How to Become a Corporate Trainer
Do you have a passion for teaching and a desire to work in the corporate world? If so, then a career as a Corporate Trainer may be a good fit. This article will explore daily life as a Corporate Trainer, how to become a Corporate Trainer and the states with the highest Corporate Trainer salaries.
What Does a Corporate Trainer do?
A Corporate Trainer is essentially a Teacher who works in a corporate setting. They spend their days training employees on new skills, strategies and systems relevant to their industry. A Corporate trainer can find work in virtually any industry, but their typical work environment is in the corporate office.
Being a Corporate Trainer requires a love for helping people, as most of their job revolves around teaching. This means Corporate Trainers must also have excellent public speaking skills. Some common daily tasks for a Corporate Trainer include:
- Public speaking tasks, such as teaching company strategies to small or large groups
- Observational tasks, such as monitoring the engagement levels of session participants
- Collaborative tasks, such as strategizing with project stakeholders to decide on training content and strategy.
Corporate Trainer Skills
As we mentioned above, Corporate Trainers are Teachers at their core. Being a Successful Corporate Trainer requires heightened interpersonal skills in order to create fast connections with trainees. It also requires a high energy level and comfort speaking in front of a group. Corporate Trainers who can successfully break the ice and get their trainees to engage with the materials are the ones who rise to the top of the industry.
Other key Corporate Trainer skills include:
- Observational skills
- Analytical skills
- Ability to provide constructive criticism
How do you Become a Corporate Trainer?
Most Corporate Trainer jobs require one to have a Bachelor’s degree, although the specific degree field can vary. Most have a degree in Human Resources, but those with a degree in Business Administration, Organizational Management and Educational Psychology can also find employment as a Corporate Trainer.
Earning a Bachelor’s in Human Resources includes coursework the following areas:
- Labor laws
- Training and development
- Performance management
- Organizational behavior
- Job analysis
- Workplace diversity
When deciding on a Bachelor’s program, check to see if they offer a concentration in training and development. The other degree fields mentioned may not cover the technical aspects of HR, but both Business and Psychology programs cover the core principles necessary to be a good Corporate Trainer.
Certification is not required to find employment as a Corporate Trainer, but it does make one more attractive in today’s job market. The Association for Talent Development offers a Master Training program that is well respected in the industry. This program has a three-week online component, and then an in-person component that spans four days. The final component consists of the candidate completing an elective course that specializes in their area of interest. You can find out more about the ATD program here. TrainingIndustry.com is another organization that offers a certification program. You can find out more about becoming a Certified Professional in Training Management on their website.
Finding a Job
According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for Corporate Trainers is set to grow eight percent through 2024. This growth, which is right on par with the national average, will amount to 8,040 new jobs annually over this timespan.
Landing one of these jobs requires a resume that highlights your ability to train and develop. Check out our Corporate Trainer resume samples for some inspiration to get you started.
When you search online for job opportunities, be sure to make a list of key skills that you see across multiple job descriptions and tweak your resume accordingly.
The final step is to make sure your cover letter showcases the skills that are in most demand. See our Corporate Trainer cover letter sample to see what we mean.
Insights from a Corporate Trainer
We had a chat with a Corporate Trainer to give you a clearer picture of this career path. We chatted with Todd Averett, President of Leading People Partners, which is a firm that specializes in providing training, coaching and consulting in the areas of leadership, change, strategy and talent. Before starting Leading People Partners, Todd was the Director of Training and Development for Payless ShoeSource. Here’s what he had to say.
What is the common career path for a Corporate Trainer?
I’ve seen three paths. One is to receive a degree in instruction or curriculum design and take a corporate training role right out of college. The second has been a technical or operations person who has provided technical or operational training to groups within their organization, find that they like it, and then transition full time into corporate training. The third path I’ve seen has been an HR or Organization Development person transition into a training role, utilizing their education and background.
What should someone consider before becoming a Corporate Trainer?
I would recommend that people really understand two things. 1) What is the organization’s culture and strategy around training? Is it funded and supported continuously? Is it viewed as critical to enabling business objectives? Are people provided time for development and training? These questions will make a huge difference in the impact of the training and the job satisfaction of the corporate trainers. 2) Do those interested in training care more about the people that they are training, and the business objectives, than themselves being in front of others? The best trainers listen extremely well, modify content and approaches to meet the needs of the business and the participants, and know when a training solution is best or when another kind of solution might work better.
What type of person excels in this job?
Someone who really understands the business—key metrics, sales and cost drivers, and so on—and also really understands how adults learn. The best trainers I know not only “know their stuff” but also have an authentic, genuine style where they put the learner in the center, not themselves.
What are some of the most important skills for a Corporate Trainer to have?
It is a given that a corporate trainer needs instructional design and presentation skills. More important in my opinion is someone who can really do needs analysis, which is really digging into requests for training to find out if the solution is really training or something else. Also, deeply understanding the business and how to improve personal and business performance ensures that corporate trainers stay relevant and influential.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a Corporate Trainer?
The opportunity to make a real difference, both at the individual level and ideally at the company level. It is terrific and rewarding to see people change and become more effective, and even more so to see entire departments and organizations to evolve and grow.
How Much Does a Corporate Trainer get Paid?
The national median salary for a Corporate Trainer is $58,200. Those at the top 10 percent of the spectrum earn above $99,700, while those at the bottom 10 percent of the spectrum earn less than $32,200.
Top 10 States for Corporate Trainer Salary
The following states have the highest median salaries for Corporate Trainers.
- District of Columbia: $75,100
- Rhode Island: $72,800
- Massachusetts: $70,400
- Connecticut: $70,000
- New Jersey: $69,100
- California: $67,900
- Delaware: $66,600
- New Hampshire: $65,300
- Washington: $65,200
- Virginia: $64,900
Corporate Trainer Resources
Check out this list of resources if you want to explore the world of a Corporate Trainer further.
Around the Web
AllenComm – AllenComm is a global training-consulting firm with over 35 years of experience. Their blog is updated weekly with articles that are perfect for aspiring Corporate Trainers.
LearningRebels.com – Learning Rebels is written by a Corporate Trainer by the name of Shannon Tipton. Shannon shares stories of her experience as a Corporate Trainer that are excellent reads for those looking to break into the industry.
Ziglar.com – Zig Ziglar is the grandfather of the self-help niche. He is internationally renowned for his sales training systems, and his blog is regularly updated for those who want to learn how to motivate and develop others.
The Association for Training Development – This organization facilitates the CPLP certification exam. Their website contains practice exams, a list of conference dates and links to several publications relevant to Corporate Trainers.
National Staff Development and Training Association – NSDTA was founded in 1983, which makes it one of the oldest professional organizations or Corporate Trainers. Their website has information on membership, as well as links to a bunch of helpful resources.
The Big Book of Humorous Training Games – Written by Doni Tamblyn and Sharyn Weiss, this book contains hundreds of fun games designed to break the ice among trainees while simultaneously hammering home important concepts.
ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development – Written by Elaine Biech, this book is sponsored by the Association for Training Development. This is a great resource for any Corporate Trainer to have on his or her bookshelf.
Telling Ain’t Training: Updated, Expanded, Enhanced – Written by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps, this book dives into the principles of adult learning and provides dozens of strategies for reaching adult learners.