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Become an Instructional Coach: Education and Job Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an instructional coach. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

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A master's degree is required to work as an instructional coach, but the specific type of program to choose from depends on one's desired level of technical knowledge. Aside from a degree and a teaching license, instructional coaches must also be licensed in the state they work in.

Essential Information

An instructional coach, also known as an instructional coordinator or curriculum development specialist, is a school administrator tasked with assisting teachers and other school administrators with choosing appropriate curricula and technology for the classroom. These individuals are licensed educators and often move from teaching positions to administrative roles after gaining a master's degree in instructional leadership or coaching.

Required Education Master's degree
Other Requirements State teaching certification or licensure
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7% for all instructional coordinators
Average Salary (2015)* $64,870 per year for all instructional coordinators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for an Instructional Coach

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that an instructional coach or coordinator must have a master's degree in education to qualify for that position (www.bls.gov). These degree programs are typically available as a Master of Education in Instructional Leadership or a Master of Arts in Education in Instructional Coaching. Individuals interested in these programs must have a teaching license to enter these master's degree programs, which require the completion of 30-36 credit hours. Common courses in these programs include curriculum design, educational research methods, and field experience or practicum sessions.

Another degree option is the Master of Science in Instructional Technology, which focuses on the duties of an instructional coordinator who includes the use of technology in his or her work. These degree programs may be offered online or in classrooms and include 36-42 credit hours. Course topics include instructional coaching, classroom management, and technology management.

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Job Duties

Also known as curriculum development specialists, these educational professionals may work in classrooms with students or may have more of an administrative role. The duties of an instruction coach include doing things like reviewing curricula to ensure that what is being taught in classrooms meets state standards and planning and executing teacher training seminars. Instructional coaches analyze teacher performance and test scores, then present suggestions on how to improve both to school boards and administrators.

Licensure and Certification Information

The BLS notes that individuals must have state certification or licensure to work in public schools and qualify for positions as instructional coaches. While requirements for licensure differs depending on the state one lives in, they often count a bachelor's degree as a minimum requirement for a teaching license or certification in the field.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the average annual salary earned by instructional coordinators was $64,870 in May 2015. The employment of instructional coordinators is expected to grow by 7% between 2014 and 2024, per the BLS.

Instructional coaches work with teachers, school administrators, and education boards in reviewing teaching curriculum, monitoring teacher and student progress, and suggesting ways to improve school performance. They must have a master's degree in educational instruction or coaching, which can be taken online or in a classroom setting.

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