Curriculum Developer: Job Description and Education Requirements

Sep 21, 2019

To become a curriculum developer, it is necessary to have a master's degree in education or curriculum. A teacher's or administration license are also required, and it may be necessary to have practical experience teaching or in administration before entering this career field.

Essential Information

A curriculum developer, also known as an instructional coordinator, is an educational professional who focuses on the topics that students learn and the materials that teachers use in the classroom. These professionals generally possess a graduate degree and have teaching or administrative experience.

Required Education Master's degree in field related to education and/or curriculum
Other Requirements Valid teacher's or administration license required; previous teaching or administrative experience may be necessary
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 6% for all instructional coordinators
Median Salary (2018)* $64,450 for all instructional coordinators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description of a Curriculum Developer

The Occupational Information Network (O*Net Online) notes that a curriculum developer works with classroom teachers to order books and materials for instructional use, observes teachers to make recommendations on changes that could increase student performance, and may be involved in the training of teachers. These individuals may also be involved in interpreting state guidelines and making changes to school curricula to ensure that the material students learn is in line with the state's standards. Some curriculum developers are also classroom teachers, working directly with students.

Education Requirements for a Curriculum Developer

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that an individual interested in becoming a curriculum developer or an instructional coordinator must have a master's degree. Some examples of available degrees include a Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction or a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Educational Technology. In some cases, individuals can focus on specific topics, like reading and literacy or the integration of technology in classroom settings. Whether the degree program is topic-specific or technology-focused depends on the courses that a student will take.

These programs often take one to two years beyond the bachelor's degree. Common courses include program evaluation, curriculum theory, and principles of curriculum development. Students may have the option to take courses focusing on a specific grade range, such as elementary, middle, or high school.

License Requirements

In order to work as a curriculum developer, one must have a valid teacher's license or administration license, according to the BLS. Most states have their own requirements for licensure. For example, according to Oregon's Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), requirements for teacher licensure include completion of basic skills tests and content-specific tests that change depending on the grade level one wishes to teach.

An administrative license allows an educational professional to work as a principal, vice principal or superintendent. There are 14 categories of administrative license in Oregon, and the basic administrator license is valid for six years according to the TPSC.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary earned by instructional coordinators was $64,450 in May 2018. The employment of such coordinators was expected to grow by 6% between 2018 and 2028, per the BLS.

Curriculum developers work with teachers to ensure the correct topics are being taught and determine what materials will be used for this instruction. They may also participate in training teachers or observing teachers with the goal of making recommendations on how to improve the instruction of the curriculum in the classroom. A master's degree is generally required for these jobs, which are projected to grow at an average rate from 2018-2028.

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