EHS Career Trends/Certification

The Future of Safety Training Jobs

What does the future hold for environment, health, and safety (EHS) professionals? Where do they get paid the best, and where are prospects dimming? Yesterday we looked at recent trends for safety and health engineers and emergency management directors. Today we will peek at what jobs look like for EHS professionals interested in training. Here’s a hint—bone up on technology and social media!

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Note: Median salaries for this article have been compiled from BLR’s EHS Salary Guides.

Training and Development Specialist

Training and development specialists help plan, conduct, and administer programs that train employees and improve their skills and knowledge. To do this, they must first assess the needs of an organization, and then develop custom training programs that take place in classrooms or training facilities. Training programs are increasingly delivered through computers, tablets, or other handheld devices.

The Table below outlines median salaries for training and development specialists from 2015–2017, nationwide and for the states with the highest and lowest median salary.

Table: Median Salaries for Training and Development Specialists, 2015–2017

2015 2016 2017
Nationwide $58,544 $59,549 $60,436
Highest median $69,540



Rhode Island


Rhode Island

Lowest median $41,616

West Virginia


West Virginia


West Virginia


Nationwide, the median salary for training and development specialists increased a meager 1.49% from 2016 to 2017. Although training and development specialists are paid the best in Rhode Island, Michigan saw the biggest percentage jump in median income for this job. It went from $51,580 in 2016 to $58,399 in 2017—a jump of 13.22%. West Virginia had the lowest median income for training and development specialists in 2017, but Vermont took the biggest dive for this job—from $55,385 in 2016 to $52,070 in 2017, a 5.99% drop.

Job Growth Projections

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

The Bureau expects this growth to be across most industries as companies develop and introduce new media and technology into their training programs. Innovations in training methods and learning technology should continue throughout the next decade. For example, organizations increasingly use social media, visual simulations, and mobile learning in their training programs. Training and development specialists will need to modify their programs to fit a new generation of workers for whom technology is a part of daily life and work.

According to the BLS, because training and development contracting firms may have greater access to technical expertise to produce new training initiatives, some organizations outsource specific training efforts when internal staff or resources are not able to meet the training needs of the organization.

Overall, the Bureau expects job opportunities for training and development specialists to be good. Job prospects should be best for those with experience developing online and mobile training programs.

With a new EPA focus on remediating Superfund sites, will the need for environmental engineers grow? Check tomorrow’s Advisor for trends in growth for this job.