Instructional Design Specialist Responsibilities

The instructional design specialist is a professional who specializes in designing and implementing a learning system or process to meet the needs of the clients or its target audience. The instructional design specialist responsibilities are carried out by working in close coordination with the team of instructional designers, project managers, and subject matter expertise to ensure that the learning material developed is at par with the quality standards and measures up to the required performance levels. He/she is thus responsible for assessing the training or learning requirements and delivering the content, so that it creates the desired impact by making the complex subjects simple for the targeted learners.

Key Responsibilities of an Instructional Design Specialist

The instructional design specialist generally reports to the senior manager personnel and provides the essential consultation and supporting services that are needed in instructional designing, strategies, technology, assessment, etc., to ensure successful completion of the project. He/she coordinates one or multiple instructional design projects right from inception to completion that would essentially help in assisting and accomplishing the learning objectives and goals. With the continuous technological developments and the increased trend to apply this technology in the field of learning or education, the role of an instructional design specialist has gained much more significance in today's world. The following points will help in throwing light on what exactly are the key responsibilities that need to be shouldered by an instructional design specialist:

  1. He/she is responsible for interacting with the clients as well as the project managers and other staff members to understand the scope of the project and to gain knowledge about the exact requirements of the client.
  2. He/she plans and develops instructional strategies and collaborates with the other subordinate staff members to ensure timely completion of the project.
  3. He/she designs the project and helps in effective management of the project right from its conception to its final completion by supporting all the key areas like designing, developing, implementing and evaluating the training needs.
  4. He/she develops the instructional material by making the best use of the existing material and various training assessment tools to ensure effective learning.
  5. He/she incorporates the latest technology and edits the developed content that is error free to ensure that all the learning requirements are being fulfilled and takes efforts to maximize the effectiveness and quality of the instructional material.
  6. He/she works with the technical assistance team, reviews and tests the instructional material to ensure that the developed material meets the requirements and interacts with the subject matter expertise and makes an active contribution in authoring, storyboarding, and developing the instructional content that is user friendly.

The instructional design specialist in addition to the above responsibilities always keeps himself/herself abreast with the latest and current developments happening in the relevant field, researches it and tries to implement it to provide quality learning content. He/she makes recommendations to improve the quality and may be involved in training the subordinate staff members regarding instructional strategies, various assessment techniques, and integrates the instructional technologies and tools that will assist in completing the project successfully. Thus, he/she needs to carry out a wide variety of duties and may need to perform other duties as well.

Essential Skills

The instructional design specialist must possess a good combination of knowledge and experience in the relevant field to perform the basic duties that are expected from him/her. He/she should have occupational and competent analytical skills along with good researching skills. He/she should have a creative mindset along with good business acumen. He/she should be able to understand the client requirements and have effective planning and organizational skills with the ability to present complex concepts in a simple, easy to understand format. He/she should be ready to work under tight deadlines and should be able to maintain effective working relationship with the subordinate team members as well as clients. He/she should be able to make effective use of the available instructional resources and have excellent project management skills.

Educational Background

The most preferred educational background for an individual aspiring to make a career in instructional designing is a bachelor's degree in instructional designing or education from an accredited university or college. Previous experience in the relevant industry would be preferred and would definitely be an edge while applying for the post of an instructional designer specialist. Any knowledge of software would be an additional and beneficial qualification to get the desired job.

Work Schedule

The job of an instructional design specialist is full time, requiring him/her to work in a normal office environment and comprising a weekly routine that lasts for about forty hours. However, the schedule will normally vary depending on the project requirements that may sometimes require him/her to work beyond the routine office hours. Occasional travelling may be required to meet and interact with the clients or if there is some training or meeting in the organization.


The average salary package for an instructional design specialist is $61,000. The inexperienced individuals who have just completed their education can get a remuneration ranging close to $35,000, while the experienced instructional design specialists can earn up to $97,000 depending on the type, size, and location of the organization he/she is employed in.

Career Prospects

Based on a survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are tremendous growth and development opportunities for the individuals aspiring to make a career in instructional designing. The individuals who have demonstrated excellent management of projects by ensuring timely delivery and without compromising on the quality standards defined by the clients and the organization have definitely got better chances for promotion to higher managerial positions.

Thus, if you have the skill of making complex things simpler and have an aptitude for constant learning and developing the instructional material that meets with the current trends, then you can definitely handle the instructional design specialist responsibilities well.

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