Last updated on November 21st, 2023 at 06:31 pm

Every school district in the U.S. needs a Curriculum Director who works with teachers and students to make certain effective, age-appropriate, and subject-appropriate educational programs are in place. The Curriculum Director is hired by the school board and works with the administration to create educational plans that meet the needs of those involved in educating students.

What are the Job Duties of a Curriculum Director?

A Curriculum Director has a broad range of duties. Not every school district has the same needs, so a Curriculum Director for one school district may have different required tasks than one employed by a different district.

In general, a Curriculum Director oversees all aspects of curriculum development. Some specific job duties are:

  • Planning and developing the curriculum. This ranges from approving existing programs, improving existing programs, or developing an entirely new curriculum. The goal is to ensure the curriculum is workable for teachers and effective for students.
  • Creating a team that includes teachers, librarians, other curriculum developers, and others who can work together to create the best possible curriculum for students and that will meet with school board approval.
  • Creating lesson plans and instructional materials that support and assist teachers in implementing the approved curriculum.
  • Conducting teacher training workshops and conferences.
  • Staying up to date with new developments in education and passing this information on to classroom teachers.
  • Evaluating and making recommendations to the school board and teachers about choosing textbooks.
  • Developing assessment programs to evaluate the effectiveness of curriculum programs.
  • Mentor new teachers so they can improve their teaching skills. This may include demonstrating effective teaching strategies.
  • Oversee implementation of federal and state-mandated curriculum inclusion.

Curriculum directors generally work full-time hours and work year-round. They do not have the summer break that classroom teachers enjoy.

“In today’s changing educational arena, curriculum development is essential to provide the greatest opportunities for meeting the needs of students,” says Gregory M. Kuhns, Ed.D.Salem University’s Interim Dean School of Education.

“The classroom teachers would benefit from having a knowledgeable and supportive person as a curriculum director to provide guidance for instructional strategies, material resources, and assessment interpretations.”

How to Become a Curriculum Director?

Becoming a Curriculum Director requires hard work, teaching experience, and in most districts, a master’s degree. It is a rewarding job for those interested in advancing education.

The basic requirements for becoming a Curriculum Director are:

A bachelor’s degree in education. The undergraduate courses should include subjects such as current educational theories, curriculum design, and fundamentals of teaching and education.

A teacher certification. Certification requirements vary by state. Specific state requirements can be found here. General requirements for all states are:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Pass the general Praxis test which confirms the applicant has the skills and knowledge to become a certified teacher.
  • Part two of the Praxis tests an applicant’s knowledge of the specific subject for which they are seeking certification.
  • Pass a criminal background check.

Teaching experience. To become a Curriculum Director, teaching experience is a must. Generally, a minimum of three to five years of classroom experience is required. Some school boards require 5 years of experience. Obviously, the more teaching experience an applicant has, the more qualified they are for the position of curriculum director.

A Curriculum Director must have credibility with the teachers the director will be working with. A director who has little, or no teaching experience will find teachers not amenable to accepting suggestions or directions of what they should be doing in their classroom from a person who has not themselves been a classroom teacher.

Earn a master’s degree in curriculum development. The position of Curriculum Director is a senior position within the school district. The person who holds that job must have the education and experience to perform the required tasks.

A master’s degree in curriculum development equips teachers with the skills needed to develop effective curricula and oversee curriculum implementation within their school district.

What is the Job Outlook of a Curriculum Director?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes curriculum developers as instructional coordinators. It projects a growth of 7 percent between 2021 and 2031, which is about the same as for other occupations.

In 2021, there were 205,700 curriculum development jobs in the U.S. About 20,900 jobs will be available in the U.S. every year for the next 10 years.

Salaries vary depending on the geographical area. The BLS reports that in 2021, the median salary was $63,740. This means that 50 percent of curriculum directors make more than this and 50 percent earn less. The highest 10 percent earned $101,090.

Curriculum directors work primarily in elementary and secondary schools for state and local governments and private schools. They also work in state, local, and private colleges, universities, and professional schools

“Classroom teachers have been given the additional tasks of making up the deficits created from our recent pandemic that impacted student learning and achievement,” says Kuhns.

“Teachers having access to a curriculum director, who has been in the classroom and knows what teachers need to assist them in the development of a rigorous and impactful curriculum, can lead to greater student engagement and achievement.”

Earn Your Master’s Degree at Salem University

Salem University offers a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction which qualifies you, along with your teaching experience, for the position of Curriculum Director. To learn more about this program, contact us and speak with our staff who will answer your questions and assist you with enrolling in the program.

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