Do you have the skills for a career in Learning and Development? Read our guide to find out if the role of an L&D Manager is right for you.

  • Do you want to help people learn, develop and flourish in your business

  • Are you tuned into the aims and objectives of your organisation

  • Have you experience in training others and analysing data?

Then a career as an L&D manager might be right for you...

Learning and Development is crucial to all successful organisations. It’s about getting the very best from the people in your business in order to achieve organisational goals. Whatever the aims of your business, a workforce which collectively demonstrates good judgement, application of skills at the right time and collaboration, will always be more effective than one without these characteristics.

L&D managers play a key role in the development of companies in every sector. A strong force in managing both people and organisational development, L&D managers are involved in a wide range of activities from creating a learning strategy for the business to delivering the training.

What does an L&D manager do?

It really depends on the size of your business. In smaller companies you may be more of a generalist who carries out inductions, designs learning materials and delivers workshops. In larger organisations you may be responsible for a specific function such as managing apprenticeships or digital learning.

Whatever the size of your business, you will play an important part in helping people reach their full potential.

What might a typical day look like?

The role of an L&D manager is varied. For a medium sized business with a workforce of around 300, a typical day could be:

  • 9:00 analyse results from a mandatory eLearning programme for 50 staff

  • 10:00 meeting with the HR leadership team looking at quarterly priorities

  • 11:00 call with an associate lined up to do some delivery to scope out the work

  • 12:00 deal with general emails, for example, answering requests for a specific training course or helping a team member log on to the learning management system

  • 13:00 working lunch with the head of HR to discuss the recruitment needs of the department

  • 14:00 meeting with a new manager to understand their needs and expectations

  • 15:00 support a team member with forthcoming training priorities

  • 16:00 call with a new provider to discuss outsourcing of training

  • 17:00 revisit materials for delivering a senior leadership training course

What skills do I need?

Again, this varies but generally a combination of the following is required:

  • A background in training. There is no substitute for being able to stand up and deliver training in a classroom setting.

  • Experience of stakeholder management – you are the ambassador for learning and, therefore, set the tone for the whole organisation.

  • Ability to build relationships with leaders – others need to believe in your knowledge and skills as an L&D expert.

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

  • Experience of data analytics. Even if you are not super confident with numbers, you need to be analytical enough to measure the outcome of any learning experience.

What will I earn?

An average salary for an L&D manager is: £41,138
Source Reed 2022

How can I progress my career?

There are many opportunities for career progression. L&D typically sits within the Human Resources department and an L&D manager will report to a senior HR team member. In larger organisations there will be openings to become a head of L&D, a chief learning officer or a specialist in a particular function such as apprenticeships. In smaller firms, you will be hands on doing a bit of everything which is great preparation for a more senior role.

Next steps

You’ve decided on a career in L&D management, so what next? If you are already a trainer, then diversify and get as much exposure as possible in other areas of L&D, such as consultancy or evaluation. If you are in a HR role and want to move into L&D, then put your hand up and do some training to get some experience.

Qualifications and courses will also help you progress your L&D career.

Get CIPD qualified!

CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice

Kickstart your HR or L&D career with this CIPD Level 3 course. You’ll learn what it takes to be a successful people professional, so you can quickly progress in your role. The qualification leads to CIPD foundation membership.

CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma in Organisational Learning and Development

Designed specifically to help you become an L&D specialist, this Diploma leads to CIPD associate membership. The programme can take as little as nine months to complete and includes a range of specialist L&D topics.

CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Strategic Learning and Development

Ideal for more experienced people practitioners who want to gain expertise in a range of L&D areas. The qualification can lead to CIPD chartered membership.

Other ways to learn...


Take your L&D career to the next stage by developing your L&D skills through an apprenticeship.

Reed Learning offers apprenticeships in HR and L&D at all three levels and our tutors have the expertise to help you succeed!


Train the trainer

High quality training has been shown to improve talent retention and productivity. Our train the trainer course is a cost-effective way of developing your L&D team.

Read our L&D guide and find out more

A manager’s guide to learning and development” reveals our top tips for developing your team members.

The information will support managers to provide the best learning and development experiences for their team regardless of budget or expertise.

Download your free guide now.

Need further advice on learning solutions for your business or how to get the best out of your L&D career? We can help.

Talk to one of our specialist learning advisers on 020 7932 2760 today.