FAQ: What Is an IT Trainer and What Do They Do?
Updated November 14, 2022
If you're familiar with computer software and technical systems and you enjoy teaching others, you may enjoy a career as an IT trainer. These professionals help employees learn how to use various technological tools related to the organization they work for or their individual roles. Understanding the requirements of this job can help you determine if it's something you want to pursue and whether it aligns with your interests. In this article, we review what an IT trainer does, the education required to pursue this role, how much these professionals make, their job outlook and the important skills they possess.
What does an IT trainer do?
An IT trainer, or information technology trainer, teaches members of an organization about software, equipment and computer usage. These professionals typically conduct employee training courses and evaluate a team's current understanding of IT systems to identify additional information they may require. IT trainers may assist companies in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, health care and finance. Some of their other responsibilities may include:
Engaging employees with a variety of training methods
Educating members of an organization regarding how to use hardware and software
Keeping records of training materials and subjects
Conducting self-evaluations about the effectiveness of training courses and sessions
Leading role-specific educational courses for a variety of employees
Understanding company policies about cybersecurity and technology use
What education do you need to become an IT trainer?
The education requirements to become an IT trainer can vary depending on your employer and the types of professionals you educate. Employers typically require candidates to have an associate degree, although they may request a bachelor's degree depending on the size of the company and the number of employees it has. Individuals interested in pursuing this role may benefit from taking a variety of courses, including computer science, computer engineering, mathematics, statistics and physics.
Because these professionals explain technical and complex information to a variety of audiences, communications or psychology courses may also benefit them. Professionals can also pursue a postsecondary degree to further their professional training and potentially gain a competitive advantage within the job market. These individuals may earn a master's degree in computer science to learn more about the technical aspects of their roles as IT trainers.
How much does an IT trainer make?
The national average salary for a technical trainer, such as an IT trainer, is $65,599 per year, although this value can vary depending on a professional's experience, academic background and employer. IT trainers with professional certifications may be able to qualify for advanced positions or increase their salaries. Their earnings may also depend on whether they're a full-time employee for a large corporation or a contract professional who serves various organizations for shorter periods of time.
What is the job outlook for IT trainers?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment opportunities for training and development managers, such as IT trainers, may grow 11% from 2020 to 2030. This means that companies may seek qualified professionals to fill this role, which may increase your likelihood of finding a position in this field. Extensive academic training, IT experience and professional development such as certifications may all increase your chances of becoming an IT trainer.
What is an IT trainer's work environment?
IT trainers' work environments may vary because these professionals can assist companies in various industries because many employers use computer programs to execute tasks and handle various aspects of business operations. IT trainers may seek full-time positions with large organizations and assist them as they onboard new team members or keep existing employees updated regarding the latest software developments and technological tools. This means that they can have a standard 40 hour work week and may have the same schedule as other salaried employees.
Alternatively, IT trainers can be independent contract professionals who provide their services to a variety of companies for a few weeks or months at a time. Smaller companies may hire IT trainers when they update their computer systems or other technological programs to ensure that all employees understand how to use and navigate the new software. Independent IT trainers may concentrate on a specific type of technology, such as communication devices or computer software. Then, companies may hire professionals depending on their specialty to help introduce a particular technological tool to their team of employees.
What are important IT trainer skills?
IT trainers may possess a variety of skills and technical competencies that help them excel in this role. Some of these abilities may include:
Interpersonal communication is imperative to this role because it can help IT trainers convey complex ideas and ensure that their audience understands the information. Communication skills can also allow these professionals to simplify technical topics and explain them to a variety of audiences. Effective IT trainers may be able to connect with employees and describe the information in a way that is easy to understand and remember. This may involve various communication approaches or instructional strategies and a willingness to try a variety of techniques to ensure that all trainees feel confident asking questions or requesting clarification when necessary.
Active listening skills
In addition to carefully listening to what someone is expressing verbally, active listening involves noticing their gestures, expressions and other nonverbal communication cues to develop a deeper understanding of the other person. Your role as an IT trainer may require you to have strong active listening skills to ensure you can properly conduct employee assessments and gauge gaps in their understanding of various technological devices or computer programs.
This allows you to identify the areas where employees may benefit from additional training or practice and adjust your materials accordingly. Active listening can also allow you to notice which instructional methods are most effective and which you can improve or remove from the training course.
Similar to other training and development professionals, IT trainers may be responsible for leading a large group of employees and ensuring that all members of an organization understand the information they present. This means that IT trainers may benefit from being effective leaders and understanding how to handle various group dynamics.
Effective leadership may include understanding how to encourage and motivate employees as they're learning new concepts or knowing how to coach them if they struggle with complex concepts. Being a strong leader can also require empathy and understanding, as they train individuals with varying levels of familiarity with computer programs and software.
Every group of employees that these professionals train may have different levels of technical competency and understanding, so IT trainers may require keen problem-solving skills to develop engaging and unique course materials. Depending on the industry they serve, IT trainers may encounter professionals who are unfamiliar with various computer programs or technical tools.
This means they may require creative approaches to make the information accessible and easy for various individuals to understand. If they're providing role-specific training, they may deal with issues related to a particular field or position and can use their problem-solving skills to address challenges that only pertain to a certain group of employees.
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