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Best IT Trainer Certifications

Best IT Trainer Certifications
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Credit: ShutterstockCredit: Shutterstock

If there's one real nonpareil area for IT certification it's got to be for certification training itself. Mind you, this area isn't for everyone: you've not only got to know your stuff cold, and be willing to work long and hard hours to keep up with whatever certification programs you decide to cover. You've also got to be outgoing, a good speaker, well-organized, good with people and fast on your feet.

But with thousands of independent training centers in North America alone, and jobs for the cream of the crop with certification sponsors themselves, there are lots of opportunities for people who possess these characteristics. In fact, certification sponsors usually have their own training departments, and they often develop their own curriculum and exams for certifications they sponsor, so training jobs can lead to follow-on roles with curriculum and course development, exam development and certification program work, as well as classroom, video or on-camera training roles.

Most vendors have specific requirements for people who want to teach their certification courses. At a minimum, would-be instructors must take the course and pass the exam for the topic they wish to teach, often with a higher score than those who merely wish to earn an associated certification. In many cases, instructors must also present or acquire "train the trainer" or "trainer training" credentials as well.

"Train the trainer" often refers to a specific course that's designed to teach instructors how to deliver specific courses, and to prep students for related exams. "Trainer training" credentials essentially seek to demonstrate or validate someone's classroom training skills, to ensure they meet standards for classroom content delivery, time, people management and so forth.

The certifications covered in this article fall under the heading of "trainer training" or "training certification," in the sense that these credentials seek to identify individuals who are capable of instructing IT certification candidates in a classroom situation (either in an actual classroom, or in a virtual classroom using web-based online conferencing or course delivery environments). In the 1980s and 1990s, as IT certification programs really started ramping up, most certification sponsors had their own customized train-the-trainer certifications (and some still do, as you'll see).

Salaries for IT trainers vary but are consistent across different certification sectors. Per SimplyHired, most IT trainers can expect to earn an average of $63,000. Of course, some senior IT trainer positions have the potential to earn much more, with top earnings reported upward of $103,000. Contract or freelance training professionals with name recognition and perhaps their own followings, can expect to earn $1,000 a day and up for time spent teaching in the classroom or in a video studio.

Before moving on, look at our unofficial job board search for the top five certifications covered in this article to get an idea of which certifications are popular with employers.

Job Board Search Results (in alphabetical order by certification)*

CertificationSimplyHiredIndeedLinkedIn Jobs
Linkup.comTotals
ACT (Apple)
10512099303627
CCSI (Cisco)
303151278
CST (Scrum Alliance)
182111757
CTT+ (CompTIA)2831111080
MCT (Microsoft)
282818
48122

* See our complete methodology for selecting top five certifications in the "Best Certifications" series.