There are many different specialist positions within the American educational system. One of these is the curriculum specialist. This is a highly qualified professional individual, who gathers and analyzes information about various teaching strategies and techniques, and uses the results to develop new curriculum for a school, system, or institution. Closely affiliated professionals work on the development of educational materials for government agencies and private corporations, for use in the training of employees from the "new hire" stage on up.
This is an important position, with a lot of varied opportunity available into the foreseeable future. So, what's the earning potential for a curriculum specialist?
What Are the Job Responsibilities?
A specialist in school curriculum, who may also be referred to as an instructional or educational coordinator, is predominantly in charge of two things. They gather information about the effectiveness and the efficiency of existing educational materials and techniques, and they design new ones for future use. The first half of this job description calls for analytical and communications schools, which are called upon to gather relevant information, then to break down what's been gathered into the most important components. Experience with research and management skills may also be extremely beneficial.
What Are the Qualifications?
Any expert in the analysis and development of academic curriculum will need at least a relevant Master's degree, such as a degree in education or educational leadership. They will also have to have experience within an educational institution. Typically, this translates to three to five years' worth of classroom experience, with time in school administration reducing this amount nominally. For jobs in a public school or district, state-administered certification is usually required.
Who Employs Instructional Coordinators?
Most school districts will employ an instructional specialist or coordinator, with larger schools and more crowded districts sometimes employing individual professionals for each facility or grade level. Most colleges will have someone in this position for each school associated with a larger campus, while some popular and expansive programs may have their own coordinators. Outside of the academic arena, every government agency and major corporation requires individuals to put together training materials for new hires (as well as those who have been promoted to new positions).
What is the Upward Mobility Like?
Additional jobs are being added in this field all the time, with more than 10,000 new relevant positions slated to fall under this specialty by the middle of the next decade. Recent trends in automation may have some effect on the field, but are not likely to hit such a specialist employment opportunity as hard as some more generalized professions. This results in an above-average probability for career mobility, as compared to that for job growth in general. Growth and advancement in the industry may require some sacrifices, however, such as the willingness to relocate to larger organizations in search of better-paying opportunities (and greater responsibility).
On average, a curriculum specialist earns about US$62,000 per year, or roughly $30 per hour for hourly positions. However, there is significant variety reflected within the opportunities available for those with the requisite qualifications. Instructional coordinators working within the government often earn slightly more than those working in academia, and those working for big corporations may earn as much as $96,000 per year on average. However, these positions frequently require additional experience, which often begins in the educational industry.