Find a Job as an Instructional Designer
Find out how you can prepare for a job in the growing field of instructional design (ID).
Check out job boards, networking opportunities, and professional organizations, as well as hiring trends and resources to build your resume, portfolio, and volunteer experience.
Breaking Into The Industry: Become An Instructional Designer And Master The LXD Fundamentals
If you are ready to take the first step in LXD (learning experience design), here's a head start from Christopher Pappas, a prominent voice in the industry.
Video: From Instructional Design to Learning Experience Design
Luke Kempski's three-minute video with instructional design practitioner Connie Malamed provides a quick shot of wisdom and perspective. Worth the time!
Video: How to Become an Instructional Designer
Devlin Peck delivers on this promise, "Do you want to become an instructional designer? In this video, I show you exactly what you need to learn and give some step-by-step tips for how to land an instructional design job."
- Be prepared with fresh resumes and up-to-date portfolios.
- Create an account and set up alerts on at least two systems.
- Apply immediately to jobs of interest.
- Carefully follow the directions on applications. Personalize every application. One size does not fit all.
- Regularly update and refresh your job-seeking accounts.
Careers in Instructional Design
Check out job opportunities with community colleges/ universities, business and industry, Department of Defense, government (state and local), nonprofit/trade associations, educational companies, healthcare, K-12 school districts, retail/wholesale/distribution, insurance, marketing, manufacturing, travel/hospitality, and telecommunications.
Keep in mind that developing your career is more than just finding a job. The best work comes from the personal and professional networks you form. It is wise to create a social media-based network using LI. The job-seeking and application process is complex in general, and more so on LinkedIn.
One good way to get oriented is to use LinkedIn Learning.
Considered by many to be the best job board, Indeed gathers job listings from many other job sites. Since employers can list jobs for free, Indeed will have jobs not found on other services. More jobs mean more opportunity, but you must find the needle in a vast haystack.
Indeed has extensive help sections, but sometimes a brief overview article is best. How to Apply for a Job on Indeed.com
- ZipRecruiter Instructional Designer Jobs
ZipRecruiter's Salary Range Report
- Instructional Design Central
Glassdoor's Salary Range for Instructional Designers
- This site was established in 1996 and is widely used by academic institutions to post instructional design jobs. They provide excellent advanced search features with Online/Remote and Location/Bound filters. Take the time to create a free job seeker account. Consider the paid resume and cv options.
- Association for Talent Development (formerly known as ASTD)
- Virtual ID Jobs
USAJobs is the front door for jobs in the Federal Government. When applying for positions on USAJobs, use the exact wording from the job posting in your resume. Follow the directions and formats precisely as written. Applications are initially scanned by computers looking for keyword matches. Once you get past the computer, a human will review your resume and refer you to the appropriate decision-makers.
The following codes will get you started.
1750 series Instructional Designers/Instructional Systems Designers
1700 series Federal Training and Education-related Positions
Payscale's Instructional Designer Salary Report
Volunteer locally! All organizations need training. Ask around and offer to help out with a training or performance problem. Many organizations' HR departments do not provide training or have experience in that area and could use some assistance.
You may find a local nonprofit such as the Boy Scouts, Little League, or a local museum with an educational project that needs your help.
These service-learning opportunities offer a mutual exchange between students who want to learn more about working on instructional design projects in the community and organizations that want to further their success through integrating instructional media products.
Volunteer and help create access, provide educational resources, and to support low-income students and parents, as well as teachers.
Lingos (eLearning Global Giveback Competition)
Volunteer and create something for their clients.
UN Online Volunteers Program
This organization might be a source of projects and contacts for volunteer teaching and training opportunities around the (virtual) world.
Volunteer opportunities (on the ground and remote opportunities).
How to Create an Eportfolio
- 30+ Ideas for Portfolios - Samples
As always, Christy Tucker delivers what she promises "...use this list to jump-start your brainstorming". Key takeaways: Revise Existing Work, Use Short Samples, Focus on Your Intended Audience. Plus all the promised samples and more. It pays to listen to Christy.
- How to Create an Instructional Design Portfolio that Makes You Shine
Helen Colman's step-by-step advice "is for novice IDs looking to create their online portfolio and seasoned IDs who still don't have a portfolio."
- Here's What Needs to be in Your E-Learning Portfolio
Wondering why you need a portfolio? Tom Kuhlmann's classic post explains it all. Here are five things every instructional designer needs to showcase. Tom's advice never gets old.
This is the ultimate 'show what you know' portfolio. As you'll see, Devlin Peck knows a lot! Multiple examples of instructional design work from a polished professional.
Meet your professional development goals for continuing education, license renewal, or advanced certification.
Online Instructional Design Graduate Certificate
Graduate certificate designed for professionals interested in enhancing their skills, developing focused competency in instructional design, or switching careers.
Complete the Instructional Design Certificate in 8 months.
- EDUC 765 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design
- EDUC 766 Instructional Strategies and Assessment Methods
- EDUC 767 Designing Computer-Based Training (CBT)
- EDUC 768 Project Management for Instructional Development
Instructional Design Interview Questions
9 Common Instructional Designer Interview Questions And How to Answer Them
Top 12 Interview Questions To Ask Instructional Designers
Resumes and Cover Letters
Instructional Designer Resume Must-Haves
Instructional Designer: Resume Sample & Writing Guide
Our Students Say…
""I feel like a sweepstakes winner after completing this certificate. I received not only a promotion, a bump in pay, and I've been tasked to change our Computer Education group (2 people) into an instructional design group that creates training sessions for staff, faculty and graduate students. I would not have been able to achieve this without the four courses in this certificate program."
~ Keith Thompson, Taunton, MA