Training and development managers plan, direct, and coordinate programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees. They also oversee a staff of training and development specialists.


Training and development managers typically do the following:

  • Assess employees’ needs for training
  • Align training with the organization’s strategic goals
  • Create a training budget and keep operations within budget
  • Develop training programs that make the best use of available resources
  • Update training programs to ensure that they are current
  • Oversee the creation of online learning modules and other educational materials for employees
  • Review training materials from a variety of vendors and select materials with appropriate content
  • Teach training methods and skills to instructors and supervisors
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of training programs and instructors

Executives increasingly realize that developing the skills of their organization’s workforce is essential to staying competitive in business. Providing opportunity for development is a selling point for recruiting high-quality employees, and it helps in retaining employees who can contribute to business growth. Training and development managers work to align training and development with an organization’s goals.

Training and development managers oversee training programs, staff, and budgets. They are responsible for organizing training programs, including creating or selecting course content and materials. Often, training takes place in a classroom, computer laboratory, or training facility. Some training is in the form of a video, Web-based program, or self-guided instructional manual. Training may also be collaborative, which allows employees to informally connect with experts, mentors, and colleagues, often through social media or other online mediums. Regardless of how it is conducted, managers must ensure that training content, software, systems, and equipment are appropriate and meaningful.

Training and development managers typically supervise a staff of training and development specialists, such as instructional designers, program developers, and instructors. Managers teach training methods to specialists who, in turn, instruct the organization’s employees—both new and experienced. Managers direct the daily activities of specialists and evaluate their effectiveness. Although most managers primarily oversee specialists and training and development program operations, some—particularly those in smaller companies—also may direct training courses.

To enhance employees’ skills and an organization’s overall quality of work, training and development managers often confer with managers of each department to identify its training needs. They may work with top executives and financial officers to identify and match training priorities with overall business goals. They also prepare training budgets and ensure that expenses stay within budget.

Work Environment

Training and development managers held about 28,600 jobs in 2012 and worked in nearly every industry. Some also work for organizations and in government.

Training and development managers typically work in offices. Some travel between a main office and regional offices or training facilities. They spend much of their time working with people, giving presentations, and leading training activities.

Work Schedules

Most training and development managers work full time during regular business hours.

Education and Training

Candidates need a combination of education and related work experience to become a training and development manager.


Although managers need a bachelor’s degree for many positions, some jobs require a master’s degree. Managers can have a variety of educational backgrounds, but they often have a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field.

Some employers prefer or require that managers have a master’s degree, usually with a concentration in training and development, human resources management, organizational development, or business administration.

Training and development managers also may benefit from studying instructional design, behavioral psychology, or educational psychology. In addition, as technology continues to play a larger role in training and development, a growing number of organizations seek candidates who have a background in information technology or computer science.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Related work experience is essential for training and development managers. Many positions require work experience in training and development or another human resources field, management, or teaching. For example, many training and development managers start out as training and development specialists. Some employers also prefer experience in the industry in which the company operates. Increasingly, employers look for workers with experience in information technology as organizations introduce more e-learning and technology-based tools.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many professional associations for human resources professionals offer classes to enhance the skills of their members. Some associations, including the American Society for Training and Development and International Society for Performance Improvement, specialize in training and development and offer certification programs. Although not required, certification can show professional expertise and credibility. In fact, many employers prefer to hire certified candidates, and some positions may require certification.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Communication skills are essential for training and development managers because they often give presentations. Workers must communicate information clearly and facilitate learning by diverse audiences. They also must be able to effectively convey instructions to their staff.

Critical-thinking skills. Training and development managers use critical-thinking skills when assessing classes, materials, and programs. They must identify the training needs of an organization and recognize where changes and improvements can be made.

Decision-making skills. Training and development managers must decide the best training programs to meet the needs of the organization. For example, they must review available training methods and materials and choose those that best fit each program.

Interpersonal skills. Training and development managers need strong interpersonal skills because delivering training programs requires collaborating with staff, trainees, subject matter experts, and the organization’s leaders. They also accomplish much of their work through teams.

Leadership skills. Leadership skills are important for training and development managers, who are often in charge of a staff and are responsible for many programs. Managers must be able to organize, motivate, and instruct those working under them.


The median annual wage for training and development managers was $95,400 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $54,070, and the top 10 percent earned more than $164,640.

In May 2012, the median annual wages for training and development managers in the top five industries employing these workers were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services $109,090
Management of companies and enterprises 102,350
Finance and insurance 100,360
Health care and social assistance 90,140
Educational services; state, local, and private 86,620

Most training and development managers work full time during regular business hours, and some must travel for work.

Job Outlook

Employment of training and development managers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

In many fields, employees are required to take continuing education and skill development courses throughout their careers. In addition, innovations in training methods and learning technology are expected to continue throughout the next decade. For example, organizations increasingly use social media, visual simulations, mobile learning, and social networks in their training programs. Training and development managers will need to modify their programs to fit a new generation of workers for whom technology is a part of daily life and work.

As social media and collaborative learning become more common, training and development managers will need to modify training programs, allocate budgets, and integrate these features into training programs and curricula.

In addition, as companies seek to reduce costs, training and development managers will be required to structure programs to enlist available experts, take advantage of existing resources, and facilitate positive relationships among staff. Training and development managers will use informal collaborative learning and social media to engage and train employees in the most cost effective way.

Job Prospects

Those who have a master’s degree, certification, or work experience in training and development should have the best job prospects.

For More Information

For more information about training and development managers, visit

American Society for Training and Development

International Society for Performance Improvement

For information about human resources management careers and certification, visit

Society for Human Resource Management

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2014–2015 Occupational Outlook Handbook,


Brettmerritt says...


Nathan Novotny (not verified) says...

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Suze says...

I'm impressed. This test seems 100% accurate, at least from my perspective of myself.  From the outside may be different as I have always felt misunderstood.

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