How To Become an IT Trainer (With Salary, Job Outlook and Tips)
Updated June 24, 2022
If you are interested in computers, technology and teaching others, a career as an information technology (IT) trainer could be a great opportunity. An IT trainer teaches professionals how to use company software or equipment. Learning more about this role could help you decide if it's the right path for you. In this article, we explain what an IT trainer is, what they do, the steps you can take to become one, and we provide important career information and tips.
What is an IT trainer?
An IT trainer is a professional who instructs others on how to use a computer or other technological equipment. They are a specialized type of corporate trainer, sometimes referred to as a technical trainer. They may work for one company as an in-house trainer teaching employees how to use software, or they can work on a contract basis for multiple companies and train employees as needed. Typically, they specialize in a certain area of technology, and they design and implement courses for other professionals to instruct them on this type of technology.
Related: How To Become a Corporate Trainer
What does an IT trainer do?
An IT trainer helps professionals use their company's technology. Their daily responsibilities can vary depending on their work environment and area of focus, but some common duties include:
Creating surveys or tests to evaluate an organization's training needs
Developing new training curriculum for computer systems or technology
Creating new training materials including presentations, handouts and guides
Designing activities or lessons to teach certain technical skills
Revising current training courses or curriculum
Leading training courses or presentations
Evaluating the effectiveness of a training program by using surveys or tests
Providing feedback to professionals to improve their technical skills
Learning about new software programs or technology
How to become an IT trainer
If you are interested in becoming an IT trainer, consider following these steps:
1. Earn a bachelor's degree
The first step to becoming an IT trainer is earning a bachelor's degree. IT trainers can work in many industries including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality and retail, so they have many options when choosing an undergraduate degree. During their education, aspiring IT trainers can develop their interpersonal and technical skills. Consider choosing a major that relates to your interests and goals while preparing you for a training role. Some common undergraduate majors include:
2. Choose an entry-level path
The next step in becoming an IT trainer is choosing a career path. IT trainers typically begin their careers in one of the following ways:
Information technology: IT trainers may choose to gain experience and develop technical skills while working in the IT field. They may work as a software engineer, network analyst or computer programmer.
Corporate training: IT trainers can also begin their careers in general corporate training. They may start as an assistant trainer or work on a curriculum team. Over time, they may focus on IT training within the corporate training career.
3. Gain relevant experience
IT trainers can gain professional experience through a volunteer program, an entry-level job or an internship. While working, they can develop technical IT skills such as computer literacy and programming. They can also develop their communication skills by leading presentations or collaborating with team members.
4. Develop technical skills
During their careers, IT trainers can choose to provide general or specialized IT training. For example, a general IT trainer might work for a sales business and train employees how to use the payroll software. They may also train managers on tax software or lead computer safety courses. A specialized IT trainer may focus on training other IT professionals on technical skills. For example, they might train new professionals about an organization's network systems or software coding.
If you want to be an IT trainer within the technology industry, consider developing additional technical skills through training or further education. Some IT trainers earn a master's in computer science or information technology to help them advance their careers.
5. Consider certifications
Some IT trainers pursue additional education and certifications. This can help them develop their skills, qualify for more positions and possibly earn a higher salary. Depending on their industry and field, they may earn a certification in the following areas:
Learning and development
IT user skills
They may also earn a certificate for a specific software or computer program. In certain fields, an IT trainer may hold multiple certifications.
Related: 5 IT Certifications for Your Career
Average salary for IT trainers
The average national salary for technical trainers, including IT trainers, is $70,258 per year. Common benefits in this field can include health insurance, retirement saving plans and tuition reimbursement. Salary can depend upon geographic location, experience, education level and work environment.
IT trainer job outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes IT trainers as part of the training and development industry. They expect training, including technical training, jobs to increase by 9% from 2019 to 2029. This is higher than the average of all occupations. As technology changes and businesses use new tools, there may be more training positions available.
IT trainer career development tips
Here are some tips that could help you begin or advance your IT training career:
Continue to learn
Successful IT trainers continue to learn and develop their technical skills as technology changes. This may involve attending industry conferences, taking courses or completing certification programs. To advance your IT training career, consider continuing your education and training to stay updated on technology trends and new computer systems.
Consider teaching or coaching
Some IT trainers begin their professional careers as teachers or coaches. In these roles, professionals can gain experience instructing, communicating and explaining concepts to a variety of audiences. Teaching can also be a great way to gain experience in developing a course curriculum, designing learning materials and using a learning software program. Consider gaining experience through volunteer programs or a part-time job to develop your instructional skills.
Strengthen your communication skills
Clear communication is one of the most important skills for IT trainers. They must be able to speak confidently and explain complex concepts in simple terms. Consider developing your communication and presentation skills by taking a public speaking class. Some trainers choose to record and review their lessons to refine their communication techniques. Practicing leading a course could help you further develop your presentation skills.
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