Instructional Media Specialist Employment Information

Instructional media specialists with bachelor's degrees often provide instructional and IT support for academic faculty and staff in educational institutions. Those with a master's degree and professional certification may provide library instruction to students using a variety of media and technology solutions. Read on to learn the details of entering this profession.

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  • General Instructional Media Design

Career Definition

Instructional media specialists provide instruction and assistance with electronic and virtual learning opportunities to faculty, students and staff. They typically schedule, maintain, set up, and troubleshoot education-related technology and content-delivery systems. Many instructional media specialists work in higher education settings. Instructional media specialists who work in K-12 school libraries work directly with students to meet their educational and entertainment needs within a school setting using education-related media and technology and basic library principles.

Education Bachelor's degree typical with tech-related experience; school-based position may require teaching degree and certification
Job Skills Detail-oriented, teaching ability and strong interpersonal skills
Median Salary (2015)* $54,734
Job Growth (2014-2024)** 2% (instructional media specialists who are also librarians

Source: * Salary.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Instructional media specialists in tech support roles usually have a four-year bachelor's degree in education, interactive media design, technology, or a related field, plus demonstrable work or tech-related experience. Employers look for instructional media specialists familiar with instructional technology and willing to learn new and emerging instructional technologies and how they relate to education. Courses in these programs include studies of networking, computers, and education. Instructional media specialists working in school libraries hold a two-year master's degree in library science or information science plus state teacher certification or a school media specialist certificate, depending on state requirements. They study the principles of library and information science, education, and working with children and young adults.

Required Skills

Regardless of the details of their job description, instructional media specialists should be flexible and detail-oriented. Along with teaching ability and the ability to work with diverse populations, these specialists manage changing priorities quickly and demonstrate strong interpersonal skills.

Career and Economic Outlook

Instructional media specialists earn a median annual salary of $54,734, according to Salary.com in April 2016. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that instructional media specialists who are librarians will see slower-than-average overall job growth of 2% from 2014-2024; individuals who work as instructional coordinators have similar employment opportunities in the same timeframe, since the field is projected to grow by only 7%.

Alternate Career Options

Similar career options include:

Museum Technician

These museum workers, also known as registrars, are normally required to have a bachelor's degree related to a specific field, depending on the museum, in addition to museum experience. Their employment involves helping curators take care of museum objects and assisting them in other required duties. The BLS predicted slower than average employment growth of 5% from 2014-2024, and reported an annual median salary of $40,340 in 2015.

Library Technician and Assistant

Often having an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate, some techs and assistants also secure employment with only a high school diploma. These professionals help librarians assist patrons and perform clerical tasks while on the job. In 2015, the BLS noted an annual median wage of $27,930 for library technicians and assistants, whose positions were projected to increase at an average pace of 5% from 2014-2024.

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