ECU Blog

Gain New Insights and Knowledge

Training and Development Specialist Career Overview

Written by: East Carolina University®   •  Dec 27, 2023
Training and development specialist in an office setting talking with employees.

Training and Development Specialist Career Overview

Every company benefits when its team members are properly trained to accomplish their day-to-day tasks and collaborate effectively. Achieving this goal requires an ongoing investment in team training, not just initial onboarding but also continuous education and skills formation. The role of a training and development specialist is to design and implement relevant training programs, helping organizations enjoy the benefits of a skilled and competent workforce.

To succeed in this role, it’s critical to have a firm foundation in psychology or a relevant field, ensuring the aptitude to implement training programs that are aligned with organizational needs and goals. An online BA degree in psychology can prepare aspiring training and development professionals to earn competitive salaries and enjoy positions of leadership and responsibility.

What Is a Training and Development Specialist? 

The basic role of a training and development specialist is to develop and implement programs that increase the skill and knowledge of an organization’s employees. Additionally, they assess these programs, evaluating their efficacy and their impact on employee performance.

The work of a training and development professional may begin with an analysis of the existing workforce, seeking to determine skill gaps and areas where increased knowledge might benefit the employees or the organization as a whole. The training and development specialist may then seek to address these gaps through a combination of seminars, online training courses, certification programs, and more.

Training and Development Specialist Job Description

The specific duties associated with this role can vary from organization to organization. A typical job description may include any or all of the following responsibilities.

  • Evaluating employee skill and performance levels
  • Conducting assessments of the workforce to identify opportunities for upskilling
  • Organizing training sessions for the entire employee base, for specific departments, or for individual employees
  • Ensuring new team members are properly onboarded and provided the resources they need for success
  • Preparing curriculum and instructional materials
  • Planning and implementing follow-up “refresher courses” on key topics

What Is the Training and Development Specialist Salary and Job Outlook 

Those drawn to this profession will naturally have questions about the salary, as well as the general career outlook. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides data points to answer each of these questions.

Training and Development Specialist Salary Range

According to 2023 data from the BLS, the annual median salary for this role is $63,100. Multiple factors can affect this salary range, including years of experience, level of education, geographic location, and other variables.

Training and Development Specialist Job Outlook

The same BLS data denotes a job growth rate of six percent between 2022 and 2032. This is slightly higher than the average rate for the U.S. job market as a whole during that same time. This data suggests training and development is a thriving profession that offers ample opportunity for career advancement.

How to Become a Training and Development Specialist 

To thrive in this profession, it’s important to build a full portfolio of skills and become knowledgeable about best practices in human resources and team development. To do so, it’s necessary to have the proper academic background.

1. Earn an Undergraduate Degree

Most roles in training and development require a four-year degree, at a minimum. This can be in any field related to employee development, with psychology being one of the most common options. A four-year degree program should provide some of the competencies needed to succeed in this role.

2. Obtain a Certificate

Additional certifications can provide extra opportunities for skill formation, and potentially lead to higher salary ranges and positions of greater authority. A certification in instructional design is especially useful, attesting to skills in curriculum development.

3. Seek Experience

Aspiring training and development professionals also benefit from gaining experience as part of a human resources or staff development team. Internships and entry-level jobs can all be helpful ways to prepare for long-term success, including roles like HR specialists and instructional designers.

4. Gain an Advanced Degree

While post-graduate degrees are not always necessary, they can often open doors to higher salary ranges and positions of greater authority. Degrees in business administration, adult education, and psychology may all be useful.

Seek a Role in Employee Development 

A training and development specialist can have an outsized role in shaping team performance, cohesion, and morale. Ultimately, they can have a transformative effect on HR departments, and entire organizations. One way to prepare for success in this field is to pursue a robust education, such as an online BA in Psychology from East Carolina University® . Explore this program, which provides the foundational skills for success across a range of career paths. 

Seek additional details about the online curriculum today.


BetterTeam, Training Specialist Job Description

Indeed, How to Become a Learning and Development Specialist (Plus Skills)

Indeed, The Importance of Training Employees: 11 Benefits

PayScale, Average Training and Development Specialist Salary

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Training and Development Specialists

ZipRecruiter, What Is a Training And Development Specialist and How to Become One

Learn more about the benefits of receiving your degree from ECU
Get More Information