Providing students with a comprehensive and enriching educational experience takes a team of passionate professionals. From educators to guidance counselors, directors, facilitators, and curriculum developers, our education system relies on a multitude of dedicated experts.
Also known as curriculum specialists or instructional coordinators, curriculum developers are the professionals who oversee the development and success of curricula in schools and organizations, playing an integral part in delivering a well-rounded education.
For those who are passionate about education but want an option other than teaching, this role offers the opportunity to help steer the future of education. Pursuing an advanced degree, such as a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, can prepare individuals to compete for senior curriculum developer salaries and roles. These roles can allow them increased job autonomy and the chance to work in tandem with educators to equip students with skills and knowledge.
What Do Curriculum Developers Do?
In every school, from elementary schools through postsecondary institutions and beyond, each course begins with a curriculum developer. Tasked with creating, updating, and overseeing the implementation and success of classes, curriculum developers work behind the scenes to guide our education system.
Curriculum developers are involved throughout a curriculum’s development and integration process. They work in coordination with other professionals to determine what information should be taught, choose the appropriate materials and resources, and assist teachers in lesson planning and communicating that information to students. In short, curriculum developers are the experts who ensure courses are accurate and comprehensive and that they meet state and federal standards.
Some of the skills required of curriculum developers are:
- Planning and organization: Responsible for meeting deadlines and updating curricula in a timely fashion, curriculum developers must be organized and forward-thinking, supplying teachers with accurate syllabi and sufficient time to follow them.
- Communication: Working with teachers, school directors, and subject experts, curriculum developers must build strong communication skills not only to complete their duties in a timely fashion but also to relay information clearly to everyone involved.
- Research and resource management: Because they are responsible for incorporating information from accurate and reliable resources into the courses they develop, curriculum developers must be comfortable doing their own research.
How to Become a Curriculum Developer
Building the prerequisite knowledge and skills required to shape a curriculum requires extensive focus and dedication. While some employers will hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree, typically most schools and organizations turn to candidates holding master’s degrees related to teaching and state-issued teaching certificates who have years of classroom teaching experience.
The requirement for an advanced level of education means the path to becoming a curriculum developer is sometimes a long one. Advanced education can also play a role in a curriculum developer’s salary, as well as where they can work and at what level of institution. An advanced education provides professionals with not only the background knowledge and first-hand understanding of what is realistic and attainable within a program but also the skills to give fair evaluations and feedback to teachers.
Curriculum Developer Salary
Payscale reported that the approximate median annual salary of curriculum developers was $67,500 as of June 2022, with the top end of the spectrum earning more than $95,000 per year.
Curriculum developers work in a variety of different locations. From public and private K-12 schools to postsecondary institutions and independent organizations, curriculum developers play an important role in the learning process.
Curriculum Developer Salary Factors
A multitude of factors can play a part in a curriculum developer’s salary, including:
- Years of experience: The more advanced and specialized experience a curriculum developer has, the more responsibility they are able to take on. This experience and responsibility allows them to create stimulating, challenging, and innovative courses.
- Level of education and advanced certifications: Postsecondary education and certifications allow curriculum developers to pull from a wealth of knowledge that can prepare them to apply for senior-level roles, such as those supervising teachers and other curriculum developers.
- Geographic location: Different locations have varying standards and costs of living; many organizations base their salaries on the industry standards in their geographic location.
- Private versus public institutions: In some cases, private institutions may have a larger budget to invest in curriculum development.
- Job title and level of responsibility: Once curriculum developers gain experience and prove their value to an institution, they can apply for senior-level roles with an eye to taking on increased responsibility and the coveted salary that comes with it.
Design a Bright Future
Educators can make a life-long positive impact on students’ lives. With the right resources, curriculum developers are equipped to take on an invaluable role in the education process, nurturing creativity and shaping the minds of future generations. An advanced education can provide curriculum developers with the tools they need to help educators and students reach their goals.
Gaining the knowledge and experience to become a successful curriculum developer is no easy task; however, by pursuing an advanced degree like American University’s Online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree, individuals can prepare to enter the workforce with confidence. A fully online program designed by industry professionals under the cohort model, the program from American University was created to provide you with practical hands-on skills and a valuable network.
Discover how you can take the next step in your career with a Master of Arts in Teaching.