Career Development

How to Become a Corporate Trainer

February 22, 2021

Many companies strive to keep their employees up-to-date on industry news, strategies and skills as they develop in their careers. Most businesses use corporate trainers to ensure the business's employees are well-educated on important topics and ideas. Corporate trainers are like teachers but in a business setting, and they require specific education or experiences to perform their job well.

In this article, we explain what a corporate trainer is, describe their job responsibilities, provide their average salary, highlight the steps to take to become a corporate trainer, illustrate a corporate trainer's work environment and answer frequently asked questions about becoming a corporate trainer.

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What is a corporate trainer?

A corporate trainer is a teacher who works in a corporate setting to provide education and training to employees. All industries use corporate trainers to ensure employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to complete their jobs. Some corporate trainers work exclusively for one company, which is common with large corporations, while others work for a consulting firm that offers their services to many companies. Finally, some corporate trainers work independently as freelancers. Corporate trainers are often experts both in their field and in education and training practices.

Related: 40 Alternative Jobs for Teachers Who Want a Career Change

What does a corporate trainer do?

Corporate trainers might have a variety of responsibilities depending on the specifics of their position and for whom they work. Common corporate training tasks include:

  • Developing curriculums
  • Teaching content and skills
  • Working with leadership to develop course work
  • Providing professional development courses
  • Monitoring the efficacy of the training
  • Finding additional professional development opportunities for interested employees
  • Leading orientations
  • Identifying and procuring effective training software
  • Reporting on the efficacy of the training to leadership and stakeholders

Related: Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs for Retired Teachers

Average salary for a corporate trainer

Corporate trainers make, on average, $55,569 per year in salary. Most corporate trainers receive additional perks and benefits as a part of their compensation package, including health and dental insurance, paid time off, stock options and cell phone reimbursement.

How to become a corporate trainer

There are several ways to enter the field of corporate training. Some people know they want to work as corporate trainers before beginning their careers and take the appropriate educational steps to immediately begin work in the field. Others transition into corporate training after time in other jobs. If you're interested in becoming a corporate trainer, follow these steps:

1. Identify your ideal industry

Before you make any educational or career decisions, consider what skills and qualifications you have or would like to develop. This will help you identify the ideal industry in which you could work as a corporate trainer. Some trainers work in a variety of business fields, like finance, compliance and human resources, while others focus on one specific area.

2. Perform research on the position

Learn all you can about the field and industry in which you would like to work as a corporate trainer. Since the job responsibilities of a corporate trainer extend beyond providing instruction and also include tasks like developing curriculum, collaborating with stakeholders and reviewing training sessions for efficacy, it can be helpful for prospective corporate trainers to work on building up all the necessary skills for the job before looking for positions.

3. Earn a bachelor's degree

Almost all corporate trainers have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, while some have advanced graduate degrees. Consider earning a bachelor's degree in a field related to education and training or the area of business in which you hope to become a trainer. Common bachelor's degrees for corporate trainers include human resources, business administration, organizational management, educational psychology and education.

4. Work in human resources or education

If you're interested in transitioning to a role as a corporate trainer from a different field, you'll want to ensure you have or can develop the skills necessary to perform the job. It's easiest for people who already work in education or human resources to transition into the corporate training field, since there's a considerable amount of overlap between those roles, but anyone with experience in a business field can find training and make that career move.

5. Develop public speaking skills

One of the most important skills for a corporate trainer is public speaking. Most trainers work with sizable groups and must be able to communicate clearly to multiple people at once. Consider taking courses in public speaking, volunteering your time for an organization in a role that requires public speaking or joining a club dedicated to practicing and refining public speaking skills.

6. Select a work environment

Consider the environment in which you'd most like to work. Some companies, particularly large corporations, hire in-house trainers who manage orientations, professional development and other training sessions for all employees. Other corporate trainers work for consulting firms that companies hire to perform training for their employees. Finally, some corporate trainers work for themselves as freelancers. Companies hire freelance corporate trainers in much the same way they do consulting firms.

7. Complete certification

Consider earning a certificate in corporate training. While it's not a requirement for the field, it can help set you apart from other applicants. Three of the major certifying agencies include the American Society for Training and Development, the International Society for Performance Improvement and the Association for Talent Development.

8. Apply for jobs

Apply for jobs in your chosen industry and work environment. Consider reaching out directly to companies in addition to looking for job postings online or seeking open position information from your professional network.

9. Seek professional development

Once you've secured a position as a corporate trainer, you should strive to continue your own professional development. Seek out training opportunities to stay abreast of developments in the field of education and training besides your specific industry.

Work environment for corporate trainers

Most corporate trainers work in business headquarters or other office-like environments. In-house trainers that work for one specific company usually go to the same office every day to perform their work. Consultant trainers and freelance trainers might work locally for various businesses in their city or area, or they might travel extensively to visit companies all over the country or world.

Frequently asked questions about corporate trainers

People interested in the field of corporate training often have questions about aspects of the position. Review these answers to frequently asked questions about corporate training to learn more about the role:

What are the most important skills for corporate trainers to have?

Corporate trainers should have certain skills to best perform their jobs. A few of the most sought after skills for corporate trainers include:

  • Public speaking
  • Organization
  • Collaboration
  • Analytical skills
  • Patience
  • Flexibility
  • Instructional design
  • Observation
  • Problem-solving

What's the career outlook for corporate trainers?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that the field of training and development specialists will grow by 9% by 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Since this field is expanding and qualified corporate trainers are in demand, the data suggest corporate training is a smart career move for interested and qualified individuals.

What are a few common interview questions for corporate trainers?

When interviewing for a position, corporate training applicants can anticipate a few questions specific to their education, experience and methodology. You might encounter a few questions like these at your next interview:

  • How would you handle an employee who was disrespectful during your training session?
  • What online learning software do you most prefer?
  • Tell me how you go about preparing a new curriculum.

What are the most common industries for corporate trainers to work in?

Every industry, though not every company, uses trainers to develop the skills and knowledge of its employees. Aside from job-specific training, the most sought after types of general training include:

  • Business ethics
  • Leadership development
  • Customer service
  • Communication
  • Persuasion or influence
  • Conflict resolution
  • Time management
  • Productivity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Group psychology
  • Presentation skills

Consider developing your knowledge of these specific skills to better prepare for a role as a corporate trainer.

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