Trainers interact with line and staff management to work out training requirements and organize training sessions accordingly. Training activities within each organization proceed according to a training plan. For example, newcomers to an organization may require orientations, refresher courses on interpersonal skills, and on-the-job training. Executives may require skills training, whereas mid-level and senior managers may require training in areas such as succession planning, corporate strategy, or business negotiation skills.
Trainers may conduct group sessions or provide their services to individuals who require training in specific areas. Depending upon the situation, they may provide training in classroom settings or in specific business environments.
In some organizations, training is a continuous and ongoing process. Consequently, training is often regular and mandatory, especially since businesses operate in a dynamic and constantly changing environment. In many instances, training is required due to changes in technology or due to corporate situations like mergers or acquisitions.
Some training programs receive government support. In such cases, trainers may work alongside designated federal or state officials to provide training that meets government specifications.
Trainers continuously identify and assess organizations’ training requirements. Many of them remain in constant contact with employees and managers to keep track of training needs. In many instances, trainers conduct surveys and evaluate the effectiveness of their programs. Trainers usually provide feedback and appropriate criticism and conduct follow-up sessions to gauge the effectiveness of their training on individual or group performance.
Modes of Delivery
Trainers use a variety of methods to meet the training needs of organizations. These include on-the-job training, apprenticeship training, and classroom training, among others. As a result of the evolution of technology, trainers can even work from remote locations. They also use a variety of computer-aided technologies to instruct their audiences.
Educational Qualifications and Earnings
Although the educational qualifications required vary from one organization to another, a graduate degree is usually essential, as are management, human resources, or training qualifications. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 216,000 training and development specialists in the United States in 2004. Additionally, the median income of training and development specialists was around $44,500 as of May 2004. While the top 10% of those pursuing training careers earned more than $74,600, the bottom 10% earned less than $25,800 during the same period.
Many colleges and universities across the United States offer advanced programs in management, human resources, and training and development. Significant career opportunities exist, although intense competition is prevalent since training specialists receive significantly higher remuneration than those holding jobs in many other sectors.