How to Become an Instructional Designer IV?

Are you thinking of becoming an Instructional Designer IV or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become an Instructional Designer IV, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Instructional Designer IV job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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Steps to Become an Instructional Designer

Instructional designers create functional learning experiences that engage the learner and effectively convey information. This includes developing curriculum, revising content, developing assessments, and creating learning materials, such as infographics, activities, and visual aids. An instructional designer might adapt an in-person class to fit an online paradigm or assist educators in adapting their content to different types of learners. Instructional designers can have a hand in any kind of learning experience, including school curriculum, workplace training, workshops, and retreats. Here, we'll explore five steps you should follow to become an instructional designer.

Get a bachelor's degree.

You must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree to get a job in a field as complex as instructional design. A Bachelor of Arts in instructional design or Bachelor of Science in instructional design and technology will give you a well-rounded education in all the areas that are most important to this career, such as technology and learning, curriculum design, learning theory, training needs assessment, web design, and multimedia tools. Other degrees such as education, computer science, UX design, or project management are often acceptable for this career as well.


Get a master's degree.

The field of instructional design is becoming increasingly competitive, and many employers now require candidates to have a master's degree in instructional design. This degree program should cover topics like instructional design production, research design and analysis, evaluation methodology, multimedia design and development, principles of learner motivation, and project management in education.


Gain relevant work experience.

Most instructional designer jobs require at least three years of relevant professional experience. This may include work experience as a project manager, educator, program designer, software developer, or similar occupation. Employers are looking for proven experience working with faculty members, developing training materials, and managing projects.

As you're building your resume for a job as an instructional designer, you'll want to emphasize your communication skills, time management, and project management. Pursue any opportunity to hone and demonstrate these skills on the job so you can show that you've successfully taken a project from the planning and design stages through to development and delivery.


Learn to use the appropriate software.

Most companies use some combination of Camtasia, Articulate Storyline, the Adobe Creative Suite, and Microsoft Office 365 for their instructional design and development. Make sure you're fluent in all of these technologies. You can pursue online courses and certifications if you didn't cover these technologies as part of your college education.


Build a portfolio.

Employers love to see what you can do. Build a portfolio of training courses that you've designed from the ground up. Consider volunteering to help develop or improve training materials for your current job. If you can't find opportunities in the workplace yet, you might volunteer to develop training curriculum for a nonprofit organization. Successfully completing this type of project will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of instructional design theory as well as your ability to put that theory into practice.

Instructional Designer IV Career Path

Freelance Instructional Designer

No Years of Experience Reports
$58K - $89K /yrMost Likely Range
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Instructional Designer III

5 - 7Years of Experience
$69K - $103K /yrMost Likely Range
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Instructional Designer IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$69K - $103K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Instructional Designer IV Career Path

Summer Intern Instructional Designer
Freelance Instructional Designer
Instructional Designer III
Instructional Designer IV

Related Careers in the Arts & Design Industry

Interested in other Arts & Design careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Instructional Designer IV skills. Discover some of the most common Instructional Designer IV career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Creative Designer
0% skills overlap
3% transitioned to Creative Designer