In general, workforce program specialists assist in the development, execution and evaluation of employment programs and policies. They’re essentially training and development professionals who work for government agencies to help unemployed workers gain the skills necessary to secure new jobs. They also assess clients to identify any barriers that may be getting in the way of full-time employment and recommend the best options for training based on the client’s current skills set.
Training and Development Pay
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average national salary for training and development specialists was $59,560 in 2012. This was an increase of nearly 2 percent from the previous year, when the average salary was $58,540. For those working at government agencies, as would be the case for workforce program specialists, the average salary was closer to $54,070 a year. The job seeker’s site Indeed provides a similar figure, estimating the average salary at $52,000 a year.
A Change of Scenery
Getting a job as a workforce program specialist in New York can improve earnings by as much as 21 percent. As of 2013, salaries averaged at $65,000 a year in this locale. Salaries were also higher in Massachusetts, where workforce program specialists brought home $62,000 a year, according to Indeed. Salaries in Washington were right on par with the national average, coming in at $52,000 a year. In Minnesota, however, workforce program specialists earned just $46,000 a year.
Managerial Roles Improve Earnings
Taking a managerial position in training and development at virtually any employer can almost double your salary. According to the BLS, the national average salary for training and development managers was $103,810 in 2012. Those working for government agencies earned roughly 20 percent less, bringing home closer to $83,530 a year.
Promising Future for Specialists
Future prospects are much more promising for training and development specialist than for those in managerial roles. Through 2020, specialists should see a job growth of 15 percent, according to the BLS. Managers, on the other hand, should see a growth of 11 percent -- slightly slower than the national average of 14 percent. Expect the greatest opportunities for specialists with a degree in training and development, human resources, computer science or education, adds the BLS.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Training and Development Specialists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012 – Training and Development Specialists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011 – Training and Development Specialists
- Indeed: Workforce Program Specialist Salary
- Indeed: Workforce Program Specialist Salary in New York
- Indeed: Workforce Program Specialist Salary in Massachusetts
- Indeed: Workforce Program Specialist Salary in Washington
- Indeed: Workforce Program Specialist Salary in Minnesota
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Training and Development Managers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012 – Training and Development Managers
Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.