Training and Development Managers Overview

Training and development managers may come from many different educational backgrounds depending on the duties and responsibilities required of the particular position. Certified college graduates will find the best opportunities, but job opportunities are expected to grow much faster than average overall opening the doors to many candidates. In this field strong interpersonal skills are invaluable.

Nature of the Work for Training and Development Managers

Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers are part of the human resources team that helps to attract, retain and motivate the top employees in the field. In the past administrative duties were more typically of these workers, but now along with these tasks training and development managers also may consult with top executives on strategic planning or help with policy changes.

Training and development opportunities can help employees improve skills, which can improve their job satisfaction, lower job turnover and increase productivity and morale. Dealing with people is an important part of training and development managers jobs.

Human resources staffers who work as training and development managers conduct training and development programs for staffers as well as creating and procuring those programs. They usually supervise training and development specialists and make decisions that can impact the budget and training portfolio. Executives are beginning to realize more and more that training not only helps workers develop skill, but it helps workers feel more loyal to a company and become more productive. As employee skills increase, individual and organizational performance increase, ultimately improving the results of the business. These training and development programs are known to give companies an edge in recruiting and retaining the best employees.

Corporations may also consider the complexity of the work environment, the number of jobs in the field that require new skills and the rapid pace of organizational and technological change to determine whether or not training and development managers are needed. Advances in learning theory makes the work easier as there are now insights into how people learn and how training should be most effectively organized.

Training and development managers oversee the development of programs, budgets and contracts. They may determine what types of training are needed and how best to deliver that information. Employee training may occur through online video course, computer labs, a classroom, and onsite production facility or through self-paced instructional guides. In-person training requires training and development managers to prepare teaching materials, stimulate the class and issue completion certificates. Computer-assisted training or recorded training may require knowledge of cameras, microphones, computers and other technology platforms. training and development managers are responsible for the entire learning process from the environment to meeting the objectives to monitoring how learning impacts job performance.

Typically training and development managers work in offices, but some may need to travel to train employees that work at other offices or to visit regional, satellite or international offices.

A 40-hour workweek is standard in this career. Though longer hours may be necessary depending on workload or training schedule.

Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement for Training and Development Managers

Recommended Education Level

Due to a variance in duties and responsibilities, the educational backgrounds of training and development managers vary. Most employers fill entry-level positions with college graduates of human resources, human resources administration and labor and industrial relations programs. That said, some employers hire from liberal arts graduates or those with a strong technical or business background.

A bachelor’s degree is the usual first step to becoming a training and development manager, but many colleges and universities don’t offer a specific degree until the graduate level. So undergraduate courses or concentrations in training and development, organizational development and human resources management are smart picks.

An interdisciplinary background works well in this field so courses in the social sciences, behavioral sciences and business administration are good choices as well. While some jobs look for training and development managers with specialized skills in finance, law, science or engineering many focus on organizational structure, industrial psychology or principles of management. Computer skills are invaluable in the field, especially for those working on distance learning training programs.

To reach top level management positions, a masters degree is recommended in business administration with a concentration in human resources management or in human resources or labor relations.

Entry-level workers typically begin with administrative duties—data entry, creating employee handbooks or handling routine questions. Later, through on-the-job training programs they learn more advanced skills and then can move into a specialized area at a supervisory level such as training and development managers.

In this field, experience is key for advancement. Most employers look for college graduates who have some experience through a work-study program or internship to fill entry-level positions. Employees in this position must have incredible interpersonal skills and express a commitment to the organizational goals. Some training and development managers may build necessary skills through other careers as teachers or other supervisory positions. Sometimes workers come from backgrounds in business, education, social services administration or the military.

Clear written and spoken communication is a must for training and development managers. And as the workforce becomes more diverse, employees must have skills to communicate effectively with a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, education levels and experience. Being able to speak a foreign language can be a huge advantage especially when working with an international company or a firm that employs many immigrant workers. Training and development managers must also be able to handle conflicting viewpoints and stress with ease as well as display integrity and a persuasive genial personality.

Professional associations offer certification programs and classes to improve and prove the competence and credibility of training and development managers, which can help improve chances for advancement. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Certification Institute offers a professional certification for training and development managers that address nine areas of expertise. Candidates must pass an exam and demonstrate successful work experience. ASTD also offer 16 short-term certificate and workshop programs that cover a range of training and development topics.

Top 10 Most Popular Human Resources Schools

1. American InterContinental University (Multiple Campus Locations)
2. University of Phoenix (Multiple Campus Locations)
3. Webster University (Saint Louis, Missouri)
4. Community College of the Air Force (Montgomery, Alabama)
5. University of Oklahoma, Norman Campus (Norman, Oklahoma)
6. Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant, Michigan)
7. Park University, NW River Park Dr. (Kansas City, Missouri)
8. Cornell University (Ithaca, New York)
9. Colorado Technical University (Multiple Campus Locations)
10. SUNY Empire State College (Saratoga Springs, New York)

See All Human Resources Schools

Top 10 Most Popular Online Human Resources Schools

1. American InterContinental University - Online School
2. University of Phoenix - Online School
3. Colorado Technical University - Online School
4. Saint Leo University Online
5. Kaplan University - Online School
6. DeVry University - Online School
7. Ashford University - Online
8. Penn Foster High School
9. South University - Online Programs
10. Strayer University - Online School

See All Online Human Resources Schools

Employment and Job Outlook for Training and Development Managers

Number of People in Profession

29,320

Changing Employment (2008-2018)

Employment is projected to grow much faster than average (increase 20% or more).

Training and development managers held 30,400 jobs in 2008. They worked in nearly every industry and some were self-employed.

In the coming years, employment is projected to grow much faster than average for all human resources, training and labor relations managers positions. Certified college graduates should find the best opportunities.

Employment growth will be about 22 percent for the field of human resources and training. New legislation and court rulings in areas such as wages and equal employment opportunity will likely boost the demand for training and development managers. Especially in larger companies, mergers, corporate downsizing and restructuring can reduce the number of jobs for training and development managers. But additional workers will be required once companies begin to expand again.

Companies are expected to devote more of their budgets to job training programs as positions become more complex and technology changes making the skills of current workers obsolete. And as many highly-trained baby boomers retire, replacements will need to be trained. Many training and development managers will also come from the growing push to recruit and retain the best employees in the field.

Management, consulting and employment services firms will provide many positions because more and more companies will seek to hire temporary training and development managers due to the cost and complexity of their skills.

The best opportunities will go to certified college graduates—especially those with a bachelor’s degree in industrial or labor relations, human resources administration or human resources. A technical or business background or a liberal arts education are also favorable to employers. Economic conditions and business cycles can affect the demand for training and development managers. Rapidly expanding businesses for example will need to hire more human resources staff while one that’s consolidating operation would require fewer training and development managers.

Besides new employment growth, many positions will open up due to workers who are retiring or otherwise leaving the occupation.

Earnings and Salary for Training and Development Managers

The median annual wages of training and development managers are $87,700. The highest 10 percent earn above 149,050, the lowest 10 percent earn under $48,280 and the middle 50 percent earn between $64,770 and $115,570. The average starting salary offer for those with a bachelor’s degree in human resources is $45,170 a year according to a salary survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Broken down by top industries employing training and development managers, annual salaries were as follows:

Employment services: $69,170

Local government: $70,430

General medical and surgical hospitals: $86,820

Insurance carriers: $92,210

Management of companies and enterprises: $93,140

Annual Salary for Training and Development Managers

On average, Training and Development Managers earn $88,090 per year.

10% 25% 75% 90% $49,560/yr $65,910/yr $115,020/yr $146,820/yr

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook