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Distance Education Jobs, Career Summaries and Industry Outlook

Distance education employees create, administer, manage and teach distance education programs. Continue reading for an overview of the educational requirements and career options as well as employment and salary projections for graduates.

A career in distance education might involve being a postsecondary education administrator or instructional coordinator. A postsecondary education administrator manages a number of departments at colleges and universities, helping to make sure the institution runs smoothly as a whole. Instructional coordinators provide technical support for students and instructors.

Essential Information

Distance education jobs are available at colleges, universities and technical and vocational schools. Professionals who hold distance education jobs work for undergraduate and graduate programs as well as distance education, online, extension and adult education programs.

Career Titles Postsecondary Education Administrator Instructional Coordinator
Education Requirements Master's or doctoral degree in social work, marketing, accounting or a similar discipline Master's degree in education, curriculum and instruction or an area of specialization
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 9% 7%
Median Annual Salary (May 2015)* $88,580 $62,270

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Many distance education employees work for individual schools within colleges and universities, while others hold positions working for programs that are administered throughout the institutions. Most distance education employees work on campus, using computer technology to teach and communicate with students.

Postsecondary Education Administrator

These professionals are tasked with managing various departments of colleges and universities. They might be in charge of distance education academic programs and student services. Postsecondary education administrators design materials that promote their schools, assess student applications for admission and plan graduation ceremonies. A master's or doctoral degree is usually required for this position.

The demand for postsecondary school administrators, including those employed in distance education management, was projected to increase 9% from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of May 2015, postsecondary school administrators earned a median annual salary of $88,580, per the bureau.

Instructional Coordinator

Distance education instructional coordinators provide technical support for instructors as well as students in distance education classes. Employers require at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or education. Administrative support staff in distance education typically assist distance education teams, faculty and program coordinators.

These jobs require a strong understanding of information technology and databases and also require office administration and interpersonal communication skills. Instructional coordinators earned a median annual salary of $62,270 in May 2013. Employment rates for instructional coordinators were expected to rise by 7% between 2014 and 2024.

The type of education and experience required for distance education titles depends on what one's title is. Postsecondary education administrators typically need a master's or doctoral degree. Instructional coordinators also tend to need a master's degree and a strong grasp of technology and databases.

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