It is important for professionals to have a basic knowledge of computer programs such as word processing, spreadsheet and email applications. These skills help workers perform their daily jobs effectively, especially in offices where computer technology is prevalent. Computer trainers help students learn how to navigate their computer desktops to accomplish tasks ranging from composing and printing out a letter, to cropping an image for publication on a website.
Computer trainers teach computer skills and software basics in corporations, agencies, universities, independent training companies and other organizations. Topics that a computer trainer covers during training courses include programming, desktop publishing, word processing, typing, graphic design and Web content management. However, the topics that the trainer teaches to students vary and may focus on a particular software brand or function, or a database specific to a particular business. He also must demonstrate how to perform specific functions in software programs and test students’ knowledge using exams, quizzes and class assignments.
A computer trainer should have at least a high school diploma and certification or professional designation in the software she teaches. Vocational schools, community colleges and universities also offer computer training certificate programs for professionals. A candidate can also look into taking training classes with the Association for Computing Machinery. However, it's not at all rare that she is self-taught and acquires her experience through personal and professional use. A computer trainer with extensive experience and knowledge in a wide variety of software programs improves her chances of obtaining computer training positions.
A computer trainer should be an excellent instructor and presenter. Because some computer programs are complex, it is important that he be able to explain technical terminology and tools to students of different age groups and educational levels. Employers also look for a professional who is flexible and able to adapt his curriculum to the needs and skill level of his students. Previous experience as a salesperson for computer companies or in software departments is helpful for landing a job as a computer trainer.
Indeed.com reported that computer trainers in the United States earned an average salary of $65,000 per year as of July 2010. Salaries for this position fluctuate based on factors such as industry, skill level and geographic location. For example, computer trainers in New York City earned $80,000 per year compared with the national average.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “Occupational Outlook Handbook” states that training and development specialist jobs, which include professionals that provide computer training, will rise by 23 percent through 2018. Workers with college degrees, certification and a technical background will have the best job opportunities. In addition, the BLS foresees more companies outsourcing worker’s training and development programs to offset costs and increase employee productivity.
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