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Instructional Technologist Career


What is an Instructional Technologist?


An instructional technologist is first and foremost a trainer. They use their research and wealth of knowledge in a specific curriculum to develop training and materials for teachers and education systems. Their work can be in development and in assessment, as they sometimes audit school systems to ensure federal and state education standards are being met.  

Instructional technologists are at the forefront of integrating technology in the classroom. They assist teachers with technology support in independent classrooms, and are sometimes directors of technology for a school, overseeing computer labs, technology learning spaces, etc. They can also be in charge of online education programs, online courses, and any virtual learning experience at a school or university.

These technologists thrive in a dynamic role, oftentimes mentoring, researching, developing, and overseeing simultaneously.


What Does an Instructional Technologist Do?

Instructional technologists utilize technology tools to improve a student’s learning experience and to usher education systems into the world of efficient virtual learning. Their day to day can consist of varied responsibilities surrounding education, especially depending on the education level they specialize in. An instructional technologist for a small school system may focus on developing technology labs and introducing tech assistance into the classroom, while an instructional technologist at a university may be more focused on streamlining virtual learning courses. 

Some possible responsibilities include: 

  • Integrating technology into the curricula of various classrooms and grade levels, from pre–K to university.  
  • Developing and overseeing training for teachers and administrators, supporting them in introducing technology into the classroom. 
  • Developing technology programs for specific student needs, whether that be advanced learning, tailoring courses for those with learning disabilities, or developing options for ESL students. 
  • Developing curricula and selecting textbooks as needed to introduce technology principles. 
  • Auditing educational programs and school systems to ensure they are meeting federal and state regulations. 
  • Overseeing virtual learning courses and virtual learning platforms. 
  • Maintaining all reporting and analyzing statistics for online learning programs and related technology tools.


How Do I Become an Instructional Technologist?

Instructional technologists typically hold a bachelor’s degree in education, education technology, or a related field. It is most common for instructional technologists to hold a master’s degree and to be a continuous learner, always seeking to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and resources in technology learning. 

master's degree in education technology and instructional design is the most popular advanced degree in education technology. The program encompasses instructional design, research, education, and technology integration. WGU designs its programs to be relevant and practical for the present workforce, as well as the workforce developments to come.  

Best Degrees for an Instructional Technologist


Educational Studies – B.A.

These online, non-licensure educational studies degrees prepare you to...

These online, non-licensure educational studies degrees prepare you to make a difference in a field that interests you.

Based on your career goals and interests, you can choose an educational studies program in one of 10 content areas that meets your needs while working toward employment in school settings, corporate training, or instructional design. These programs do not lead to a teaching license.

  • Time: Completion time varies depending on the specialty track you choose.
  • Tuition: $3,825 per 6-month term.
  • This bachelor's degree allows students to learn about education but does not include student teaching and it does not lead to a teaching license.

Focus areas of this educational studies degree program include:

  • Elementary Education
  • Elementary and Special Education
  • Mild to Moderate Special Education
  • Secondary Biology Science Education
  • Secondary Chemistry Science Education
  • Secondary Earth Science Education
  • Secondary Physics Education
  • Middle Grades Science Education
  • Secondary Mathematics Education
  • Middle Grade Mathematics Education

Education Technology and Instructional Design – M.Ed.

The M.Ed. in Education Technology and Instructional Design from WGU is for...

The M.Ed. in Education Technology and Instructional Design from WGU is for instructional designers tasked with creating engaging and immersive virtual learning experiences that can substitute for on-ground instruction.

No teaching license required.

  • Time: 62% of students finish this program in 10 months.
  • Tuition: $3,975 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 12 total courses in this program.

This program includes two tracks for students to choose from:

  • The K-12 pathway
  • The Adult Learner pathway

Skills for your résumé included in this program:

  • Learning Experience Design
  • Assessment and Learning Analytics
  • Learning Technology
  • Research Methodology

Develop training and instruction expertise to help you in the classroom, in educational settings, or in corporate world.

How Much Does an Instructional Technologist Make?


In 2021, instructional technologists made an average of $57,375 per year, according to Payscale. Level of education, certifications, and years of experience are the most common factors in those that experienced higher annual pay. Some public schools require that their instructional technologists be licensed teachers, and those who hold that credential may experience higher pay. 

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


The job outlook for instructional technologists is excellent, and getting better all the time. The era of COVID-19 catapulted virtual learning into many school systems, homes, and curriculums, in environments that may have previously been resistant. Those who understand the complexities of education technology are in demand in nearly every learning space. Many school systems will continue to integrate distance learning, and other technology options into their long-standing curriculums, presenting a need for instructional technologist teams.


What Skills Does an Instructional Technologist Need?

If you are interested in pursuing an instructional technologist role, it is crucial to have a foundational understanding of education, an interest in technology and computers, and a balance of soft skills that allow you to train and mentor your students and colleagues. Some commonly listed skills in instructional technologist job descriptions include: 

  • Highly organized, with an ability to keep records and assess incoming data 
  • Problem-solving skills with an ability to lead, instruct, work harmoniously in diverse environments
  • An ability to work effectively in a team environment
  • Excellent communication skills 
  • An interest in research and implementing new technologies
  • High professional integrity and respect for confidentiality 
  • A commitment to education and the bettering of your students 

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No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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Interested in Becoming an Instructional Technologist?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.