Companies, non-profit organizations, schools and government agencies need to hire skilled trainers to educate workers and students on different business processes, and technology and trends that pertain to their disciplines and areas of expertise. From creating instruction manuals for software clients, to collaborating with teachers on the most effective learning materials for students, curriculum developers can be found in all industries.
In the educational field, curriculum developers must work closely with teachers and school administrators to design and roll out a curriculum that provides students with a high quality education. Similar to curriculum developers in other industries and non-profit organizations, these professionals must research and incorporate current trends and data into the standard curriculum. Increasingly, curriculum developers are required to include technology such as webinars, podcasts and other web-based training tools into their instructional methods. Curriculum development professionals that work outside of academia may produce scripts for telephone training or help design presentations for conferences and webinars. Additionally, curriculum developers are responsible for updating training documents on a consistent basis and working closely with subject matter experts to evaluate and revise training tools as appropriate.
Employers require that curriculum developers have at least a bachelor’s degree in English, education, organizational development or a related discipline. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), instructional coordinator positions in public schools must have a master’s degree or higher in education. In addition, curriculum development professionals must obtain a teaching or education administrator license for the state where their school is located. Other organizations, such as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service, require that curriculum developers become certified through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
A curriculum developer must have strong written, presentation and interpersonal communication skills to write and teach curriculum to students. Corporations that specialize in technology or software may require candidates with experience writing and developing technical documents. Curriculum developers should have excellent computer skills and have experience working with computer-based training tools such as web conferencing software. Some employers also require candidates with knowledge of social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook, and copyright and trademark rules for writing and delivering content.
The duties of a curriculum developer are diverse and can vary across different industry sectors. As a result, some organizations may label curriculum developers as curriculum specialists, instructional coordinators, curriculum directors, or director of curriculum and professional development managers.
Annual salaries for curriculum developer positions differ based on city and state, certification requirements, industry and years of experience. For example, an April 2010 PayScale report lists average salaries for curriculum developers between $43,154 and $73,841. An April 2010 Simply Hired reports the average salary of a curriculum developer as $64,000.
The BLS predicts that job prospects for instructional coordinator roles will be excellent due to an increased focus on higher education, special needs programs and instruction in English as a second language. Job opportunities will be favorable for professionals who are highly proficient in the latest classroom technology and specialize in reading, math and science.