Teaching Careers and Professional Development Updated September 8, 2022

Online Curriculum Developer: Job Description and Career Outlook

By The Editorial Team

Online curriculum developers work with other members of a team to create learning materials that students use online. Many schools, as well as public and private-sector employers, are preferring to utilize the latest in technology to increase learning while minimizing costs. Therefore, if you have the right blend of both instructional strength and technological savvy, you can expect high demand and great earning potential in this field.

Online curriculum development jobs

Also referred to as instructional coordinators in the education field, these professionals work closely with school administrators and teachers to produce curriculum materials that assist students in achieving at higher levels. Here, instructional coordinators help to plant new technology into the classrooms, carefully assessing teaching methods and offering suggestions on ways to improve the overall educational experience. If you enjoy the educational process, but not necessarily the other duties teachers face, you might find this field rewarding.

In other industries such as non-profit, corporate or government, an online curriculum developer is a bridge between experts in subject matter and the team who produces online learning materials in those subject areas. They work with the experts to write, copy edit and create program materials and any related documents.

Also known as elearning developers, online curriculum developers frequently lead production teams. As such, it is crucial that they possess strong leadership and communication skills in addition to technical skills. Some specific responsibilities of the job include:

  • Assess and oversee projects
  • Develop distance-based materials
  • Make and implement development related decisions
  • Provide technical assistance to teachers and students
  • Select appropriate distance learning technology

Developers in online curriculum must stay up-to-date learning technologies, research and developments. They are expected to make suggestions for improving distance learning programs.

Online curriculum developer requirements and education

Educational requirements for online curriculum developers vary by industry, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most employers will require candidates have a master’s degree or above to attain this position.

Further, candidates are often also required to have a teaching certificate from the state. Having excellent written, verbal, technical and teaching skills is an absolute must in this position. Also, excellent computer skills are required, as well as experience working with online training software.

Employers have various requirements depending on their preferred software, but proficiency in Microsoft Office is fairly universal. Employers may also desire technical proficiency in:

  • Adobe ActionScript
  • Articulate
  • ASP
  • Camtasia
  • Captivate
  • Corel Visual Studio Pro
  • Flash
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Photoshop

A background in video editing and digital audio is helpful as well.

Because of its emergence as part of corporate marketing strategies for many companies, some online curriculum developers may also be required to have better than average skill with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Instructional data is delivered electronically; thus, travel requirements for the online curriculum developer are generally minimal if travel is required at all.

Curriculum development salary and career outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for online curriculum developers was $62,270. By the year 2024, the BLS projects job growth to increase 7 percent in this industry with 18,500 jobs added in this field in the United States.

The average salary outcome for professionals with a curriculum and instruction degree is $57,510.

Driving this growth? Rising federal and state educational standards along with obvious shifts in the marketplace that continue to emerge. The beauty of this career is the job growth, advancement potential and relevance to nearly every industry that exists in the marketplace.

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