Science curriculum development careers offer both part- and full-time employment. Consultants supervise science curriculum projects and employment typically ends with the completion of a project. Science curriculum specialists also work as contract consultants for state departments of education, district administration offices or school departments to implement a new science curriculum or to evaluate textbooks, supplemental science laboratory kits or learning materials. Some trained science professionals work in jobs outside curriculum development and freelance as project developers.
Publishing companies employ science curriculum designers to write lesson content and consult as supervisors for staff curriculum designers. Designers create unit and individual lesson plans to accompany textbooks, and also develop curriculum for online supplemental materials offered by publishers. Media companies and software firms hire developers to create supplemental science teaching materials, including films, interactive software and hands-on manipulatives for use in the classroom.
Schools and Education Districts
Public school districts frequently hire designers holding advanced curriculum and instructional degrees to assist schools in selecting and designing science curriculum, selecting textbooks and recommending educational materials for classroom use. However, budget cuts for small school districts typically mean working without the science designer at the district level. Many large urban schools hire curriculum and instruction designers to serve as assistant principals for individual schools. Schools with large student populations sometimes divide the duties and hire an assistant for curriculum and another for instruction in specific academic fields such as science. Large schools occasionally require the science department chair to help develop curriculum and select science materials for the department. Most large schools look for applicants with a minimum of a master's degree in either instruction or curriculum design for applicants for employment positions. Districts prefer hiring employees with a science doctorate for district-wide jobs.
Federal and Agency Curriculum Development
Federal and state education agencies offer jobs for science curriculum developers, and most look for a minimum education level of a master's degree in a science field. The Federal Department of Education and individual federal agencies, including National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Science Foundation, employ science majors for curriculum jobs. These professionals work creating agency materials, school units and training materials.
State and County Departments of Education
States and most counties use science curriculum, instruction designers and science instructional trainers in supervision positions to work with district school teachers. The developers help states formulate core science standards for public schools and coordinate input from science teachers throughout the state to develop the master curriculum plan. State departments of education typically require a minimum of a master's degree for professionals working in these jobs, and most academic science content designers hold a doctorate in instruction or curriculum from an accredited college or university, in addition to a minimum of an undergraduate degree in a specific field of science such as biology or chemistry.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become an Instructional Coordinator
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Instructional Coordinators -- Summary
- Los Angeles Trade Technical College: Curriculum Developer
- Concordia University: K-12 Curriculum Developer -- Job Developer and Salary Information
- California State Board of Education: Content Standards
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals
- CNN Money: Best Jobs in America -- Education/Training Consultant
- NASA: LAUSD's "Beyond the Bell" Adopts NASA Curriculum
- NASA: APPEL Curriculum Overview
Lee Grayson has worked as a freelance writer since 2000. Her articles have appeared in publications for Oxford and Harvard University presses and research publishers, including Facts On File and ABC-CLIO. Grayson holds certificates from the University of California campuses at Irvine and San Diego.