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Occupational Profile
Emerging Occupations

Instructional Designer

In general, instructional designers develop instructional materials and activities for education and training in wide range of settings (for example, Kindergarten to Grade 12, post-secondary, corporate and military).

This is an emerging occupation. It may have evolved from an existing occupation or emerged in response to consumer needs or technological advances.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 1,700
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Course Developer, Educational Technologist, Instructional Technologist, Learning Designer

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

51%
51%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Instructional Designer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Education Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers
NOC code: 4166
INNOVATIVE

Interest in conducting research, developing the structure, content and objectives of new programs, and creating teaching materials and other resources for program delivery

METHODICAL

Interest in co-ordinating information to conduct statistical analyses; and in administering educational policies and programs; may administer specialized testing and assessment programs

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting to provide ongoing professional development and training to teachers; may supervise the work of other policy researchers, consultants and program officers

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 29, 2017

Instructional designers study the ways people learn and teach, and use technology and multimedia tools to design learning environments and activities.

Instructional designers work on teams that may include editors, technical writers, programmers, subject matter experts, copyright officers, digital media technologists, graphic designers and other instructional designers. For more information, see the Editor, Graphic Designer, Technical Writer and Web Designer occupational profiles.

Instructional design often is based on 5 phases of development known as the ADDIE model: analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate.

Duties may vary depending on whether instructional designers work for a school or in private industry. But in general, instructional designers:

  • work with subject matter experts or content experts to identify learning goals
  • develop objectives and ensure that content, learning activities and assessments match those objectives
  • identify the type and level of learning and devise appropriate instructional strategies to elicit learning
  • structure content and activities for student learning
  • identify sequencing strategies
  • identify and select media to support learning (for example, visual aids for face-to-face learners, video conferencing and online discussion forums for distance learners)
  • develop learner assessments and evaluate course materials
  • adapt instructional materials created for one format to another format (for example, adapt materials developed for face-to-face learning for e-learning).
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 29, 2017

Instructional designers generally work standard weekday hours in offices. They may sit at a computer for long periods of time. Overtime may be required to meet project deadlines.

Instructional designers must constantly update their knowledge and skills to keep up with advancements in this rapidly changing field.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 29, 2017

Instructional designers need to possess:

  • a desire to share knowledge with others
  • a desire to learn about and use new technology
  • an understanding of student needs and learning styles
  • creative problem-solving skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • an ability to work well with a team
  • an ability to build positive relationships with subject matter experts.

They should enjoy co-ordinating information in innovative ways while preparing teaching materials, evaluating student progress and helping others achieve their goals.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 29, 2017

Most emerging occupations develop from more than 1 occupation, so instructional designers may come from a variety of education and training backgrounds. Prior to enrolling in an education program, prospective students should contact associations and employers in this field to investigate education options and employment possibilities.

Instructional designers need an understanding of:

  • learning and instructional principles
  • lesson planning and curriculum development
  • project management
  • educational technology and the role of new media (online course delivery, e-learning, web-based instruction)
  • Web 2.0 tools (for example, blogs, podcasts, social media)
  • course development software
  • course or learning management systems.

Many instructional designers move into this occupation from other occupations. For example, some start by graduating from post-secondary programs in education. They then work closely with instructional designers and participate in professional development activities. These activities can include reading, personal experimentation and attending seminars. In this way, they acquire the necessary writing, programming and project-management knowledge and skills.

Similarly, some instructional designers acquire the necessary computer skills through work experience and professional development activities. Whatever their background, instructional designers must continuously upgrade their knowledge in this rapidly changing field.

A master's degree in instructional design, e-learning or educational technology is recommended.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 29, 2017

Emerging occupations typically are the result of:

  • an increased human need (for example, new services)
  • technological advances
  • greater specialization within an occupation.

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, it can be difficult to define advancement opportunities or employment outlook. Some Albertans already are working in this emerging occupation but future demandfor instructional designers is unknown.

Instructional designers are employed by:

  • provincial education departments
  • post-secondary schools
  • private vocational schools
  • e-learning and software application companies
  • online publishing companies
  • training departments of large companies
  • the military.

Some positions may combine the duties of an instructional designer and a classroom facilitator. A teacher's certificate usually is required for employment with provincial education departments.

Experienced instructional designers in large organizations may advance to supervisory positions.

Instructional designers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4166: Education policy researchers, consultants and program officers. In Alberta, 79% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook (PDF) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 29, 2017

Freelance instructional designers may work on a contract basis on specific projects. Annual incomes therefore vary from one instructional designer to another, and may vary from year to year.

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, no salary data specific to infection control professionals is currently available.

Salary data is available for the larger National Occupational Classification 4166: Education policy researchers, consultants and program officers as part of the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey.

Education policy researchers, consultants and program officers
NOC code: 4166

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $40.15 $32.63 $36.96
Overall $21.69 $62.63 $46.69 $47.89
Top $24.48 $73.82 $54.48 $63.42

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Educational Services
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

51%
51%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

12%
12%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

5%
5%

2015 Vacancy Rate

4%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Information Processing
    • Management and Marketing
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Human and Social Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Communications
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Education and Library Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 29, 2017

The Institute for Performance and Learning website: performanceandlearning.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 29, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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