Instructional Designers

Over the years, demand for Instructional Designers has increased manifold as more educational institutions, corporate sectors, government organizations, NGOs, etc. have awakened to the advantages derived from this unique skill set.

But the million-dollar question is, does this demand reflect in instructional designer salaries? It is but natural that one of the most common questions that people ask when they consider taking up instructional design as a profession is, how much money will I make? What’s a good or average salary for an instructional designer?

International Salary Trends

The average mean and median instructional designer salaries for entry-level hovers around $40,000 per annum in the United States, but is considerably low at other places. Gradually with experience these professionals see a hike in their income, and therefore, the highest full-time salary in America reported is an impressive $180,000.  

“The highest salaries are for most obvious reasons fetched by instructional designers of America followed by Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and others, depending on the location.”

Indian Perspective

If we look at the money earned by instructional designers in India, then it certainly is not at par with their American counterpart, but if we compare it to others like content writers, etc, then it is undoubtedly a better career option.


According to PayScale survey, an early career Instructional Designer in India with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of nearly ₹5,00,000; whereas a mid-career Instructional Designer with 5-9 years of experience gets an average total compensation of ₹7,50,000, going up to ₹14,00,000 for the most deserving candidates.

Factors that determine salaries of Instructional Designers

The salary for an instructional designer cannot be stated outright by anyone because it has to be contextual and the average salary would vary based on several factors like location, education level, experience level, and industry.

Here are some of the major influencing factors:

Factor #1. Educational Level

Surveys and researches have brought to light that to earn well as an instructional designer one must possess at least a bachelor degree or a master degree or PhD. As it is a skill based job there is no strong correlation between education level and salary level, and a bachelor may command a higher salary than a masters.

Factor #2. Years of Experience

It is logical that the number of years in the field of instructional design has a greater overall impact on salaries than education. Surveys point out that those who had been in the industry for up to two years saw a modest salary increase; the study at the same time found that the instructional designers who had crossed around the five-year mark witnessed greater salary gains.

Factor #3. Gender Doesn’t Matter

The pay gap between the genders has always been a serious concern across industries, but the good news is that instructional designers do not face any gender discrimination and there is no wage disparity in this field.  

Factor #4. Industry Specific

Being employed in wide ranging sectors, instructional designers will find that one of the biggest differentiators in salary was the industry in which an individual was employed. For example, non-profit organizations and university jobs paid lower, on an average, than for-profit organizations and government positions.

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“If you are aspiring to secure higher earnings in this field then you must certainly pursue employment in the corporate sector; they are the best paymasters!”

The crux of the matter is that instructional design is a skill based job and to be able to earn a handsome salary is tied to having mastery over all relevant skills and technologies. 

“Instructional design is an ever-changing, ever-growing field which demands constant adaptation and upskilling, so to be successful you must keep learning and innovating.”

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  4. Kashish Madaan Reply

    Instructional design is a skill-based job. Thanks for sharing the great article on Instructional Design. If you want to learn instructional design, You can join an instructional design course from one of the prominent organizations.

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