Curriculum and Instruction Specialist Job Description & Career Outlook
A curriculum and instruction specialist is an advanced career in the field of education. The typical applicant seeking a job as a curriculum specialist will have experience teaching in the classroom or serving as an education administrator. Often a supervisory position, individuals in the curriculum and instruction specialist career focus on different ways to improve learning opportunities for students and educators alike. Improvements are made through research, development and testing of new curriculum and teaching methods, selecting appropriate textbooks and materials for use in the classroom, advising teachers and administrators on education regulations as well as new and innovative ideas that will enhance teaching. When a new course is developed, a curriculum specialist may be responsible for determining what classes should be included, the order and appropriate materials and method of instruction to make the class most beneficial.
How to Become a Curriculum and Instruction Specialist
Students earning a curriculum and instruction degree attend classes such as Teacher Leadership and School Improvement, Research Methods, Curriculum Planning, and many other courses. Total coursework equals about 36-40 hours, depending on the schools students attend. Students will also be required to complete a portfolio showcasing their skills as an outstanding candidate for a curriculum and instruction degree. Lesson plans and educational papers, proving the student’s skills in various areas, make up the portfolio. Curriculum and instruction degree candidates will also be required to take a state test, such as the Praxis, in order to prove their abilities in this area. Once the student completes a curriculum and instruction program and state testing for this field, curriculum and instruction degree schools will grant a degree and send the information to the appropriate state for certification. Upon receiving a degree in curriculum and instruction, the graduate can then apply to the state for the additional certification endorsement. The typical title for this certification is usually “Curriculum and Instruction Specialist.”
Curriculum and Instruction Specialist Requirements and Common Tasks
In nearly all states, a curriculum specialist is required to hold the state teaching or education administrator certification or licensure. A master’s degree in education is also required in most circumstances. Depending on the pay and expected required tasks of a particular position, if a candidate is to be considered competitive for a curriculum and instruction job, there may be minimum experience requirements. All curriculum specialists must have a desire to enhance and improve the education system. They must be familiar with current guidelines, policies and regulations as they pertain to education in a given area. A successful curriculum coordinator will work well in large groups and be able to teach, guide and mentor other teachers and administrators. Curriculum development jobs also require strong interpersonal and communication skills. On a day-to-day basis, curriculum and instruction specialists assess education programs and constantly look for ways to improve them. In many school districts, a curriculum specialist may be responsible for providing guidance and direction to multiple schools. Development of curriculum for new courses, supervision of curriculum content, implementation of curriculum changes, interpretation of regulations and planning or advising on the best technological materials and textbooks for given courses are among the typical tasks fulfilled by a curriculum and instruction specialist.
Curriculum and Instruction Specialist Salary and Job Outlook
The median salary for a curriculum and instruction specialist varies widely based on location and experience. In Scottsdale, AZ, a curriculum and instruction specialist can earn between $63,000 and $85,000 if they have a minimum 8 years classroom instruction. In other parts of the country, the average salary can be as low as $30,000. The median annual salary country-wide is between $42,000 and $75,000. Level of education, experience teaching and/or serving as an education administrator, coupled with location, are the primary determining factors in potential salary earned. Because better education is in demand throughout the country, curriculum and instruction jobs are becoming easier to find. This job is expected to grow nearly 20% over the next seven years. Although budget constraints could limit job growth in the short term, the overall demand for qualified individuals will remain high throughout the country.
Curriculum and Instruction Degrees and Programs
- Doctor of Education/Curriculum and Instruction
- Doctor of Education in Ed. Leadership/Educational Technology
- Master of Arts in Education/Curriculum and Instruction
- And more...
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Teacher Leadership
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Methods & Curriculum
- And more...
- Instructional Design and Technology, PhD (Online)
- Instructional Design and Technology, EdS (Online)
- Curriculum and Teaching - Master of Education
- Instructional Leadership - PhD in Education
- Curriculum and Teaching - PhD in Education
- And more...
- Curriculum & Instruction (EdD) (Online)