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How to Become a Technical Trainer

Do you have exceptional presentation skills and a desire to help others learn? Are you a good communicator who is organized, has excellent people skills, and has solid time management skills? A technical trainer might be the perfect fit for you.

Technical trainers prepare curriculums and teach classes to help workers learn new technical skills. They assess the needs of the company and the current skill level of the employees. They create learning programs, including print, video, and online activities to help the class advance in their technical abilities as related to their job functions or their desired goals within the company. Technical trainers should have a calm demeanor and patience in teaching people of different backgrounds and technical abilities. 

To excel as a technical trainer, you will need to be a good motivator and an excellent teacher. Having extensive knowledge of the material you are teaching to address questions and concerns that may arise is essential. Technical trainers have to have good planning skills, be very organized, and must stay current on trends and new technical learning techniques.

Sample job description

Technical trainers prepare, maintain, teach technical training programs that educate people and help develop their technical skills. Technical trainers should have in-depth knowledge and technical aptitude in their field of expertise. They must be excellent communicators and they have exceptional organizational and time management skills. [Your Company Name] is hiring an experienced technical trainer to take our business to new heights. If you have experience developing and evaluating technical training materials and presenting those programs in a classroom or virtual setting, you might be an ideal candidate for this role.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Assess training needs
  • Develop training manuals and class materials
  • Teach new skills to employees
  • Conduct surveys and evaluate training
  • Set up training systems and equipment
  • Schedule classes

Education and experience

Technical trainers need to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. They should receive a bachelor’s degree, ideally in a field such as education or training and development. Candidates with experience in the industry, preferably with a knowledge of technology tools and mobile training, get a boost in the job marketplace. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
  • Advanced technical skills in e-learning and mobile training
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with others
  • Specialized knowledge of specific industries
  • Teaching ability and a calm, caring demeanor
  • Keen attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • Must have a strong technical background and experience in a technical training role
  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, technical, education or another related field

Typical work environment

Technical trainers can work during business hours, but they also might work nights and weekends as the needs of the company dictates. Technical trainers may be required to travel to conduct classes in different locations.

Typical hours

Technical trainers usually work regular weekday office hours, from 9 AM to 5 PM. They may need to travel, depending on the employer.

Available certifications

Technical trainers work in a variety of industries, and there are a number of certification programs available for them to enhance their skills. Here are some of the top certifications for technical trainers: 

  • CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+). The CTT+ certification proves your exceptional skills as a technical trainer in your field. The comprehensive training program validates that you have the necessary skills to prepare, present, facilitate and evaluate a training session, whether in a traditional or a virtual classroom environment. There are no formal requirements, but it is recommended that you have 6 to 12 months of experience as a trainer. The CompTIA CTT+ certification is valid for life and does not need to be renewed. 
  • Certified Technical Training Specialist (CTTS). The Training Clinic offers this 5-day workshop to help trainers become experts at developing and presenting training programs. The CTTS includes classroom training, a written test, a design plan review, and a video recorded session and critique. You’ll learn how to help adults learn, plan for training, organize your material, use proven training methods, and how to evaluate training.

Career path

Technical trainers must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Then students should earn a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline, such as education or human resources. A master’s degree is not required, although it can broaden a trainer’s career opportunities. Some employers prefer to hire candidates with certifications from organizations such as the Association for Talent Development or the International Society for Performance Improvement.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-1151**

2020 Employment328,700
Projected Employment in 2030364,200
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 11% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift35,500 increase
** includes all training and development specialists

The need for technical trainers should continue to grow as companies introduce new technology. Social media and mobile learning will become more popular methods of training. Some employers require continuing education and skills development classes, which will drive the need for technical trainers.

Some companies decide to outsource their training needs, which presents opportunities for travel for those who work at training and development firms.