Curriculum Developer: Job Description and Education Requirements

A curriculum developer is an educational professional who focuses on the topics that students learn and the materials that teachers use in the classroom. This professional is one with a graduate degree and teaching or administrative experience. A curriculum developer is also known as an instructional coordinator.

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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 (www.onetonline.org). 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 instructional coordinator must have a master's degree (www.bls.gov). 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 (www.ous.edu).

An administrative license allows an educational professional to work as a principal, vice principal or superintendent. There are 13 categories of administrative license in Oregon, and the basic administrator license is valid for six years (www.tsp.oregon.gov) according to the TPSC.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the median annual salary earned by instructional coordinators was $60,050 in May 2012. The employment of such coordinators is expected to grow by 20% between 2010 and 2020, per the BLS.

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