How To Become a Soft Skills Trainer in 6 Simple Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 18, 2022 | Published August 17, 2021

Updated September 18, 2022

Published August 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Understanding people's perspectives and communicating with them effectively can help you succeed in almost any career or job industry. These soft skills are often in high demand, and many businesses and organizations use the services of a soft skills trainer to help employees improve and develop in their professions. If you're interested in training and instructing others, consider a career as a soft skills trainer. In this article, we discuss what a soft skills trainer is and how to become a soft skills trainer with additional information on salary potential and the skills you need to succeed in your career.

What is a soft skills trainer?

A soft skills trainer provides instruction on business communications and building relationships in the workplace. They work for individual companies or outside agencies, like training or consulting firms. They can also work as independent contractors. Soft skills trainers commonly focus on the educational aspects of working with business teams. However, they may also take on similar responsibilities as small business owners, overseeing the planning, organization, and implementation of instructional programs and resources.

Related: 10 Top Soft Skills in the Workplace (With Tips for Hiring)

Many of the job duties these professionals take on can vary, depending on where the trainer works. For instance, in larger companies, soft skills trainers may help teams and individual staff members use tools and strategies for improving interpersonal communication. They might also evaluate their organization's needs and adapt training programs to include specific goals or objectives that support these needs. Many skills trainers often develop their own learning content to target specific outcomes and review them to modify content to meet business goals.

Related: A Guide To Soft Skills

How to become a soft skills trainer

Use the following steps as a guide when learning how to become a soft skills trainer:

1. Complete a bachelor's degree

Most soft skills trainers have at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field like communications, business management, or education. Depending on the educational program you complete, coursework can focus on instructional and training methods, communication techniques, and business development and planning. You may also choose to participate in an internship to help you develop skills in developing training materials, delivering instruction, and supporting corporate training outcomes.

2. Gain experience as a trainer

Consider an entry-level position as a skills trainer so you can build your work experience. Small businesses and organizations often require employee training, and these opportunities can help you gain entry into your chosen career field. If you complete an internship for your bachelor's program, you may also think about how an externship can support your advancement in the field.

Externships can provide additional opportunities for building your work experience through job shadowing and partnering with organizations that require outside training professionals. Some skills trainers may also work as assistants for experienced trainers to gain experience while learning more about the profession.

3. Develop your hard skills

Your soft skills are crucial for success as a soft skills trainer. However, it's equally important to develop your hard skills. Computer proficiency and the ability to use various software applications may often be necessary to perform some of your job duties. For example, many soft skills trainers use computer software to prepare training documents, give presentations, and communicate with teams and departments. Depending on where you work, you may also find it beneficial to develop your proficiency in another language to better communicate with diverse groups of professionals.

Related: What's the Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills?

4. Look for open positions

As you gain more experience, look for open positions for dedicated soft skills trainers. Depending on your job criteria, you might research positions in your location, or you can explore jobs in other provinces if you're thinking about relocating. Consider your salary requirements and ideal work environment, too, so you can find the roles that suit your experiences, education, and unique qualities. When researching open positions, notice the requirements in the job descriptions and think about how they align with your career goals, skills, and expertise.

5. Network with businesses

It's also beneficial to visit businesses and organizations to inquire about any open positions or needs for dedicated training staff. Speak with other professionals about their organization's current training practices to gain insight into what individuals think of their companies' training opportunities. Use the information you gather while networking with others to show businesses and organizations how your knowledge and expertise can support positive outcomes. Networking this way encourages you to meet new professionals who may refer you to open positions.

Related: How to Build Your Networking Connections (With Tips)​

6. Consider working independently

Besides employment with a business or organization, you might also consider becoming an independent contractor. Working as an independent contractor can require you to meet certain standards, depending on your province. So it's crucial to research requirements like tax reporting and business licenses. If you pursue your skills training career as an independent contractor, it can also be beneficial to learn more about business management to better prepare yourself for success.

Related: How To Become a Communication Skills Trainer

Essential skills for soft skills trainers

To be successful as a soft skills trainer, it's crucial to develop the skills you plan to teach in your profession. Most skills trainers focus on building communication techniques, interpersonal skills, and conflict resolution skills. Additionally, the following soft skill sets are also essential to develop in your role as a skills trainer:

Creativity

Soft skills trainers use their creativity to develop engaging materials the teams they work with can relate to. They may use design elements on documents, create original resources for clients, and develop new strategies for presenting instructional materials. Skills trainers also collaborate with business managers and company shareholders to create training plans that incorporate important objectives. By using creative thinking, these professionals develop relatable presentations to motivate and support their teams.

Related: Creativity vs. Innovation (With Differences and Importance)

Active listening

The ability to receive and apply feedback and ask for others' input showcases many trainers' active listening skills. Communication is crucial in a soft skills training role, and active listening can help you better understand others' perspectives, ideas, and suggestions. Active listening is also beneficial for gaining insight into the specific needs of the organizations you work for. By listening to managers, staff members, and important stakeholders, you can better plan instructional objectives that support your company's success.

Related: 9 Ways to Improve Your Active Listening Skills

Presentation skills

Skills trainers present programs and instructional sessions and rely on their ability to create and deliver engaging presentations. With this in mind, it's important to develop your public speaking skills and ability to engage an audience when giving presentations. Practice speaking in front of small audiences, ask for feedback after your presentations, and strengthen your ability to engage and motivate others. With strong presentation skills, trainers are more likely to meet the learning outcomes and goals they set for their programs.

Related: Creative Presentation Ideas to Engage Your Audience

Leadership skills

Skills trainers lead others in the instruction and application of soft skills in the workplace. Therefore, leadership skills and the ability to direct and evaluate others are essential for the role. As instructional leaders, soft skills trainers often support employee learning outcomes by influencing others, delegating training tasks and activities, and mentoring trainees. Your leadership skills are also important in an independent contracting role, as skills trainers who contract with other businesses must perform the responsibilities of an instructor and business owner.

Related: 13 Soft Skills for Leadership (With Benefits and Importance)

Attention to detail

Organizational skills and effective time management are qualities that soft skills trainers rely on to keep track of training resources, evaluation materials, training schedules, and other business documentation. Exceptional attention to detail is necessary for monitoring staff during training sessions, assessing progress, and providing feedback to encourage improvement and success. Your attention to detail is also beneficial for identifying diverse learning styles and ensuring training resources, tools, and lessons meet the learning needs of all staff members you train.

Flexibility

Your ability to adapt to different situations and remain flexible in your approaches to instructing others is critical to succeeding as a skills trainer. Some skills trainers work in fast-paced environments and rely on their adaptiveness to navigate significant changes, transitions, and challenges in their organizations. In these circumstances, it's vital to develop your ability to change pace and adapt to different occurrences in your career. Teaching diverse individuals also requires flexibility, as soft skills trainers must find ways to relate the training material to different learning styles.

Related: Nine Skills That Support Adaptability in the Workplace

Soft skills trainer average salary

The average salary of a soft skills trainer is $24.67 per hour. However, this rate may vary depending on the skills trainer's experience, background, location, and whether they work for an organization or work as an independent contractor.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌, ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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