Instructional coordinators oversee school curriculums and teaching standards. They develop instructional material, coordinate its implementation with teachers and principals, and assess its effectiveness.

Duties

Instructional coordinators typically do the following:

  • Develop and coordinate implementation of curriculum
  • Plan, organize, and conduct teacher training conferences or workshops
  • Observe and evaluate teachers’ instruction and analyze student test data
  • Assess and discuss implementation of education standards with school staff
  • Review and recommend textbooks and other educational materials
  • Recommend teaching techniques and the use of different or new technologies
  • Develop procedures for teachers to implement curriculum
  • Train teachers and other instructional staff in new content or programs
  • Mentor or coach teachers to improve their skills

Instructional coordinators assess the effectiveness of curriculum and teaching techniques established by school boards, states, or federal regulations. For example, they may observe teachers in the classroom, review student test data, and interview school staff and principals about curriculum. Based on their research, they may recommend changes in curricula to school boards. They also may recommend that teachers use different teaching techniques that can help students learn.

Some instructional coordinators plan and conduct training for teachers related to teaching methods or the use of computers or tablets. For example, when a school district introduces new learning standards, coordinators explain the new standards to teachers and demonstrate effective teaching methods to achieve them.

Instructional coordinators, also known as curriculum specialists, instructional coaches, or assistant superintendents of instruction, may specialize in particular grade levels, such as elementary or high school, or specific subjects, such as language arts or math. Instructional coordinators in elementary and secondary schools may also focus on special education, English as a second language, or gifted-and-talented programs. Some coordinators provide educational support services, such as textbook or standardized test assessment and development.

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Work Environment

Instructional coordinators held about 147,700 jobs in 2012. 

The industries that employed the most instructional coordinators in 2012 were as follows:

Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private 40%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private 15
Government 9
Educational support services; state, local, and private 6

Most coordinators work out of an office in their school district, but they may also spend part of their time traveling to schools within the district to teach professional development classes and monitor the implementation of the curriculum.

Work Schedules

Instructional coordinators typically work year-round and do not have summer breaks, unlike teachers. Coordinators may meet with teachers and other administrators before and after classroom hours.

Education and Training

Instructional coordinators need a master’s degree and related work experience. Coordinators in public schools may be required to be licensed teachers or licensed school administrators.

Education

Most employers, particularly public schools, require instructional coordinators to have a master’s degree, typically in education or curriculum and instruction. Some instructional coordinators have a degree in the field they plan to specialize in, such as math or history.

Master’s degree programs in curriculum and instruction teach about curriculum design, instructional theory, and collecting and analyzing data. To enter these programs, candidates usually need a bachelor’s degree from a teacher education program.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Instructional coordinators in public schools may be required to have a license, such as a teaching license or an education administrator license. For information about teaching licenses, see the profile on high school teachers. For information about education administrator licenses, see the profile on elementary, middle, and high school principals.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most instructional coordinators need several years of related work experience. Depending on the position, experience working as a teacher or as a principal may be helpful. For some positions, experience teaching a specific subject or grade level may be required.

Personality and Interests

Instructional coordinators typically have an interest in the Thinking, Helping and Persuading interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Thinking interest area indicates a focus on researching, investigating, and increasing the understanding of natural laws. The Helping interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counseling, or teaching other people. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people.

If you are not sure whether you have a Thinking or Helping or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as an instructional coordinator, you can take a career test to measure your interests.

Instructional coordinators should also possess the following specific qualities:

Analytical skills. Instructional coordinators examine student test data and evaluate teaching strategies. They analyze the information to recommend improvements in curriculum and teaching.

Communication skills. Instructional coordinators need to explain changes in the curriculum and teaching standards to teachers, principals, and school staff.

Decision-making skills. Instructional coordinators must be able to make sound decisions when recommending changes to curricula, teaching methods, and textbooks.

Interpersonal skills. Working with teachers, principals, and other administrators is an important part of instructional coordinators’ jobs. They need to be able to establish and maintain positive working relationships with others.

Leadership skills. Instructional coordinators serve as mentors to teachers. They train teachers in developing useful and effective teaching techniques.

Pay

The median annual wage for instructional coordinators was $60,050 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,370, and the top 10 percent earned more than $93,500.

In May 2012, the medium annual wages for instructional coordinators in the top four industries employing these workers were as follows:

Government $66,970
Elementary and secondary schools;
state, local, and private
65,770
Educational support services;
state, local, and private
60,100
Colleges, universities, and professional schools;
state, local, and private
53,540

Instructional coordinators generally work year-round and do not have summer breaks, unlike teachers. Coordinators may meet with teachers and other administrators before and after classroom hours.

Job Outlook

Employment of instructional coordinators is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment growth is expected as schools focus on evaluating and improving curriculums and teachers’ effectiveness.

Many school districts and states are focusing on the teachers’ role in improving students’ learning. Some schools also provide training for teachers in curriculum changes or teaching techniques. In addition, there is an increased emphasis on holding teachers accountable for students’ achievements. In fact, some states and school districts are using student attendance, test scores, and graduation rates to evaluate teachers.

With states and school districts using various accountability measures, coordinators will be needed to evaluate and improve curriculum and provide mentoring for teachers. As schools seek additional training for teachers, demand for instructional coordinators is expected to grow.

However, employment growth will depend on state and local government budgets. 

For More Information

For more information about instructional coordinators, visit

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The career information above is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. This excellent resource for occupational data is published by the U.S. Department of Labor every two years. Truity periodically updates our site with information from the BLS database.

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There are many excellent tools available that will allow you to measure your interests, profile your personality, and match these traits with appropriate careers. We recommend the Career Personality Profiler assessment ($29), the Holland Code assessment ($19), or the Photo Career Quiz (free).