How to Become a Corporate Trainer
December 21, 2022
How to Become a Corporate Trainer
A 2022 report from TalentLMS and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that more than half of U.S. companies believe that their employees need to update their skills. These companies are addressing the skills gap by providing training to those employees.
The effort to close the skills gap may be one reason that a 2022 report on workplace learning from LinkedIn Learning shows a large jump in demand for training. The need for learning and development professionals increased by 94% between July and September 2021, for example, compared with April to June 2021.
By mentoring, training, and building skills for an organization’s employees, corporate trainers work to meet this demand. Anyone interested in pursuing this fast-growing career likely has questions about the role that education plays as they consider how to become a corporate trainer.
An advanced degree focused on job-related training, such as a Master of Education (MEd) in Career and Technical Education, can provide knowledge and skills to excel in a career as a corporate trainer.
What Is a Corporate Trainer? ¶
Corporate trainers work in corporate settings to conduct staff education and training. The goal of these professionals is to provide informative sessions that enhance corporate efficiency and improve employee skills.
Businesses in all industries rely on corporate trainers. These trainers are most common in industries that require hands-on work or knowledge of legal and compliance topics. The following fields are examples:
- Financial services
- Customer service
Corporate Trainer Job Duties ¶
Working with groups or individuals, corporate trainers prepare for and lead educational presentations. They also assess the outcomes of the sessions that they offer. Corporate trainers typically rely on various tools and techniques, including the following:
- Classroom lectures
- Videos and presentations
- Online learning
- Training manuals
- One-on-one coaching
- Group role-play activities
These trainers’ specific duties typically include the following:
- Developing training curricula
- Working with corporate leadership to design courses
- Identifying and purchasing training software to meet a company’s needs
- Traveling to the location of the training, if the training isn’t in their workplace
- Teaching educational materials and skills
- Conducting new hire orientations
- Monitoring the effectiveness of training
- Reporting to corporate leaders about the effectiveness of training
- Assisting employees with finding additional professional training
Corporate Trainer Workplaces ¶
While some corporate trainers work for one company, as is often the case for those employed by large corporations, others operate through consulting firms or as freelancers to provide services to various businesses.
Corporate trainers often conduct their sessions in corporate facilities, although their work may take them to off-site locations as well.
Steps for Becoming a Corporate Trainer ¶
Corporate trainers typically combine subject matter expertise with knowledge and skills in education and training practices. With that in mind, an individual’s path toward becoming a corporate trainer should include thinking about the field in which they’d like to work. They might choose to provide technical training in a skilled trade, for example, or regulatory updates for financial services professionals.
Then they should pursue education and experience that’ll provide the necessary skills for training in that industry.
The minimum education requirement for most corporate trainer positions is a bachelor’s degree. Some have advanced degrees that provide additional expertise in education and training and also help them stand out from other job candidates.
Studies focused on education and training as well as the industry in which an individual will work are important preparation for corporate trainer jobs. Knowledge of how to provide education to adult learners is helpful, including that related to:
- Training and development strategies
- Instructional technology
- Data-informed training analysis
Specializing in education, human resources, business administration, organizational management, or educational psychology is a good choice for pursuing a corporate trainer career. For those seeking a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree is typically among the prerequisites for acceptance into these programs.
Many training and development roles require work experience, including that relevant to the industry in which the corporate trainer will work. Prior experience in education and training is helpful, although a master’s degree may take the place of this professional background. A history of working with virtual learning and technology-based educational tools is also typically a plus.
Professionals seeking to transition to corporate training in a field in which they’ve previously worked often already have a level of industry experience that’s beneficial when seeking training roles. Combining this background with education- or human resources-focused degree work or job experience can help those seeking corporate trainer roles.
Corporate trainers rely on a skill set as diverse as the duties they perform — from collaborating with organizational leaders to determine educational needs to analyzing professional training results. Skills in the following areas are beneficial:
- Communication — for developing materials that clearly convey the intended lessons
- Public speaking — for leading training presentations, potentially for large groups
- Analysis — for evaluating the outcomes of training, often by reviewing data related to trainee feedback and employee performance
- Collaboration — for collecting input about training needs and gathering information to include in presentations
- Creativity — for crafting content and presentations that capture the attention of those attending the sessions
- Instruction — for targeting training materials to the needs of a group, including group members who could benefit from training in a particular subject area or through a specific learning style
Another factor to consider when determining how to become a corporate trainer is certification. Although certification isn’t generally required for this career, some employers prefer certified candidates. Regardless of whether candidates must hold this designation, certification is beneficial in exhibiting their credibility and differentiating themselves from others seeking the role.
Certifications typically have requirements related to:
- Education and training
The Association for Talent Development (ATD), for example, offers certifications for those with three to five years of professional experience as well as those with five or more years of experience. The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) offers training developer certification for individuals with at least 18 months of professional experience and facilitator certification for individuals with at least three years of experience.
Corporate Trainer Salary and Job Outlook ¶
Corporate trainers generally outpace the average for all professions in both pay and job outlook. Below are salary and job outlook details for the role.
Corporate Trainer Salary ¶
The median annual salary for corporate trainers was about $58,000 in August 2022, according to Payscale. The top 10% earned more than $84,000. Obtaining an advanced degree can help corporate trainers increase their income potential and qualify for advancement.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for all professions was $45,760 in May 2021.
Corporate Trainer Job Outlook ¶
The BLS provides job outlook information for training and development specialists, projecting 11% growth in these roles between 2020 and 2030. This demand is greater than the 8% that the BLS projected for all careers during the time period.
Employees’ growing need for continuing education and skill development courses is a significant factor in this anticipated growth, as employees work to meet occupational requirements and address changing technology and processes.
Help Employees Build Their Workplace Skills ¶
Corporate trainers are playing a key role as companies work to ensure that their employees have the knowledge and skills to perform at a high level. These trainers combine their knowledge of a specific industry with expertise in educational tools and techniques. Athens State University’s online MEd in Career and Technical Education program can help corporate trainers effectively educate adult learners who perform technical and hands-on jobs.
The 30-credit program offers a career focus with the flexibility of an online education, so you can balance commitments at work and home with those associated with pursuing your advanced degree. Explore how Athens State’s online MEd in Career and Technical Education program can help you achieve your goals as a corporate trainer.
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How to Become a Human Resource Manager
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International Society for Performance Improvement, Certified Developer of Training
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U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Training and Development Specialists