While the needs of an educational program in a corporate environment might be distinctly different than one in an elementary school, both need a mindfully designed curriculum in order to function properly. A curriculum designer’s job is to ensure that any educational program they work with has the most effective curriculum materials possible, according to WiseGeek.
Only a bachelor’s degree is needed to meet the basic education level standards for employment as curriculum designer, though some applicants receive higher prioritization with more advanced degrees. It is preferred that the applicant’s major area of study be either education, curriculum design, or a very closely-related field.
The ideal candidate for a curriculum designer position will have gained a well-rounded blend of both specialized education and practical experience as educators themselves. It is common for new curriculum designers to have come into the profession after working as teachers. Prospective curriculum designers must have gained at least three to five years of working experience in either teaching or education management. The applicant must also have gained a sufficient amount of experience in development of the curriculum and curriculum materials at their former place or places of employment.
Differing Employer Requirements and Standards for Expertise
While experience in teaching is highly important for any curriculum designer to possess, it’s most important for those who aspire to design the curriculum for juvenile students between kindergarten and the 12th grade. Areas apart from educational facilities may not place quite as much emphasis on the importance of the curriculum designer’s past tenure as s teacher, but at the same time, it’s important for applicants to be adept at abstracting and plainly communicating complex ideas to program participants unfamiliar with them.
Typically, a private organization will choose its curriculum designer for the value of their specially-focused areas of expertise in a particular discipline. The many distinct differences in subject matters that different hiring organizations find most relevant creates a wide range of opportunities for uniquely-educated curriculum designers with diverse areas of expertise.
Depending on the regulations of the state, licensure may or may not be a necessary component for operating as curriculum managers. In some states, a curriculum manager may have to possess a valid license in education administration and/or teaching.
Curriculum designers need to possess good communication skills and a willingness to collaborate with others. The extent of expertise that the curriculum designer has in their particular subject will be matched in importance by their skills in basic project management, planning skills, and record-keeping. Curriculum designers will likely need to have a decent level of comfort with and understanding of basic web design concepts. As today’s students rely heavily on online resources to keep current with their coursework, curriculum designers should be familiar with methods of both creating and maintaining web-based curriculum materials.
Related Resource: What Types of Jobs are Available with a Master of Arts in Teaching?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, classifying curriculum designers as instructional coordinators, reports that the average annual salary of curriculum managers was approximately $64,040 in the year 2014. The Bureau’s projected job growth rate for the profession between 2014 and 2024 is seven percent.