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Become An Organizational Development Specialist

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Working As An Organizational Development Specialist

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $59,275

    Average Salary

What Does An Organizational Development Specialist Do

Training and development specialists help plan, conduct, and administer programs that train employees and improve their skills and knowledge.


Training and development specialists typically do the following:

  • Assess training needs through surveys, interviews with employees, or consultations with managers or instructors
  • Design and create training manuals, online learning modules, and course materials
  • Review training materials from a variety of vendors and choose appropriate materials
  • Deliver training to employees using a variety of instructional techniques
  • Monitor and evaluate training programs to ensure they are current and effective
  • Select and assign instructors or vendors to conduct training
  • Perform administrative tasks such as monitoring costs, scheduling classes, setting up systems and equipment, and coordinating enrollment

Training and development specialists create, administer, and deliver training programs for businesses and organizations. To do this, they must first assess the needs of an organization. Once those needs are determined, specialists develop custom training programs that take place in classrooms or training facilities. Training programs are increasingly delivered through computers, tablets, or other hand-held electronic devices.

Training and development specialists organize or deliver training sessions using lectures, group discussions, team exercises, hands-on examples, and other formats. Training can be in the form of a video, self-guided instructional manual, or online application. Training also may be collaborative, which allows employees to connect informally with experts, mentors, and colleagues, often through the use of technology.

Training and development specialists may monitor instructors, guide employees through media-based programs, or facilitate informal or collaborative learning programs.

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How To Become An Organizational Development Specialist

Training and development specialists need a bachelor’s degree, and most need related work experience.


Training and development specialists need a bachelor’s degree. Specialists may have a variety of education backgrounds, but many have a bachelor’s degree in training and development, human resources, education, or instructional design. Others may have a degree in business administration or a social science, such as educational or organizational psychology.

In addition, as technology continues to play a larger role in training and development, a growing number of organizations seek candidates who have a background in information technology or computer science.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Related work experience is important for most training and development specialists. Many positions require work experience in areas such as training and development or instructional design, or in related occupations, such as human resources specialists or even teachers.

Employers may prefer to hire candidates with previous work experience in the industry in which the company operates. However, some employers may hire candidates with a master’s degree in lieu of work experience. Increasingly, employers prefer candidates with experience in information technology, as organizations introduce more e-learning, mobile training, and technology-based tools.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many human resources associations offer classes to enhance the skills of their members. Some associations, including the Association for Talent Development and International Society for Performance Improvement, specialize in training and development and offer certification programs. Although not required, certification can show professional expertise and credibility. Some employers prefer to hire certified candidates, and some positions may require certification.


Training and development specialists may advance to training and development manager or human resources manager positions. Workers typically need several years of experience to advance. Some employers require managers to have a master’s degree in a related area.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Training and development specialists must evaluate training programs, methods, and materials, and choose those that best fit each situation.

Creativity. Specialists should be creative when developing training materials. They may need to think of and implement new approaches, such as new technology, when evaluating existing training methods.

Instructional skills. Training and development specialists often deliver training programs to employees. They use a variety of teaching techniques and sometimes must adapt their methods to meet the needs of particular groups.

Interpersonal skills. Specialists need strong interpersonal skills because delivering training programs requires collaboration with instructors, trainees, and subject-matter experts. They accomplish much of their work through teams.

Speaking skills. Speaking skills are essential for training and development specialists because they often give presentations. Specialists must communicate information clearly and facilitate learning by diverse audiences.

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Organizational Development Specialist jobs

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Real Organizational Development Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Organizational Development & Management Specialist Results Based Leadership Group. Inc. Weston, FL Sep 01, 2015 $105,000
Organizational Change Management Specialist Lenovo (United States) Inc. Morrisville, NC Aug 24, 2013 $95,000 -
Organizational Development Specialist Forever Cheese, Inc. Islandia, NY Oct 01, 2014 $89,000
Organizational Development Specialist III Ing Bank, FSB Los Angeles, CA Oct 27, 2010 $80,000
Organizational Development Specialist Ing Direct Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2009 $80,000
Senior Organizational Development Specialist The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation New York, NY Sep 11, 2012 $73,000
Organizational Development Specialist Accion International, Inc. Boston, MA Mar 02, 2015 $70,000
Organizational Development Specialist Accion International, Inc. Cambridge, MA Mar 02, 2015 $70,000
Senior Organizational Development Specialist Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Austin, TX Aug 16, 2010 $66,438 -
Organizational Development, Communication & Media Specialist Terraform Consulting, LLC San Francisco, CA Jan 03, 2015 $65,000
Organizational Development, Communication & Media Specialist Terraform Consulting, LLC San Francisco, CA Mar 01, 2015 $65,000
Organizational Effectiveness Specialist, Latin AME Esco Corporation Portland, OR Oct 01, 2010 $64,316
Organizational Development Specialist Medidata Solutions, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $63,250
Organizational Development Specialist City of Kansas City, Missouri Kansas City, MO Sep 09, 2014 $60,000
Organizational Development Specialist Kohler Company Kohler, WI Feb 02, 2010 $58,550
Organizational Development Specialist The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation New York, NY Dec 19, 2011 $55,000 -
Organizational Development Specialist H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institut Tampa, FL Aug 25, 2012 $55,000
Organizational Development Specialist Accion International, Inc. Boston, MA May 25, 2012 $54,500 -
Organizational Development Specialist Amberwood Academy LLC Lauderhill, FL May 18, 2011 $50,000
Organizational Development Specialist Jo-Ann Stores Support Center Inc. Hudson, OH Sep 21, 2010 $45,552 -
Organizational Development Specialist Jo-Ann Stores Support Center Inc. Hudson, OH Sep 28, 2010 $45,552 -

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Top Skills for An Organizational Development Specialist


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Top Organizational Development Specialist Skills

  1. Training Programs
  2. Performance Management Process
  3. Leadership Competencies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted management/supervisory training programs for all levels at client companies.
  • Executed change management initiatives to restructure the organizational roles and performance management process.
  • Facilitate training and development programs for management to increase leadership capability and alignment to organizational values and leadership competencies.
  • Designed tools used for tracking training; integrated e-learning courses with learning management system.
  • Organized and led an Early Talent Council focusing on workforce planning, developing and tracking metrics and evaluating current practices.

Top Organizational Development Specialist Employers

Organizational Development Specialist Videos

Human Resources Organizational Development Consultant, Career Video from drkit.org