How to Become a Learning & Development Manager

Take your L&D career to the next level with an online CIPD qualification. 

Learning and Development managers play a vital role in implementing and executing training and development activities within their organisation, ensuring employees are equipped with the skills they need to reach their career goals. 

If you’re someone who’s interested in helping make an impact in your business as a people professional, becoming an L&D manager could be the perfect choice for you.

Here, we give you more insight into the role of an L&D manager and what it takes to get a job in L&D management.

L&D meeting

What does an L&D manager do? 

The role and responsibilities of L&D Managers include (but are not limited to):

  • Developing and implementing learning strategies and programmes
  • Monitoring and managing L&D strategies and training programmes 
  • Consistently reviewing individual and organisational needs
  • Evaluating effectiveness and best training practices (i.e., online learning and workshops)
  • Managing a training and development budget
  • Organising and overseeing hiring and training activities
  • Creating training events for employees at every level (including initial introductions to leadership programmes)

The duties undertaken by L&D Managers will change and evolve as companies grow (or shrink) and as technology advances, however, their basic responsibilities will be similar across each industry.

How much does an L&D manager earn? 

According to Indeed and Glassdoor, Learning and Development Managers working in the UK can expect to earn an average salary of between £37,600 and £45,000. 

However, the exact salary you earn will depend on which organisation you work for and where you’re located.

Sorting papers

What qualifications does an L&D manager need? 

There are a number of qualifications that can help you reach your L&D management goals. however, among the most popular include:

  • A CIPD L&D qualification at Level 3 or Level 5
  • A relevant degree or postgraduate qualification in HR, business, or training and management development (i.e. an MSc degree).
  • A National Vocational qualification that incorporates practical, work-based evaluation.

While any of these qualifications are ideal, CIPD qualifications are typically the most desirable among employers. Even simply stating on your CV that you’re currently studying a CIPD qualification can help you tremendously in taking your career to the next level. 

This is because CIPD qualifications are globally recognised as the benchmark for L&D skills, helping learners to rapidly expand their knowledge and capabilities so they can immediately apply what they’ve learned in a workplace setting.


What experience does an L&D manager need? 

Along with a professional qualification, aspiring Learning and Development managers should have at least a few years of experience working in either HR or L&D.

While these specialisms are separate in how they function, on a fundamental level they both deal exclusively with their organisation’s employees, falling together under the umbrella of ‘the people profession’.

To be successful in this role, you’ll want to have experience in developing, management, or training functions. This will demonstrate your ability to build and manage relationships with employees - a necessary talent if you want to become an effective L&D manager.

Experience in leading projects, managing budgets, and designing or implementing e-learning courses and other training strategies is also beneficial.

What skills does an L&D manager need? 

It should come as no surprise that L&D managers require a diverse set of skills as the role deals with a wide variety of people and personalities on a regular basis.

While your role, in particular, may vary depending on which industry you’re in, typically the basic skillset will be similar and include the following key competencies:

Communication skills

As an L&D manager, interpersonal and communication skills are vital if you want to make a genuine impact in your role.

That’s why it’s important to set aside time to get to know employees and learn about their professional and personal goals. By establishing open and honest relationships, they’ll learn to trust you, address any issues, provide feedback, and be all the more willing to put their best foot forward in their development (which ultimately benefits the business too).

Strategic skills

L&D managers contribute to designing and implementing new training programmes, and so it goes without saying one of the main skills they should have is the ability to stay on top of ever-evolving industry trends and remain forward-thinking.

The world of work changes fast and so it’s up to L&D managers to help guide their teams so both employees and businesses can benefit from upskilling and adapt their processes accordingly.
Organisation skills

Being an L&D manager means wearing a lot of hats and spinning a lot of plates - and that requires a lot of organisation and time management.

Since L&D managers are there to coach and develop employees as well as identify skills gaps, they also need to be organised enough to effectively plan and execute filling in those gaps as and when the organisation needs with minimal disruption to internal dynamics.

Problem-solving and decision-making skills 

These skills are more or less an extension of the skill mentioned above. You see, the more organised you are, the easier your problem-solving and decision-making skills will be.

However, some issues arise without warning during a regular workday, so paying close attention to detail, thinking on your feet, and staying calm under pressure while keeping your team productive is essential if you’re to become efficient in your role.

Mentoring skills 

If you want to stand out as an L&D manager, the ability to coach, develop, and motivate your team plays a major part in how effective you are at your job.

As someone in a management position, you’re the driving force behind the development of an organisation’s employees and it’s your job to not only train them but to encourage their efforts as you help them build their confidence and skills.

learning together

Which roles can L&D managers be promoted to? 

Since L&D management functions as a mid-level role, there’s plenty of room for opportunity and growth into senior-level roles should you wish to advance your L&D career in the years to come.

Depending on what your goals and aspirations are, for example, you could work to become a Training Consultant, Head of Learning and Development, or even L&D Director - earning upwards of £82,000.

If you want to go one step further to land your ideal role, it’s worth mentioning that taking on a CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma can work wonders in preparing you for strategic senior roles as a people professional - and you can even study one online with us!


What makes a great Learning & Development manager is someone who’s committed to continual professional development for both themselves and the people in their organisation.

If you’re someone who fits that bill, then we hope you’ll take the next step to become the great L&D manager we know you can be.

Good luck!

Hoping to become an L&D Manager? Enrol on a 100% online CIPD qualification and gain the skills you need to secure your dream job.