from other corporate trainers in the job market, you may want to look into becoming certified. One organization that offers relevant certification is the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD). Through the ASTD, you could earn the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential. The ASTD mentions that some companies prefer hiring candidates who have earned CPLP certification. To be eligible to apply, you'll need at least three years of experience, but five or more years of experience is preferred. You must then pass a multiple-choice exam and work product assessment in which you submit a sample project and answer essay questions. Certification is good for three years, after which time you must retest or submit recertification credits.

Career Alternatives

If you're interested in human resources or teaching but don't think corporate training is a good fit for you, you may want to explore some other career options.

Benefits and Compensation Manager

If you're more interested in paying employees than training them, you may look into working as a benefits and compensation manager. These managers coordinate the salaries and benefits of a company's workforce. Most benefits and compensation management positions require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in human resources, business management, finance or a related area. However, some positions require a master's degree. The BLS reported that these managers earned an average annual salary of about $101,000 in May 2011. The BLS also projected a three percent increase in employment between 2010 and 2020.

Public Relations Specialist

If you would like to work in a corporate setting and have excellent communication skills but are not interested in human resources, you could also look into working as a public relations specialist. Public relations specialists help market and maintain a company's image. This position typically requires a bachelor's degree in public relations, journalism, communication or a related area. The BLS projected that jobs for public relations specialists would increase by 21% between 2010 and 2020. The BLS also noted that these specialists earned an average salary of approximately $60,000.

Administrative Service Manager

On the other hand, if you have an interest in the service culture of an organization but are not interested in training employees, you may explore the possibility of working as an administrative services manager. Administrative services managers coordinate different types of support services for organizations, including mail distribution and facilities maintenance. All that is needed to get started is a high school diploma and related work experience, but employers may prefer candidates who have earned bachelor's degrees. The BLS reported that these managers earned an average salary of $87,000 in May 2011. The BLS also projected that administrative service management jobs would increase by 15% between 2010 and 2020.

Popular Schools

  • Campus and Online Programs
    1. South University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Human Resources Management (MS)
      • Business Administration (DBA)
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    Bachelor's
      • Business Administration (BBA)
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    2. George Mason University

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    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Argosy University

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    Doctorate
      • Organizational Leadership (EdD)
      • Business Administration (DBA)
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      • Bachelor - Business Administration
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      • Business Administration (AS)
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    4. American University

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    Master's
      • Master of Science in Human Resource Analytics and Management
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    5. Kaplan University

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    6. Grand Canyon University

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    7. Keiser University

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    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
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      • Associate of Arts - Accounting
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    8. Full Sail University

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    Master's
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
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    9. Saint Joseph's University

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    Master's
      • MS in Strategic Human Resource Management
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    10. Colorado State University Global

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    Master's
      • Master - Human Resource Management
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Featured Schools

South University

  • Human Resources Management (MS)
  • Business Administration (DBA)
  • Business Administration (BBA)

What is your highest level of education completed?

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration

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Argosy University

  • Organizational Leadership (EdD)
  • Human Resource Management (MS)
  • Bachelor - Business Administration
  • Business Administration (AS)

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American University

  • Master of Science in Human Resource Analytics and Management

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Kaplan University

  • MBA: Human Resources
  • BSBA in Human Resources
  • AASBA in Business

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Grand Canyon University

  • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership - Organizational Development
  • Master of Science in Organizational Growth and Sales
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

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Keiser University

  • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
  • B.A. - Business Admin: Human Resources
  • Associate of Arts - Accounting

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Full Sail University

  • M.S. - Entertainment Business
  • M.S. - Internet Marketing
  • B.S. - Music Business

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