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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
  • $76,000

    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.

Duties

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.

Education

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.

Advancement

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 Career Paths

Organizational Development Specialist
Human Resources Manager Director Of Human Resources
Human Resources Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Senior Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager General Manager Director
Regional Director
9 Yearsyrs
Organizational Development Manager Director Of Human Resources Vice President
Development Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Organizational Development Manager Director Of Human Resources
Director, Learning And Development
12 Yearsyrs
Organizational Development Consultant Training Manager Project Manager
Engagement Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Organizational Development Consultant Training Manager
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Organizational Development Consultant Training Manager Program Manager
Development & Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Organizational Development Manager Human Resources Business Partner
Senior Human Resources Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Business Partner Human Resources Vice President Senior Vice President
Human Resource Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Business Partner Regional Director Director Of Training
Training Development Director
8 Yearsyrs
Organizational Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Consultant Senior Human Resources Generalist
Human Resources Business Partner
10 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Consultant Team Leader Customer Service Manager
Call Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Consultant Senior Human Resources Specialist
Senior Human Resources Generalist
8 Yearsyrs
Organizational Development Consultant
8 Yearsyrs
Management Consultant Adjunct Professor Instructional Designer
Manager, Learning & Development
10 Yearsyrs
Management Consultant Adjunct Professor Education Consultant
Educational Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Training Consultant Senior Training Specialist
Senior Training Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Training Consultant Instructional Designer
Learning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Organizational Development Specialist
Consultant 5.9%
Recruiter 4.8%
Internship 4.8%
Trainer 3.3%
Top Careers After Organizational Development Specialist
Consultant 5.2%
Recruiter 3.3%
Director 3.1%

Do you work as an Organizational Development Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$76,000
Show Salaries
$45,000
Min 10%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$128,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
James River Equip
Highest Paying City
Arlington, VA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does an Organizational Development Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Organizational Development Specialist in the United States is $76,214 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $45,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $128,000.

Real Organizational Development Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Organizational Deveopment/Training Specialist Training Resources Group Inc. Arlington, VA Oct 01, 2015 $132,500 -
$142,500
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 -
$105,000
Organizational Development Specialist Forever Cheese, Inc. Islandia, NY Oct 01, 2014 $89,000
Organizational Development Specialist Ing Direct Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2009 $80,000
Organizational Development Specialist III Ing Bank, FSB Los Angeles, CA Oct 27, 2010 $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 -
$107,962
Organizational Development, Communication & Media Specialist Terraform Consulting, LLC San Francisco, CA Mar 01, 2015 $65,000
Organizational Development, Communication & Media Specialist Terraform Consulting, LLC San Francisco, CA Jan 03, 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 -
$70,000
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 -
$65,000
Organizational Development Specialist Amberwood Academy LLC Lauderhill, FL May 18, 2011 $50,000

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Top Skills for An Organizational Development Specialist

  1. Training Programs
  2. Management Strategies
  3. Process Improvement
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Consulted with business leaders to determine the most imperative business focus areas that can benefit from improved systems/training programs.
  • Developed and implemented target change management strategies supporting NASA programs and projects.
  • Initiated, championed and modeled change management to develop an organizational mindset that drove process improvement, ownership and accountability.
  • Provided customer service, coordinating documents with appropriate agency offices and higher headquarters, and resolving any negative responses.
  • Participated in system-wide implementation of a new learning management system and paperless performance management process.

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Top 10 Best States for Organizational Development Specialists

  1. Rhode Island
  2. New Jersey
  3. Delaware
  4. Alaska
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Washington
  7. Minnesota
  8. Virginia
  9. Connecticut
  10. Massachusetts
  • (27 jobs)
  • (176 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)
  • (119 jobs)
  • (128 jobs)
  • (268 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (179 jobs)

Organizational Development Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

57.4%

Male

32.5%

Unknown

10.0%
Ethnicity

White

61.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

7.9%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.6%

French

10.5%

Mandarin

8.8%

Cantonese

5.3%

Russian

3.5%

Portuguese

1.8%

Hungarian

1.8%

Filipino

1.8%

Chinese

1.8%

Georgian

1.8%

Japanese

1.8%

Hindi

1.8%
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Organizational Development Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.1%

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

9.2%

University of Houston

7.9%

Capella University

6.6%

Case Western Reserve University

5.3%

University of Central Florida

4.6%

Teachers College of Columbia University

4.6%

Villanova University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.9%

Central Michigan University

3.9%

Florida International University

3.3%

George Washington University

3.3%

Northwestern University

3.3%

Bowling Green State University

3.3%

Webster University

3.3%

San Diego State University

3.3%

Benedictine University

3.3%

Columbia University

3.3%

Alliant International University

3.3%

Boston University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

29.0%

Counseling Psychology

17.1%

Human Resources Management

15.0%

Psychology

8.0%

Management

4.8%

Communication

3.9%

Education

3.6%

Elementary Education

3.2%

Public Relations

1.7%

Project Management

1.5%

Political Science

1.4%

Sociology

1.4%

Social Work

1.3%

Educational Leadership

1.3%

Music

1.3%

Industrial Technology

1.1%

Nursing

1.1%

Liberal Arts

1.1%

Organizational Behavior Studies

1.1%

Finance

1.1%
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Degrees

Masters

53.5%

Bachelors

25.6%

Other

7.7%

Doctorate

6.6%

Certificate

3.8%

Associate

2.2%

Diploma

0.5%
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