A Career in Curriculum and Instruction

Whether you call them curriculum developers or instructional coordinators, these education professionals plan and design curriculum, evaluate teacher and student learning, and help integrate technology into educational programs. Their overall goal is to improve the quality of education.

Educational Requirements for Curriculum and Instruction Professionals

Training in curriculum development is only offered at the graduate level. Some programs require experience in education or a related field for admittance. Many curriculum developers work as teachers and/or educational administrators before specializing in instructional design.

Colleges and universities offer master of education, master of arts in education, and master of science in education degrees, with concentrations in assessment, curriculum and instruction, literacy, educational policy, and other related specialties.

A typical graduate certificate in instructional design provides students with the knowledge and skills to design and develop effective instruction and learning activities. Flexible scheduling through online courses and day, evening, and weekend classes make degree and certificate programs accessible to working professionals.

Jobs and Salaries in Curriculum and Instruction

Most instructional design jobs in public schools require a master's degree or higher, preferably in education or a related field, plus a state teacher or administrator license. A post-graduate degree is preferred for most other jobs in this profession. Curriculum developers not only work in schools, they also work for companies on employee training and development. People with training in curriculum design find jobs in schools, government, corporations, and nonprofit organization. Some are self-employed or work with individual and family services, in research and development, or in technical consulting. Job titles vary considerably and include the following:

  • Curriculum Consultant
  • Curriculum Coordinator
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • Staff Development Specialist
  • Director of Instructional Material

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people working in this and closely related fields had a mean annual wage of $59,780 in May 2008. While the highest levels of employment were in elementary and secondary schools, the federal government was the employer with the highest mean annual wage ($84,360). The District of Columbia, Alaska, Maryland, Georgia, and Hawaii (in that order) had the highest concentration of instructional coordinators. Connecticut, California, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Virginia (in that order) had the highest mean annual wages for these positions. BLS expects favorable job prospects, especially for those who specialize in reading, math, science, and instructional technology.

Schools Offering Curriculum and Instruction Courses:

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