Technical Instructor from Teacher, Technical Worker or Military Veteran
This article offers tips for changing careers to become a corporate technical instructor in the U.S. Some of the tips are useful to anyone who wants to become a corporate technical instructor.
However, corporate technical instructors typically get their start after teaching in schools or working in a technical capacity in the corporate world or military. So, the tips lean heavily in that direction.
About Technical Instructors
Technical instructors in the U.S. corporate world typically teach their students some mix of how to assemble, install, set up, program, operate, troubleshoot or maintain the products made or sold by the companies for which they instruct, through theory and practical hands-on exercises. They also administer related quizzes and exams, if any. Their students are typically technicians, engineers, tech-support specialists, tech writers, factory workers and the like.
Technical instructors instruct in corporate classrooms and labs, in the field, or on the factory floor. Alternately or additionally, they instruct through computer-based training (CBT), online training or teleconferencing.
In some cases, technical instructors design and develop the courses they instruct, including training aids, lab exercises, exams and such. In other cases, they work closely with course developers or instructional designers who design and develop much to all of it.
Technical instructors often work closely with personnel from technical support, technical publications and engineering, especially when developing courses for new products. In fact, many technical instructors were previously tech-support specialists or engineers.
For example, a technical instructor might be an integral member of a product-launch team consisting of the previously listed personnel and then some, such as those from sales, marketing, manufacturing and quality assurance.
Technical instructors are also referred to as tech instructors, technical trainers or tech trainers and loosely, industrial instructors or industrial trainers. But, you likely won't hear the proud call themselves "trainers". That's because there's an old saying in the business that "Trainers train animals. Instructors instruct people."
Regardless, specific job titles vary by employer, as do job qualifications.
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