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How to Become a Corporate Trainer

Three Parts:Learning About Corporate TrainingGetting Prepared and QualifiedGetting a Job and Progressing Your Career

A corporate trainer is an educator or instructor who works in a business environment and conveys knowledge or skills to a group of employees. Corporate trainers may be hired full-time by a large company to train new employees and assist in the transition to new business systems. Others are independent consultants or work for corporate training firms, and visit businesses on a short-term basis to train employees, increase efficiency and assist workers in the midst of company mergers. Corporate trainers come to this line of work from a variety of education paths and employment backgrounds.

Part 1
Learning About Corporate Training

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    Decide which area you would like to work in. Corporate trainers can work in a variety of business settings, so you should spend some time thinking about what area of business you are most interested in working in. Consider your own skills and expertise and think about what you can match these to. Corporate trainers will generally be situated within the human resources department, but trainers can specialise in everything from marketing, finance, education and compliance.[1]
    • Think about which field interests you the most and keep this in mind when you move on to getting qualifications and experience.
    • Being adaptable can be an advantage, but having a clear expertise in one field will demonstrate your credibility as a trainer.[2]
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    Learn about the job. After you have begun to develop a clearer picture of the type of work you would like to do, and the industry you would like to work in, you can research what trainers in this area typically do. Conducting training sessions in the flesh is only one part of the job, there are many hours of planning and organizing that enable the training sessions to take place and determine their success.[3]
    • There is a lot of unglamorous preparation that goes into putting together a strong and effective training programme.
    • As well as planning training programmes, you will need to conduct thorough evaluations to learn what worked and what didn't.[4]
    • Continually adapting a developing your training programmes and your skills are an important part of being a good corporate trainer.
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    Know the typical salaries. Corporate trainers can earn good salaries, but you should learn about the average earnings in the sector before you start. There is significant variation in salaries across training and development specialists, but the average was around $59,000 in 2011. Within this, the top ten per cent averaged $92,000 or more, and the bottom ten per cent $32,000 or less.
    • It was reported in the same figures that there was a predicted growth of 21% in training and development jobs between 2010 and 2020.[5]

Part 2
Getting Prepared and Qualified

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    Take a relevant bachelors degree. The educational and qualification requirements to become a corporate trainer are not completely clear-cut and there are a variety of ways into the field. In most cases you will be expected to have attained a bachelors degree in a relevant subject. Trainers are generally Human Resources specialists, so many will have a degree in Human Resources or something similar, but many employers will not specify a single required major.[6]
    • You should focus your education on the area in which you wish to work. For example, if you want to be a corporate trainer in finance, having qualifications that prove your expertise is a good idea.
    • If possible, try to include some education in human resources management in your studies.
    • If some instances employers will look for a masters degree for higher level corporate trainers.[7]
    • If in doubt, look up some job adverts in corporate training and look at the required qualifications.
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    Learn on the job. There are ways into a career as a corporate trainer that do not necessarily require you to study for a degree. For many employers first hand professional experience is just as important, if not more so, than qualifications. If you would prefer to be working right away consider trying to get work as a training assistant or human resources assistant. These positions are less likely to require a degree and will give you invaluable experience.[8]
    • It is not uncommon for trainers to begin as assistants in human resources and develop skills on the job.[9]
    • Working your way up will help you understand corporate processes and policies before taking on the role of instructing and supervising others.
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    Improve your communication skills. Communication is the central element to successful corporate training so it's crucial that you really target this as an area to improve before you try to enter the job market. Trainers will spend a lot of time talking to large groups and need to be engaging and clear in how they do this. There are a number of ways for you to work on this, and you should look for opportunities to develop all the time.
    • Try taking a public speaking course or joining a group that specialises in practising and improving public speaking.[10]
    • Search your local colleges and training centres for courses on public speaking, communications, and other speaking and presentation related skills.
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    Move into training from teaching. An alternative career path for corporate trainers involves transitioning from teaching to training. Teachers have excellent experience of imparting information clearly and concisely to large groups and these transferable skills can be very valuable for a career as a corporate trainer. It is not always easy to make the transition, but having specific skills and knowledge of the business area you wish to work in will make a big difference.[11]
    • Teachers used to a classroom full of teenagers may find the idea of training motivated adults appealing.
    • The more mature audiences in corporate training will bring in their own experiences and expectations which can be challenging for someone used to teaching children.[12]

Part 3
Getting a Job and Progressing Your Career

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    Apply for jobs as a corporate trainer. Once you have the qualifications and the industry knowledge it's time to start applying for corporate trainer jobs. When you do this be sure to pay close attention to the job descriptions to ensure that your qualifications and skills match the requirements of the job. You are unlikely to find your dream job at the outset so be prepared to be flexible and open-minded about the possibilities that are out there.
    • If you only see listings for jobs that require experience, think about how you can gain relevant experience in a slightly different role, such as a training assistant, human resources worker, or public relations specialist.[13]
    • If you see a frequent requirement in the person specification that you don't have, think about how you can gain this skill.
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    Strengthen your industry-specific skills. You should always be looking at how you can develop your skills in your chosen area of expertise. For example, you may need to take a course in particular software products so that you can incorporate them into your presentation or teach employees how to use them. Keep abreast of industry developments and constantly refresh your training approaches.
    • As a trainer you should keep taking training courses yourself. Not only will you enhance your skills and knowledge, but you will experience how other trainers work and could get useful ideas.
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    Get certified. You can increase your chances of career progression and the value of your training programmes by becoming certified with a professional body. This will effectively vouch for the quality of your work. For example, The Association for Talent Development, the ATD (formerly known as the ASTD) Certification Institute offers the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance Certification (CPLP) which covers all areas of the talent development and training profession. If you would like to advance to become a manager of a corporate training function, the Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM) certification prepares you to manage a corporate training department.
    • To become certified as a CPLP, you will need to have at least five years of experience, and complete a series of tests. It can take up to a year to earn the qualification. There are significant fees to pay.
    • To become certified as a CPTM, you must complete 20 hours of online learning modules, followed by a three-day practicum and a certification exam. Like CPLP, there are significant fees to pay.

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Categories: Teaching