Press Release

What Talent Development Pays

Thursday, November 5, 2015

In 2015, the median annual salary for someone in the talent development profession is between $70,000 and $79,999, according to new research from the Association for Talent Development (ATD). The median salary is unchanged from 2011, the last time ATD published a compensation and benefits report.  

ATD Research surveyed 2,050 talent development professionals at all employment levels to determine compensation and benefit trends in the United States. Instructional designers and trainers, with a bachelor’s degree or higher, made up the majority of the survey respondents. In addition to salary, the survey also sought information about factors that command higher salaries, the prevalence of incentive pay, and what benefits are commonly offered.


Key findings in the report, What Does Talent Development Pay: ATD’s 2015 Compensation and Benefits Report are:
•    Most talent development professionals have at least a four year degree and nearly half (49 percent) have a master’s or advanced degree.
•    Median salary in the U.S., between $70,000 and $79,999, remains unchanged since 2011.
•    56 percent have a base salary between $50,000 and $89,999.
•    Pay tends to be higher in the Northeast and West.
•    Participants who listed training delivery as their primary responsibility made less that those who named other primary areas of responsibility (instructional design or change management, for example).
•    75 percent of respondents received a raise the previous year, typically less than 4 percent of base salary.
•    56 percent receive incentive rewards, but these make up less than 10 percent of compensation.
•    88 percent were offered medical coverage by their employer.

The compensation and benefits analysis in this report empowers talent development professionals to benchmark personal earnings and benefits and enables organizations to evaluate their offerings.

More information about this research can be found at

About the Author
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.
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