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Instructional Coordinators Salary & Career Outlook

William Butler Yeats once said, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." Teachers work to achieve this in the classroom, but the task requires a curriculum that is both effective and inspiring. This is where instructional coordinators come in, providing today's teachers with the curriculum and tools they need to succeed.

What instructional coordinators do

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, instructional coordinators oversee school districts' curricula and teaching standards and work with teachers and administrators to implement new teaching methods and improve the quality of education. While duties may vary from one position to the next, instructional coordinators typically do the following tasks:

  • Oversee a school system's curriculum
  • Arrange professional development opportunities for teachers
  • Evaluate effectiveness of curriculum and teaching methods
  • Review and select textbooks and other materials
  • Help teachers learn how to use new technologies in their classes
  • Train teachers in new content or programs
  • Mentor teachers who need to improve teaching abilities

How to become an instructional coordinator

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, bls.gov, 2012), most school districts require instructional coordinators to earn at least a bachelor's degree in curriculum and instruction or a related field. Instructional coordinator schools and degree programs provide the ideal training, but the Bureau notes that some professionals have degrees in a discipline related to their intended specialty, like math or history. Either way, some students are able to complete at least part of their instructional coordinator training online, which is an especially convenient option for those who want to advance their educations while garnering valuable work experience in the field.

In addition to earning a master's degree, the BLS notes that most coordinators working in public schools are required to be licensed. While some states require a teaching license, others require an education administrator license.

Instructional coordinator salary trends and projections

The BLS reports that the national instructional coordinator salary in 2011 was $59,280 median, with the lowest 10th percentile earning up to $33,740 and the top 10 percent earning up to $93,400 nationally. These figures are similar to those provided by PayScale, which indicates that national average instructional coordinator salaries in 2012 fell between $35,967 and $64,057. Both sources suggest that a number of variables can influence salary, however, including employer and location.

For example, according to the BLS, the industries reporting the highest average instructional coordinator salaries in 2011 include the federal executive branch, electrical equipment and component manufacturing companies, and professional and commercial equipment and supplies wholesalers. Location can also impact one's salary potential. With that in mind, the BLS reports that the following states reported the highest instructional coordinator salaries that same year:

  • District of Columbia: $81,140 mean
  • Alaska: $59,250 mean
  • Arizona: $53,730 mean

According to data by both PayScale and the BLS, training and experience can also have a tremendous impact on your earnings potential. In other words, investing in higher education via instructional coordinator schools may pay off, quite literally.

Employment outlook for instructional coordinators

The BLS reports that an increased emphasis in many states on teacher performances -- which is often evaluated via test scores -- is expected to drive demand for instructional coordinators across the country. As such, the Bureau projects that employment of instructional coordinators will grow by 20 percent between 2010 and 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. The BLS warns that this demand depends on ongoing state and local government budgets, however.

Just as with earnings, your geography can impact your employment potential. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that demand for instructional coordinators will be strongest in the following states between 2008 and 2018, the most recent data available:

  • Utah: 43 percent growth
  • Texas: 37 percent growth
  • Georgia: 36 percent growth

Wherever you reside, you may be able to improve your personal career outlook by investing in the right credentials, including instructional coordinator degrees and licenses.