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What does an Instructional Designer do?

Are you interested in learning, teaching, and education, but prefer a non-classroom role that focuses more on interaction with adult professionals than with students? If this sounds appealing, the profession of instructional design could be the right match for your career ambitions.

Instructional designers are highly skilled experts who play a central role in shaping the curriculum, testing requirements, teaching materials, and even teaching methods that are used in public school classrooms and other learning environments. Though these jobs are highly demanding and require extensive formal education, they are also prestigious and well compensated positions.

Instructional designer: Day-to-day duties

The everyday job responsibilities of an instructional designer can vary significantly. On a general level, instructional designers are charged with the task of helping to create and implement educational curricula, so the specific duties assigned to this role can be virtually any task that helps achieve the larger goal. This can include activities such as analyzing test scores, observing classroom instruction, evaluating textbooks, assessing classroom technology, training teachers and administrators, and helping to implement and execute any new programs or technologies.

Although there are some instructional designers who are generalists, many school systems now prefer to hire instructional designers who specialize in particular subject areas, especially those identified as core subject areas under curricular requirements.

Instructional designer: Education requirements

Because of the high-level responsibilities given to instructional designers, most positions in this field require substantial formal education. Most mid- to high-level positions in instructional design require a master's degree, while top jobs in the field may demand a doctoral degree. In addition, many public school positions may require instructional designers to maintain current teacher certification in their area of specialization.

Instructional designer: Job outlook and salary potential

Information gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that instructional designers are poised to experience excellent professional prospects. Based on BLS data, it is predicted that the rate of growth in the field of instructional design will far exceed the average for all fields. In return for long hours and high educational requirements that these positions often entail, most instructional designers are well compensated.

Take aim for the top of the education field--explore your educational options in the field of instructional design today.

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