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Instructional Design Careers: Opportunities and Growth Prospects

Jan 17, 2024

If you’re looking for a new profession in high demand, an instructional design career might just be the one for you! Between now and 2032, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for Training and Development Specialists to grow faster than the average career. 

One of the reasons why an instructional design career is so attractive is the broad range of workplaces and industries hiring for this position. Careers in instructional design exist worldwide in all industries, for both remote employees and in-office staff, freelancers, and corporate employees.

To find out if a career in instructional design is for you, keep reading!


What a Career in Instructional Design Looks Like

An instructional design career involves creating effective instructional materials for a wide range of people using the very best psychology, communication, and learning theories to provide the best possible education and training. Instructional designers are highly sought after for training new employees and re-educating existing team members.

Instructional design professionals may work in a school setting, corporate office, non-profit, or sales team—just to name a few workplace environments. However, as most employers need training programs for all employees, instructional designers are constantly in demand across many industries.

The responsibilities of an instructional designer include:

  • Create training courses, educational content, and training videos
  • Design learning materials
  • Manage instructional management systems
  • Research innovative learning and educational theories

The median pay in 2022 was $63,080 per year. However, salary can vary depending on geographical location, industry, and level of experience. 


How the Instructional Design Job Market Has Changed Post-Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the instructional design industry, causing demand for roles within it to skyrocket, especially for employees willing to work remotely. Travel restrictions and required office closings impacted how new employees were onboarded and trained; no longer was it possible for the training of new hires to occur in person. Thus, the rise in popularity of eLearning formats and digital instructional designers changed the landscape.

Since 2020, industries that need instructional designers more than ever include educational institutions, health care, banking, software, and consulting.

How to Become an Instructional Designer

Some executive-level instructional designers may hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education. However, due to the recent high demand for the role, you can start your instructional design career without a bachelor’s degree!

Skills needed to become a successful instructional designer include:

  • Communication skills, including strong writing, outlining, and verbal communication
  • Analytical skills, including those needed to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for course and material improvement
  • Technological skills, such as digital content management systems, document creation, document design, and video or voice recording
  • Knowledge of learning theories, especially for adults in a corporate setting
  • Creativity to design engaging learning materials and presentations

When you enroll in IDOL Academy, you will master the skills needed in a modern instructional design career. IDOL Academy is the complete career-building program for corporate instructional designers. You’ll learn real design and tech skills for industrial design, build a portfolio, and gain practical experience. Best of all? You don’t need any prior experience or a degree to get certified.


How to Find an Instructional Design Career

When you’re ready to join the instructional design industry, you’ll have so many options to choose from. Browse the Careers page on your favorite companies’ websites, or search LinkedIn for instructional design careers near you. Job boards like the Instructional Design Jobs search at teamed and Instructional Design Central showcase hot jobs in the market. 

Networking also plays a large role in finding new opportunities to showcase your talents. Joining professional associations, such as the Learning Guild, the Association for Talent Development (ATD), our own Become an IDOL Facebook group and The Learning and Development Community (TLDC) provides opportunities for networking, continuing education, and job seeking. 

Instructional-Design-CareerIf you’re just starting your instructional design career, or searching for a way to continue your education in the field, IDOL Academy will teach you all the latest skills needed for the job. Enroll today or join our waitlist to get started!