Your Next Move: IT Training Specialist

by Eric Larson | Jun 07, 2019

Your Next Move: Get the Inside Scoop on IT Job RolesThis article is part of an IT Career News series called Your Next Move. These articles take an inside look at the roles related to CompTIA certifications. Each article will include the responsibilities, qualifications, related job titles and salary range for the role. As you consider the next move in your IT career, check back with CompTIA to learn more about your job prospects and how to get there.

Not everyone in the IT field is self-taught. Many, if not most, IT professionals got to where they are with the help of instructors who brought the subject to life in a classroom or online. IT training specialists enjoy their subject matter but also enjoy inspiring and informing students. If you like translating tech topics so others can understand them and helping to promote IT careers, consider the role of an IT training specialist.

What Is an IT Training Specialist?

An IT training specialist may teach at a private or nonprofit college, university or technical school. The courses and topics covered can vary widely, from software development (i.e., coding) to basic network administration to more advanced information technology systems.

In addition to technical knowledge, instructors are often expected to prepare their students for the modern workplace, teaching them soft skills including how to collaborate with non-technical colleagues and how to communicate with the non-tech-savvy public.

  • An IT training specialist may also be expected to do the following:
  • Maintain classroom order and discipline so that every student can learn
  • Encourage and support students in their learning so no one gets left behind
  • Identify special needs of students and, in such cases, refer them to additional resources (e.g., mental health or academic counseling)
  • Attain and maintain industry certifications in the topics being taught
  • Travel to training locations as needed

An IT training specialist may need to be up to speed on A/V equipment for the classroom as well as web-based tools that allow for online distance instruction.

There are many parts of the role that vary based on the job and the employer. IT training specialists may work as an independent contractor for numerous clients or be salaried by one learning institution or organization as part of a department of instructors. They may deliver prepared curricula or be expected to generate their own lesson plans based on their own knowledge and expertise. IT pros who work for the government or large corporations are often expected to keep up their IT certifications, so instructors may be brought in to conduct training to help them prepare.

How to Become an IT Training Specialist

Colleges and universities often require their instructors to have a teaching degree and/or teaching certification . But training positions with other organizations or corporations may not require a teaching degree.

For example, CompTIA Training Strategies Group (TSG) hires IT trainers to teach its fast-track, short-term classes. About 85% of TSG classes are currently offered in person instead of online. The topics range from industry-recognized certifications offered by CompTIA, Microsoft and Cisco, for example, to soft skills, Salesforce and business analysis.

“We look for men and women who are passionate about technology and passionate about people,” says Turner said. TSG trainers come from a variety of backgrounds and typically don’t have to develop their own course material.

Would you like to work for CompTIA Training Strategies Group? Apply now.

When it comes to training for IT certifications, an instructor is generally required to hold the certification that they are teaching to, and most training companies also prefer experience as a tech worker. Holding a certification specifically in training, such as CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+), can go a long way toward proving IT training skills. In addition, successful instructors assume the student role quite often to stay up to date on knowledge and skills, as tech is always growing and evolving. The most successful instructors love to learn new things constantly.

Those with non-technical teaching experience can get started in IT instruction by earning CompTIA CTT+ as well as technical certifications such as CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+) and CompTIA A+. Check out the CompTIA Career Roadmap to see what other IT certifications can help you build a portfolio of knowledge to impart on others.

The Details

IT Training Specialist Salary

The salary for a post-secondary IT instructor, or IT training specialist, varies based on job responsibilities, company and location, but the median annual wage in May 2018 was $82,220, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

IT Training Specialist Job Outlook

Because of the growing need for technology professionals, the demand for IT training specialists is likewise expected to grow 5 to 9%each year between now and 2026, according to the BLS. If you want a stable career, IT training specialist is a good role to aim for.

Job Titles Related to IT Training Specialist

  • High school computer science teacher
  • Technical trainer
  • IT customer support trainer

Will your next move be IT training specialist? Check out CompTIA CTT+ as your first big step toward a career helping others attain their goals in the IT field.

8 Comments

  • Sibusiso masindi

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019

    That's my dream

  • Daniel Lynn Stump

    Friday, June 21, 2019

    Great Article. Thank you CompTIA for making this possible! Your dedication to those, like myself, who are interested in helping others through teaching is a true blessing.

  • Shaun Wana

    Monday, June 24, 2019

    That's a wonderful opportunity that one should not miss. I think I'm already in a right path, since I'm training advisor for IT in a college, so I think I'll also try out the certification.

  • Donovan Krige

    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    I am from South AFrica and have Comptia A+ and N+ certs, how do i go about becoming an IT training Specialist?

  • Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    Hi, Donovan! Thanks for your comment. If you have certifications and technical experience, becoming a training specialist could be a great move for you! You may want to start by checking out job listings in your area and see what the requirements are for becoming a trainer. You can also look into classes and certifications related to training, such as CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+). Good luck!

  • Mary Lynn

    Monday, July 8, 2019

    What a wonderful opportunity. I have a CompTIA CTT+, a CompTIA Network+, and the CompTIA Security+ certifications. As a seasoned IT professional, would I also need to pick up the CompTIA A+ certification, too? Thanks for the advice!

  • Monday, July 8, 2019

    Hi, Mary Lynn! Thanks for your question. Specific job requirements will vary from employer to employer - this article should just give you an idea of the types of things they may look for. Trainers are often required to hold the certification they teach to, so if you want to teach courses on A+, you'll want to get it. If you don't want to teach A+, you may not need it, but it could help give you a new perspective on where your students are coming from. Good luck!

  • Murad Tanvir

    Tuesday, July 23, 2019

    Awesome Article!

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