Fall 2019
Issue Map
The Payout
CTDO Magazine

The Payout

Monday, September 16, 2019

Various factors influence talent development professionals' salary.

What can a talent development professional expect to earn? It depends.

The Association for Talent Development's 2019 Talent Development Salary and Benefits Report found that the median base salary for a talent development professional last year was $82,350; the median total compensation (defined as base pay plus nonbase pay, such as an annual bonus or incentive pay) was $86,044. But the report, based on a 2018 survey of 1,911 talent development professionals working full time in the United States, notes that other factors are at play. It reveals that job level, organization size, and years of experience influenced salary. Those with at least 11 years of experience were more likely to earn a higher salary, as were those whose job title was manager or above.

Overall, respondents were most likely to have a base annual salary between $70,000 and $89,000. A quarter of respondents earned between $50,000 and $69,999, while nearly the same number of respondents earned between $90,000 and $119,999. About one in five earned an annual salary of more than $120,000. These figures have not changed much since ATD last conducted research on compensation in 2017, indicating that salary in talent development has remained fairly stable.

In addition to reporting salary breakdowns for individual contributors, managers, and other job levels, the report provides total compensation for talent development executives. Given the connection the report found between job level and salary, it is not surprising that talent development executives were most likely to fall into that top bracket of earning $120,000 or more. Executives include chief talent development officers, chief human resources officers, chief learning officers, and directors and vice presidents who are responsible for all learning or all HR at their organizations.

Executives in those roles working at large organizations saw a higher median compensation than those working at small organizations. Executives employed by organizations with fewer than 500 employees earned a median total compensation of $108,000 per year. Executives from medium-size organizations (with 500 to 9,999 employees) saw a median total compensation of $135,000, and executives employed by organizations with 10,000 or more employees had the highest median total compensation, at $170,000. That link between organization size and compensation was seen across all job levels.

The Payout CTDO figure

Read more from CTDO magazine: Essential talent development content for C-suite leaders.

About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently sources and authors content for TD Magazine and CTDO, as well as manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs. Contact her at [email protected] 

Be the first to comment
Sign In to Post a Comment
Sorry! Something went wrong on our end. Please try again later.