What Is a Corporate Trainer? & Steps to Become One

6 min read
What Is a Corporate Trainer? & Steps to Become One

In recent years, the corporate world has faced challenges from supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic to workforce reductions and skills shortages, not to mention inflation and recession threats. As a result, companies have had to adapt and become more agile than ever.

Although unemployment numbers have declined since reaching a high of 14.7% in April 2020, companies continue to face challenges in recruiting and retaining top talent. So, what’s the solution? Many are turning to workplace training and hiring corporate trainers to meet this rising need.

If you’re passionate about helping others develop their skills, an opportunity awaits you in the private sector. Here’s what you need to know about corporate training and how to embark on this increasingly important career path.

What Is Corporate Training?

Corporate training is all about equipping employees with the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs effectively and grow professionally. It’s about creating a positive workplace, nurturing professional development and helping employees advance in their careers.

Corporate training encompasses a wide range of topics and goes by many names and titles, including learning and development (L&D), talent development, professional development and employee education, among others. This diversity in terminology reflects its widespread importance across various industries and organizational structures. Whether referred to as L&D or another title, the essence of corporate training focuses on:

  • Transferable soft skills (e.g., communication, teamwork, problem-solving)
  • Technical skills (e.g., operating specific computer programs)

Here’s what LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report says about why corporate training is so important:

  • Evolving skill sets: Since 2015, job skills have changed by about 25%, and it’s anticipated that that percentage will double by 2027. Companies need to keep up with these changes to remain competitive.
  • Employee retention: With 93% of organizations concerned about retaining talent, providing learning opportunities is the number one way to improve retention.
  • Internal mobility: Corporate training boosts internal mobility, and employees who’ve made internal moves are 19% more likely to remain with a company than those who haven’t.
  • Career growth and learning: The chance for career growth and skill development are two of the top five reasons people choose new jobs.
  • Young workers’ priorities: Employees aged 18 to 34 place a high value on opportunities for career growth, learning and skill-building.

What Is a Corporate Trainer?

Corporate trainers are professionals who focus on employee training and development. They play a crucial role in helping companies stay competitive and employees reach their full potential. A corporate trainer is someone who:

  • Specializes in training and developing employees, ensuring they have the skills and knowledge needed for success
  • May work in-house, exclusively training a single company’s employees
  • Can also work for consulting firms, partnering with various companies to conduct training workshops and programs
  • Brings experience with different training methodologies and delivery methods, ensuring effective and engaging learning experiences

What Are the Responsibilities of a Corporate Trainer?

Corporate trainers juggle various tasks to ensure employees receive the training and support they need to excel in their roles. Corporate trainers’ responsibilities include:

  • Onboarding new hires: Guiding newcomers through the onboarding process, as well as helping them settle into their roles and understand the company culture.
  • Training for new workplace technologies: Ensuring employees are well-versed in using new tools and software, keeping the company’s workforce up-to-date and efficient.
  • Upskilling and reskilling employees: Helping employees develop new skills or enhance existing ones to remain competitive in their roles or advance to new ones.
  • Coaching on policies and procedures: Educating staff on corporate policies, procedures and workplace rules to create a harmonious work environment.

Corporate trainers also follow a systematic approach to designing and delivering effective training:

  1. Assess company goals: Review the company’s mission and goals, and consult with stakeholders to identify training and development needs.
  2. Identify necessary skills: Determine the skills employees need to improve productivity and job performance.
  3. Develop training materials: Create and review training materials, then design or select a program that meets the company’s goals and needs.
  4. Conduct training events: Lead workshops, seminars and other instructional events to teach employees the required skills.
  5. Evaluate training effectiveness: Assess the success of training programs and gather feedback from participants.
  6. Modify as needed: Based on results and feedback, adjust training materials and delivery methods to continuously improve outcomes.

Corporate Training Job Titles and Career Paths

Corporate trainers can find job opportunities in various settings, such as offices, hospitals, manufacturing plants and restaurants. With the strong demand for trainers, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 6%, faster-than-average job growth rate. Plus, workplace learning and development budget forecasts remain strong for the next year.

Corporate Trainer

  • Annual salary: $63,080 for training and development specialists
  • Job Description: Design and deliver training programs for employees to develop their skills, increase productivity and adhere to company policies and procedures.

Other similar career paths include:

Human Resources (HR) Specialist

  • Annual salary: $64,240
  • Job Description: Manage employee relations, recruitment, benefits and other HR functions while also supporting training and development initiatives.

Instructional Coordinator

  • Annual salary: $66,490
  • Job Description: Oversee curriculum development, select educational materials and evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs for schools or organizations.

Project Management Specialist

  • Annual salary: $95,370
  • Job Description: Plan, execute and close projects, ensuring they meet objectives, budgets and timelines. May also be responsible for coordinating training related to project management methodologies and tools.

E-Learning Specialist

  • Annual salary: $57,471
  • Job Description: Design, develop and implement online learning programs, often using multimedia tools and learning management systems to create engaging and effective educational experiences.

Qualifications Needed to Start a Career in Corporate Training

To excel in this field, it’s crucial to develop a well-rounded foundation that includes not only your interpersonal and technical abilities but also the right educational background and industry-recognized certifications. Let’s explore the qualifications you’ll need to stand out in this competitive career path.


To start and succeed in the field of corporate training, consider developing these skills:

  • People skills: Build rapport and connect with people to establish strong relationships
  • Engaging delivery: Effectively deliver in-person and virtual training with equal engagement
  • Adaptability: Quickly change course and “read the room” to meet learners’ needs
  • Problem-solving: Address complex organizational issues with solutions-focused thinking
  • Familiarity with learning frameworks: Understand widely-used models and frameworks for learning design and evaluation, such as ADDIE, Agile, Bloom’s Taxonomy, the Kirkpatrick Model, and so on.
  • Technical skills: Become proficient in specific instructional technology tools and software commonly used in corporate training environments.


When it comes to degrees that can help you start a career in corporate training, there are several options. You might consider pursuing a degree in English, communications or social sciences, as each provides a solid foundation that includes effective communication and critical thinking.

Educational degrees in teaching or learning design are also advantageous. They offer a solid foundation in teaching methodologies and instructional design, helping you create effective and engaging corporate training programs.

Additionally, taking courses in psychology can help you better understand human behavior and motivation. Keep in mind that some employers prefer their corporate trainers to have a graduate degree, and in certain cases, they may even require it.

The University of San Diego’s MS in Learning Design and Technology provides a pathway that emphasizes the science of learning and proficiency with contemporary instructional design tools. Through its wholly online and project-based curriculum, students acquire targeted skills that directly translate to creating impactful corporate training programs and ensure they are well-equipped to facilitate learning in a corporate environment.


To help you understand how to become a certified corporate trainer, some popular certifications in the field include:

What Steps Can I Take to Start a Career in Corporate Training?

If you’re wondering how to become a corporate trainer, jumpstart your career with these three critical steps:

  1. Join a professional organization to expand your network and learn from industry experts.

    Some options include:
  2. Gain relevant work experience by:
    • Mentoring department peers
    • Teaching new hires about your department
    • Hosting training sessions for customers
  3. Pursue a relevant degree from an accredited graduate program, such as a business degree with a concentration in training and development or degrees in communication, organizational development or learning design.

    For example, the online Master of Science in Learning Design and Technology degree program offered by the University of San Diego provides a comprehensive understanding of how people learn and hands-on experience with popular learning technology tools. Plus, you’ll create a professional portfolio that showcases your skills and expertise, making you a more attractive candidate for potential employers.

The world of corporate training offers immense potential for growth and rewarding career opportunities. If you’re motivated to learn how to become a corporate trainer, take the first step today by exploring our eBook, 9 Things to Know About Careers in Instructional Design, and start your journey today.

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