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What Training and Development Managers Do

Training and development managers plan, direct, and coordinate programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees. They also oversee a staff of training and development specialists. 


Training and development managers typically do the following:

Executives increasingly realize that developing the skills of their organization’s workforce is essential to staying competitive in business. Providing opportunity for development is a selling point for recruiting high-quality employees, and it helps in retaining employees who can contribute to business growth. Training and development managers work to align training and development with an organization’s goals.

Training and development managers oversee training programs, staff, and budgets. They are responsible for organizing training programs, including creating or selecting course content and materials. Most training takes place in a classroom, computer laboratory, or training facility. But some training is in the form of a video, Web-based program, or self-guided instructional manual. Regardless of how it is conducted, managers must ensure that training content, software, systems, and equipment are appropriate and meaningful.

Training and development managers typically supervise a staff of training and development specialists, such as instructional designers, program developers, and instructors. Managers teach training methods to specialists who, in turn, instruct the organization’s employees, both new and experienced. Managers direct the daily activities of specialists and evaluate their effectiveness. Although most managers primarily oversee specialists and training and development program operations, some—particularly those in smaller companies—also may direct training courses.

To enhance employees’ skills and an organization’s overall quality of work, training and development managers often confer with managers of each department to identify its training needs. They may work with top executives and financial officers to identify and match training priorities with overall business goals. They also prepare training budgets and ensure that expenses stay within budget.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition