OJT is designed to prepare employees for job performance through training and performance
testing that is conducted by qualified OJT instructors in the work environment. It provides
practical hands-on experience, and has the advantage of providing training on tasks that are of
immediate need to the employee. OJT is limited to those situations where it is administratively
and physically possible to conduct the training (i.e., where facilities are adequate, where OJT
can be conducted without significant interference to facility operations, and where qualified
personnel are available to conduct and manage the OJT program). Instructors and training
material designers/developers should be aware of the potential advantages and disadvantages
of OJT when selecting training settings.
The advantages of OJT are:
Training takes place in the actual work environment. The trainee is surrounded
with the sights, sounds, smells, etc., of the job, so little is left to the trainee's
The instructor demonstrates the task at the job site using the same tools and/or
equipment the trainee will use to perform the task.
The instructor can tailor the training to meet the needs of each trainee because
the instructor has the option to change the pace, order, depth, and the length of
instruction to allow the trainee to learn the task.
The trainee is able to practice the task and gain hands-on experience.
There are also disadvantages to OJT that should be considered.
The actual job site may not be the best place for training. The equipment at the
job site may not be available for the length of time required to conduct OJT.
Training may have to take a "back seat" to the requirements for operation. That
is, the equipment may simply not be available for training due to operational
goals or commitments.
The cost of OJT can be high. OJT is usually conducted one-on-one, and this
method of training and performance testing takes a great deal of time. In some
cases, an instructor can train more than one trainee; however, performance
tests should always be done one-on-one.
Certain equipment may be dangerous in the hands of a trainee even under
close supervision. (A simulator training setting would be a more desirable