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Hours of training per employee by company size U.S. 2017-2020

Larger companies in the U.S. have been increasing their investment in staff training over the last three years, with the average number of training hours provided annually per employee increasing from 42.2 in 2017 to 102.6 in 2020. This was the highest average of all business sizes in that year, with small companies providing an annual average of 41.7 hours and midsize companies 34.7 hours per employee.

The training industry in the U.S.

Workplace training is the process of educating staff in the specific skills they need to perform the tasks required for their role. This can be developed and provided by in-house staff or by third-party training providers. Companies generally prefer to retain a high level of in-house control though, with fully outsourced solutions for most training services being rare and unlikely to increase in the future. This means the majority of expenditure within the industry is directed to the payment of wages for in-house staff.

Training methods and expenditure

The recent decrease in training hours provided by smaller companies still allowed for increased expenditure per employee. Moreover, spending per employee decreases in line with company size. This trend likely reflects the greater capacity that larger companies have to invest in large scale and/or technological training solutions able to serve a large number of employees simultaneously. For example, technological solutions such as online learning tools, once implemented, can provide training for a small or large number of employees at a similar overall cost. This hypothesis seems to be reflected in how large organizations make more use of virtual classrooms and less use of instructor-led classrooms as the sole method of training than small and midsize organizations

Hours of training per employee in the training industry in the United States from 2017 to 2020, by company size

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Release date

November 2020


North America, United States

Survey time period

2017 to 2020

Number of respondents

202 respondents

Special properties

U.S.-based corporations and educational institutions with 100 or more employees.

Method of interview

Email survey

Supplementary notes

Values prior 2019 were taken from previous reports.
2017 baseline: 316.
2018 baseline: 271
2019 baseline 240

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Statistics on "Training industry in the U.S."

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