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Corporate trainers develop and oversee employee training programs for companies. They also teach classes and procure outside training services as part of their jobs. To become a corporate trainer typically requires a four-year college degree or above. People with advanced degrees might find it easier to move up in the organization. The actual degree field can vary, with typical majors being in areas such as human resources administration, organizational development, psychology and education. After you have decided on a degree field and are in college, look for internships in corporate human resources departments to gain experience and possibly contacts for future employment.
It is valuable to join developmental organizations for professionals in the field if you want to become a corporate trainer. An example of such an organization in the United States is The American Society for Training & Development. Professional organizations can provide prospective corporate trainers with career coaching, résumé writing assistance, job leads and other information. Such organizations also hold valuable educational and networking events. Volunteering to help with the events and activities of the organization can give you strong visibility in the field and could lead to employment opportunities.
The characteristics that will help you become a corporate trainer and be successful at it include strong communication skills and a clear and articulate speaking style. Public speaking ability will help you to stand up in front of a classroom. If you need more experience as a public speaker, consider joining an organization that will develop your speaking skills, such as Toastmasters International. Other characteristics include being able to think on your feet to answer questions and having a warm and engaging style to keep class attendees interested.
Other important abilities to have if you want to become a corporate trainer include good analytical skills to identify where training is needed and the best method for delivering it. Strong conceptualizing and writing ability will help you create lesson plans. Coordination and organizing skills will help you keep track of day-to-day training requirements. Follow-up skills to track training metrics will help ensure the effectiveness of your organization's training program. The ability to use computer software to develop training presentations and being able to use different electronic information delivery systems also is important if you want to become a corporate trainer.
After you have some experience in the field as a corporate trainer, you might consider obtaining certification in learning and development through a professional organization. Certification will help assure new employers of your background and expertise or might open doors to advancement opportunities in a current position. Some corporate trainers, after gaining experience as full-time employees, become self-employed consultants in the field. For self-employment, good networking and marketing skills are necessary to gain business.
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