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If you are looking for a job where you can help coach and develop people to reach their potential, with the opportunity to work in many different industries and organisations, a career in learning and development could be right for you.

What is Learning & Development?

The role of Learning & Development (L&D) professionals is to help organisations develop the skills and capabilities of their employees to increase motivation, productivity and improve business performance. 

The activities of an L&D team are diverse and can include, for example:

  • delivering mentoring programmes
  • coaching line managers to improve leadership skills
  • creating skills training courses
  • developing induction programmes for new employees

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the professional body for HR, L&D and people development, with over 150,000 members worldwide.

What skills do I need to work in L&D?

The CIPD Profession Map shows how HR and L&D add value to an organisation. The main skills you need to work in this sector include:

  • Curiosity
  • Decisive thinking
  • Skilled at influencing
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Strong analytical ability

What L&D roles and salaries could I achieve?

According to CIPD, starting salaries in L&D range from £15,000 to £19,000 but by gaining the relevant CIPD qualifications and work experience you could increase your earning potential and career prospects.

Completion of the CIPD Level 5 Diploma in L&D can help you attain roles including:

L&D Officer – up to £24,000
L&D Manager – between £30,000 and £50,000
L&D Director – over £80,000

How do I get started in L&D?

Get experience
Landing your first role in a new profession can be challenging, so get as much experience as you can. For example by volunteering or taking initiative in your current role, you can make your CV stand out to prospective employers. Focus on your transferable skills and show your interest in developing people.


In order to find opportunities, consider joining online communities to make connections and learn from the experience of other L&D professionals. You can do this through joining CIPD’s online community, through getting qualified or using other social media platforms like LinkedIn. CIPD also run face-to-face events throughout the UK for networking.
First role
Like many jobs, your first opportunity is likely to be working as an assistant or supporting role, so look out for titles like ‘Assistant’, ‘Coordinator’ or ‘Administrator’. These will give you the chance to work alongside an L&D Manager and learn directly from them and on the job.
Get qualified

To help you land that first role or gain a promotion to a more senior position, CIPD’s L&D qualifications give you the skills and knowledge to get ahead in your L&D career. Learn the latest in good practice, how to evaluate training needs, and deliver effective learning.

Why not kick start your L&D career and earn more by becoming CIPD qualified? Click here to find out more about the different courses we offer.

Nilesh Jha