What do Instructional Coordinators Do

Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators—also known as curriculum specialists, personnel development specialists, instructional coaches, or directors of instructional material—play a large role in improving the quality of education in the classroom. They develop curricula, select textbooks and other materials, train teachers, and assess educational programs for quality and adherence to regulations and standards. They also assist in implementing new technology in the classroom. At the primary and secondary school levels, instructional coordinators often specialize in a specific subject, such as reading, language arts, mathematics, or science.

Instructional coordinators evaluate how well a school or training program's curriculum, or plan of study, meets students' needs. Based on their research and observations of instructional practice, they recommend improvements. They research teaching methods and techniques and develop procedures to ensure that instructors are implementing the curriculum successfully and meeting program goals. To aid in their evaluation, they may meet with members of educational committees and advisory groups to explore how curriculum materials relate to occupations and meet students' needs. Coordinators also may develop questionnaires and interview school staff about the curriculum.

Some instructional coordinators review textbooks, software, and other educational materials to make recommendations. They monitor the ways in which teachers use materials in the classroom and supervise workers who catalogue, distribute, and maintain a school's educational materials and equipment.

Some instructional coordinators find ways to use technology to enhance student learning and monitor the introduction of new technology into a school's curriculum. In addition, instructional coordinators might recommend educational software, such as interactive books and exercises designed to enhance student literacy and develop math skills. Instructional coordinators may invite experts to help integrate technological materials into the curriculum.

Besides developing curriculum and instructional materials, many of these workers plan and provide onsite education for teachers and administrators. Instructional coordinators mentor new teachers and train experienced ones in the latest instructional methods. This role becomes especially important when a school district introduces new content, programs, or a different organizational structure. For example, when a State or school district introduces standards or tests that students must pass, instructional coordinators often advise teachers on the content of those standards and provide instruction on how to implement them in the classroom.

Work Environment

Instructional coordinators held about 190,400 jobs in 2020. The largest employers of instructional coordinators were as follows:

  • Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private - 44%
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private - 19%
  • Government - 7%
  • Educational support services; state, local, and private - 7%

Most instructional coordinators work in elementary and secondary schools, colleges, professional schools, or educational support services or for state and local governments. They typically work year round.

Work Schedules

Instructional coordinators generally work full time. They typically work year round and do not have summer breaks. Coordinators may meet with teachers and other administrators outside of classroom hours.

Education & Training Required

Instructional coordinators should have training in curriculum development and instruction or in the specific field for which they are responsible, such as mathematics or history. Courses in research design teach how to create and implement research studies to determine the effectiveness of a given method of instruction or curriculum and how to measure and improve student performance.

Instructional coordinators are usually required to take continuing education courses to keep their skills current. Topics may include teacher evaluation techniques, curriculum training, new teacher orientation, consulting and teacher support, and observation and analysis of teaching.

Certifications Needed

Instructional coordinators must be licensed to work in public schools. Some States require a teaching license, whereas others require an education administrator license.

Other Skills Required

Instructional coordinators must have a good understanding of how to teach specific groups of students and expertise in developing educational materials. As a result, many people become instructional coordinators after working for several years as teachers. Also beneficial is work experience in an education administrator position, such as a principal or assistant principal, or in another advisory role, such as a master teacher, department chair or lead teacher.

Instructional coordinators must be able to make sound decisions about curriculum options and to organize and coordinate work efficiently. They should have strong interpersonal and communication skills. Familiarity with computer technology also is important for instructional coordinators, who are increasingly involved in gathering technical information for students and teachers.

How to Advance

Depending on experience and educational attainment, instructional coordinators may advance to higher administrative positions in a school system or to management or executive positions in private industry.

Job Outlook

Employment of instructional coordinators is projected to grow 10 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 20,400 openings for instructional coordinators are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


States and school districts will continue to be held accountable for test scores and graduation rates, putting more of an emphasis on student achievement data. Schools may increasingly turn to instructional coordinators to develop better curriculums and improve teachers’ effectiveness. The training that instructional coordinators provide for teachers in curriculum changes and teaching techniques should help schools meet their standards in student achievement. As schools seek additional training for teachers, demand for instructional coordinators is projected to grow.

However, many instructional coordinators are employed by state and local governments. Therefore, employment growth will depend largely on state and local government budgets.


The median annual wage for instructional coordinators was $63,740 in May 2021. 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 $38,390, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $101,090.

In May 2021, the median annual wages for instructional coordinators in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

  • Government - $78,900
  • Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private - $75,840
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private - $62,060
  • Educational support services; state, local, and private - $61,580

Instructional coordinators generally work full time. They typically work year round and do not have summer breaks. Coordinators may meet with teachers and other administrators outside of classroom hours.

Academic Programs of Interest

In North America the degree is awarded for courses taken that generally last two years (one year in some Canadian universities). To gain the qualification the student is required to have a previous or substantial progress towards a bachelor's degree, usually in the field that the student wishes to teach in, as well as a good rapport with young children or teens. There are several... more