The national average salary for Instructional Designers is $61K per year; by contrast, Apple Computer, Inc pays at a significantly higher rate, offering average pay of $97K. Other big spenders include Amazon.com Inc, Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, and Arizona State University (ASU), top-paying firms where Instructional Designers see paychecks nearing $73K, $62K, or $62K. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$43,938 - $82,743
(Median)
$44K
$61K
$83K
MEDIAN: $60,846
10%
50%
90%

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$19.63 - $58.02
(Median)
$20
$35
$58
MEDIAN: $34.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Salary
$43,938 - $82,743  
   
Bonus
$1,004 - $9,874  
Profit Sharing
$1,927 - $9,933  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$43,870 - $88,732  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,964
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24$48$72
Hourly Rate
$19.63 - $58.02  
   
Overtime
$24.97 - $69.20  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$1,004 - $9,874  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,927 - $9,933  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$43,870 - $88,732  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 230
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Job Description for Instructional Designer

An instructional designer is responsible for developing instructional material, such as customer training courses, that help support the company's technical products. For that purpose, an instructional designer is tasked with creating material that helps all types of users understand the product better. This means demonstrating efficiency through analysis of customers' needs and managing projects, in addition to developing courses that cater to all levels of the audience.

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Instructional Designer Tasks

  • Collaborate with internal and external partners to determine specific design focus.
  • Design, develop, and evaluate instructional materials.

Common Career Paths for Instructional Designer


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As Instructional Designers transition into upper-level roles such as Instructional Design Manager, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Instructional Design Managers earn $76K on average per year. As Instructional Designers progress in their field, many go on to become Senior Instructional Designers. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and pay for the position is usually $74K per year. Another common career choice for Instructional Designers is to move into a Multimedia Instructional Designer role. Typically, Multimedia Instructional Designers get paid $54K.

Instructional Designer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Instructional Designer

Popular Skills for Instructional Designer


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Training Program Development, Curriculum Planning, Project Management, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Adobe Captivate. Most people familiar with Course Design also know Online Education and Training Program Development.

Pay by Experience Level for Instructional Designer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $56K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $66K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $73K in this role. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $80K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $61,602

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 22 percent, Instructional Designers in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Instructional Designers will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+18 percent), Los Angeles (+15 percent), Atlanta (+12 percent), and Boston (+12 percent). Falling short of the national average by 5 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Denver. Workers in Chicago and Houston earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (3 percent less and 2 percent less, respectively).

Instructional Designer Reviews

What is it like working as an Instructional Designer?

Instructional Designer in Hutchinson:
"Dynamic Training and Development."
Pros: I enjoy working with and training people in how to use a learning management system. I also like that I get to learn about the new technologies when they are introduced. My job is continually evolving and changing. I never get bored with what I'm doing, because I get to change what I'm doing frequently.
Cons: High level of stress at certain times of year. We are responsible for supporting all online, hybrid and face to face courses. We support both the Instructors and students. Sometimes it seems we can't possibly get it all done. We have, at times, tried to hire additional personal, but it takes specific skills for this job that the average college graduate doesn't have.

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Experience Affects Instructional Designer Salaries




National Average
$62,000


Skills That Affect Instructional Designer Salaries


Curriculum Planning
up arrow 3%

Project Management
up arrow 2%

Training
up arrow 2%

Technical Writing
up arrow 2%

Articulate E-Learning Software
up arrow 1%

Articulate - E-Learning Software
up arrow 1%

Design
up arrow 1%

Course Design
0%

Video Editing
0%

National Average
$62,000

Online Education
up arrow 1%

Graphic Design
up arrow 2%

Web Design
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Adobe Captivate
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 258 votes.

Gender

Female
67 %
Male
33 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 79%
medical benefits
Vision: 70%
dental benefits
None: 11%
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