You're a what kind of designer?

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Instructional design is all about designing effective learning experiences.

But how do you know if you'd enjoy actually being an instructional designer (ID)? What exactly does the job entail?

How Do Instructional Designers Contribute?

Instructional designers (aka "IDs") find gaps in performance, skills, or attitudes, and create learning experiences (like elearning, in-person training, or other resources) to solve them.

The result? IDs help learners build skills and confidence.

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The Actual Job

IDs are often responsible for:

  • Understanding learning needs. By doing interviews, observing, and researching.

  • Pitching the right learning solution. Making recommendations for the best way to meet learning needs.

  • Writing and designing the solution. Actually create the learning solution. Some IDs use software to design elearning courses themselves, others work with media designers to bring their plans to life.

  • Managing stakeholders. IDs will often coordinate with subject matter experts and clients. Sometimes, IDs may work with a designated project manager to help with this.

Byte Author Uploaded Image Life as an ID.

Where Can You Get Work As An ID?

Corporate Learning and Development (L&D) Teams

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  • Designing training for employees

  • Most big companies have an L&D team

  • Mid-size organizations may have one ID who is responsible for all training

Higher Education Institutions

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  • Designing courses for students and supporting instructors in adapting to elearning

  • Most universities and colleges have IDs or a technical support team


Which of these places probably hires IDs?

You'll Love It If...

  • You're curious and like learning about new things.

  • You enjoy working on projects (that begin and end).

  • You're collaborative and are good at helping a group reach an agreement.

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Look For Another Career Path If...

  • You hate sitting at a desk and staring at a computer for most of the day sounds awful.

  • You like to have a consistent routine (each project will have you learning about different topics and talking to different people).

  • You like clear "right" and "wrong" answers. Being an ID involves experimentation.

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But Will It Pay The Bills?

Flaticon Icon In the U.S., the average salary for IDs is 76,000 USD.

Flaticon Icon In Canada, the average salary for IDs is 63,000 CAD.

Pick The Future Instructional Designer

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  • Very outgoing, loves meeting people

  • Tends to pick up new hobbies for a few months and then move onto a new one

Flaticon Icon Kendall

  • Writes poetry and shares it online

  • Is usually very shy when first meeting someone for the first time

Flaticon Icon Jeremy

  • Friends always ask him to edit their essays because he is so detail oriented

  • Hates unexpected changes to his routine


Who sounds like the best fit for an instructional designer's career path?

Take Action

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Does it sound like instructional design could be a good path for you?

If it does...


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