What’s the Best Degree Path for Becoming an Instructional Coordinator?

Education is a consistently popular major for college students, but not all students will use their academic accomplishments solely to teach in the classroom. If your interest in the field of education is less about  interacting with individual students than it is about developing the curricula students will study in various grade levels and academic subjects, a job as an instructional coordinator might be the perfect fit for you. Instructional coordinator is among the top 10 highest paying careers in education, with experienced professionals earning $42,070 to $75,000 per year. Instructional coordinators may go by several different job titles, including curriculum specialists, directors of instructional materials, and personal development specialists, but they serve a similar and important purpose in education.

Undergraduate Degree Options

The first step to becoming an instructional coordinator is to earn an undergraduate degree in education. This is the same degree that prepares teachers for their roles instructing students in the classroom. After all, you can’t successfully develop an educational curriculum if you don’t first understand the education process and how teachers instruct their students. In earning a bachelor’s degree, aspiring instructional coordinators have decisions to make. What grade levels would they like to work with, first in the classroom and later developing a curriculum? What academic subject interests them? Often, aspiring instructional coordinators will double major in education and a subject area, like history, language arts or mathematics.

Beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree is often sufficient education to begin a teaching career, but for aspiring instructional coordinators, it’s not enough. Most instructional coordinator positions require candidates to have a master’s degree, the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reported. The most popular degree program choice is a Master’s of Education in Instructional Design. These and similar graduate degree programs train aspiring instructional coordinators to gather and evaluate data as well as teaching curriculum design and instructional theory, the BLS reported. Students of these programs will perform research into important educational topics like comparing textbooks, evaluating students and preparing teachers for the classroom experience.

The right education is important for an aspiring instructional coordinator, but it’s still just one of the qualifications needed. Relevant work experience is also a requirement. Naturally, aspiring instructional coordinators often begin their careers in the classroom, as teachers of the grade levels and academic subjects for which they would eventually like to develop the curriculum. Some instructional coordinators also gain experience as school principals. Some states require instructional coordinators to have a teaching or education administrator license as well as teaching or principal experience, according to the BLS.

It takes time, hard work, and an investment in an advanced education to become an instructional coordinator, but the rewards of this career are well worth the intense preparation. Not only are instructional coordinators among the top paid professionals in the field of education, but they also make a difference in the depth and quality of education the students receive.

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris