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Employee Training Specialists

At a Glance

  • Train and educate new employees
  • Are skilled in program development
  • Have a bachelor's degree
  • Work with employees, instructors, and supervisors
  • Take courses and attend meetings to keep their own skills current
  • Help current employees keep skills up to date
  • Have years of work experience

Career summary

Employee training specialists plan and organize instructional activities.

#no matching wois, checked 3/2/15 lh

Employee training specialists conduct orientation sessions for new employees. They also arrange on-the-job training for new employees to teach them the skills they need for their jobs. For current employees, they set up courses to help them maintain their skills. They also set up courses to prepare workers for jobs that require more skill, such as a management position or an executive job. They may work for their own firm or under contract with other companies.

Program development is an important part of the job for training specialists. They identify and assess training needs. Trainings may cover:

Specialists also periodically evaluate training programs. They assess the training materials developed by course instructors. In addition, they evaluate the quality of the teaching done by instructors. Instructors who do not meet standards take classes to improve their teaching skills. Specialists develop guides to help instructors be consistent in their teaching procedures. Many employee training specialists also teach classes and conduct training themselves.

Employee training specialists have many administrative tasks. They hire instructors and assign them to courses. They make sure instructors have all the materials they need to lead their courses. They also develop activities, such as group exercises, role-playing, and discussions. In addition, they schedule when and where classes will be taught. They might set up online trainings to reduce transportation costs and environmental impact.

Specialists also monitor the effectiveness of the training programs. They maintain records about which training courses employees take. They write reports about the effects of training on employees. They also monitor the cost of training. Specialists make sure they stay within their budget, and write reports about where they spend their money.

New training techniques are constantly being developed. Training specialists must keep their knowledge of these techniques up to date. They attend meetings and seminars to learn about new ideas. They also read magazines and journals.

Related careers

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to employee training specialists.

Common work activities

Employee training specialists perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, employee training specialists:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Employee training specialists frequently:

It is important for employee training specialists to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for employee training specialists to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Employee training specialists need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as an employee training specialist, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Employee training specialists often have a bachelor's degree. Common majors are personnel or human resources management. Education and business are other good choices.

You should take courses in performance appraisal and training and development. Courses in business and in social and behavioral sciences are helpful. As in other fields, computer skills are important.

Work experience

Employers often promote skilled workers to training specialist positions. They look for people with good writing, speaking, and interpersonal skills.

An internship is a good way to gain experience.

On-the-job training

As a new hire, you begin by assisting experienced trainers. You help prepare training materials, set up classrooms, and observe sessions. You gradually assume more duties until you are planning and presenting sessions on your own. On-the-job training may last up to one year.

Military training

The military trains people to be training specialists and instructors. Training lasts two to 14 weeks, depending on the specialty.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers usually seek college graduates to fill entry-level jobs in personnel. Many employers prefer applicants with a degree in human resources or personnel administration. Others look for graduates who have a teaching or business background. Many employers prefer graduates who have work experience from an internship.

Employers look for a combination of experience, education, and management skills. Employers seek training specialists who can speak and write well.

Costs to workers

Workers who join a professional association may have to pay a membership fee and annual dues.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Training and development specialists (SOC 13-1151)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $21.46 $29.24 $35.95 $44.23 $54.95
Monthly $3,719 $5,067 $6,230 $7,665 $9,523
Yearly $44,640 $60,830 $74,790 $91,990 $114,290
    Bellingham Hourly $17.81 $23.18 $29.68 $39.52 $55.79
Monthly $3,086 $4,017 $5,144 $6,849 $9,668
Yearly $37,045 $48,213 $61,750 $82,215 $116,040
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $22.86 $31.60 $35.25 $38.89 $45.47
Monthly $3,962 $5,476 $6,109 $6,740 $7,880
Yearly $47,565 $65,733 $73,324 $80,891 $94,577
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $20.22 $22.97 $25.72 $32.70 $41.79
Monthly $3,504 $3,981 $4,457 $5,667 $7,242
Yearly $42,058 $47,772 $53,489 $68,023 $86,939
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $20.79 $26.92 $38.57 $49.64 $59.94
Monthly $3,603 $4,665 $6,684 $8,603 $10,388
Yearly $43,228 $55,992 $80,229 $103,259 $124,680
    Longview Hourly $27.80 $34.18 $39.93 $45.30 $48.66
Monthly $4,818 $5,923 $6,920 $7,850 $8,433
Yearly $57,825 $71,104 $83,058 $94,217 $101,225
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $25.89 $28.24 $32.06 $38.00 $46.91
Monthly $4,487 $4,894 $5,556 $6,585 $8,130
Yearly $53,861 $58,736 $66,687 $79,051 $97,579
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $16.78 $21.92 $34.05 $39.47 $45.61
Monthly $2,908 $3,799 $5,901 $6,840 $7,904
Yearly $34,904 $45,587 $70,819 $82,090 $94,867
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $24.32 $31.72 $37.61 $46.47 $57.89
Monthly $4,215 $5,497 $6,518 $8,053 $10,032
Yearly $50,582 $65,977 $78,247 $96,673 $120,416
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $18.40 $27.09 $34.67 $40.15 $47.55
Monthly $3,189 $4,695 $6,008 $6,958 $8,240
Yearly $38,280 $56,349 $72,104 $83,529 $98,913
    Vancouver Hourly $17.98 $23.48 $31.96 $41.20 $52.57
Monthly $3,116 $4,069 $5,539 $7,140 $9,110
Yearly $37,398 $48,837 $66,474 $85,695 $109,353
    Walla Walla Hourly $16.51 $18.19 $27.71 $37.22 $58.31
Monthly $2,861 $3,152 $4,802 $6,450 $10,105
Yearly $34,353 $37,824 $57,623 $77,405 $121,281
    Wenatchee Hourly $16.56 $22.46 $34.89 $40.70 $58.26
Monthly $2,870 $3,892 $6,046 $7,053 $10,096
Yearly $34,454 $46,718 $72,587 $84,663 $121,170
    Yakima Hourly $16.04 $19.24 $26.03 $31.34 $43.51
Monthly $2,780 $3,334 $4,511 $5,431 $7,540
Yearly $33,368 $40,017 $54,144 $65,183 $90,493
United States Hourly $15.84 $21.38 $29.26 $38.88 $49.40
Monthly $2,745 $3,705 $5,071 $6,738 $8,561
Yearly $32,950 $44,480 $60,870 $80,870 $102,740

Pay varies with the worker's experience, education, and level of responsibility. It also varies with the type, location, and size of the employer.

Employee training specialists usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, health insurance, and a retirement plan.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Training and development specialists (SOC 13-1151)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 7,076 22.7% 16.1% 1,069
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 124 13.7% 13.4% 16
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 137 7.3% 8.6% 15
    Benton and Franklin Counties 278 16.2% 15.0% 37
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 139 16.5% 11.9% 19
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 477 22.0% 15.2% 71
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 221 19.5% 14.1% 32
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 247 20.2% 14.6% 36
    King County 3,638 30.8% 19.6% 625
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 88 15.9% 13.8% 12
    Pierce County 623 15.2% 15.2% 82
    Snohomish County 644 11.3% 12.4% 79
    Spokane County 343 9.3% 13.9% 40
United States 306,400 9.4% 5.2% 37,300

National employment

Employee training specialists work in almost every industry.

Major employers:

National outlook

Growth will be faster than average for occupation. As many jobs become increasing complex, employee training specialists will be needed to provide job-specific training programs. Growth may be limited as some companies use more online training resources however, this is a large occupation with many job opportunities.

Job prospects will be the best for those with experience developing online training programs.

Other resources

Association for Talent Development (external link)
1640 King Street
PO Box 1443
Alexandria, VA 22313-1443
International Association of Workforce Professionals (external link)
3267 Bee Caves Road
Suite 107-104
Austin, TX 78746
Society for Human Resource Management (external link)
Society for Technical Communication (external link)
3251 Old Lee Highway, Suite 406
Fairfax, VA 22030
Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Strong Interest Inventory

Holland occupational clusters