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Career and Education Opportunities for Instructional Systems Specialists in Modesto, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for instructional systems specialists in the Modesto, California area. About 14,500 people are currently employed as instructional systems specialists in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 29% to about 18,700 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for instructional systems specialists are expected to grow by about 23.2%. In general, instructional systems specialists develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology in specialized fields that provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses.

A person working as an instructional systems specialist can expect to earn about $32 hourly or $67,760 per year on average in California and about $27 per hour or $56,880 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for instructional systems specialists are better than in the overall category of Specialized Education in California, and better than the overall Specialized Education category nationally. People working as instructional systems specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: curriculum supervisor, instructional technology director, and music supervisor.

The Modesto area is home to twenty-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Modesto where you can get a degree as an instructional systems specialist. Given that the most common education level for instructional systems specialists is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years studying to be an instructional systems specialist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Instructional Systems Specialist

In general, instructional systems specialists develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology in specialized fields that provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses.

Instructional systems specialists formulate and conduct teacher training programs and conferences dealing with new classroom procedures, instructional materials and equipment, and teaching aids. They also conduct or participate in workshops and conferences designed to promote the intellectual and physical welfare of students. Equally important, instructional systems specialists have to recommend, order, or authorize purchase of instructional materials and visual aids designed to meet student educational needs and district standards. They are often called upon to research and ready recommendations on curricula and materials for school systems. They are expected to observe work of teaching staff to review performance, and to recommend changes that could strengthen teaching skills. Finally, instructional systems specialists interpret and enforce provisions of state education codes, and rules and regulations of state education boards.

Every day, instructional systems specialists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to speak clearly. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for instructional systems specialists to design tests and procedures that measure the effectiveness of curricula, and use these tools to establish whether program objectives are being met. They are often called upon to ready or approve manuals, guidelines, and reports on state educational policies and practices for distribution to school districts. They also advise and teach students. They are sometimes expected to ready grant proposals and program policies and goals, or help in their preparation. Somewhat less frequently, instructional systems specialists are also expected to design classroom-based and distance learning training courses, using needs assessments and skill level analyses.

Instructional systems specialists sometimes are asked to address public audiences to explain program objectives and to elicit support. They also have to be able to direct efforts of staff working on cataloging and maintaining educational materials and equipment in curriculum libraries and laboratories and talk with members of educational committees and advisory groups to obtain knowledge of subject areas, and to relate curriculum materials to specific subjects, individual student needs, and occupational areas. And finally, they sometimes have to formulate and conduct teacher training programs and conferences dealing with new classroom procedures, instructional materials and equipment, and teaching aids.

Like many other jobs, instructional systems specialists must be able to take change and lead and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Modesto include:

  • Elementary School Teacher. Teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.
  • English Professor. Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature.
  • Farm Management Adviser. Advise, instruct, and assist individuals and families engaged in agriculture, agricultural-related processes, or home economics activities. Demonstrate procedures and apply research findings to solve problems; instruct and train in product development, sales, and the utilization of machinery and equipment to promote general welfare. Includes county agricultural agents, feed and farm management advisers, home economists, and extension service advisors.
  • Graduate Research Assistant. Assist department chairperson, faculty members, or other professional staff members in college or university by performing teaching or teaching-related duties, such as teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving examinations, and grading examinations or papers. Graduate assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program. Graduate assistants who primarily perform non-teaching duties, such as laboratory research, should be reported in the occupational category related to the work performed.
  • High School Teacher. Instruct students in secondary public or private schools in one or more subjects at the secondary level, such as English, mathematics, or social studies. May be designated according to subject matter specialty, such as typing instructors, commercial teachers, or English teachers.
  • Middle School Teacher. Teach students in public or private schools in one or more subjects at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable State laws and regulations.
  • Teaching Assistant. Perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. Serve in a position for which a teacher or another professional has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Instructional Systems Specialist Training

University of the Pacific - Stockton, CA

University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95211-0197. University of the Pacific is a medium sized university located in Stockton, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,251 students and an admission rate of 69%. University of the Pacific has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Curriculum and Instruction which graduated zero and three students respectively in 2008.


Certified Instructional Technologist: The Certified Instructional Technologist Program is an increasingly recognized voluntary credential; based on the Instructional Technology component of the Certified Environmental, Safety and Health Trainer (CET) certification; a voluntary certification measuring instructional knowledge and confirming extensive experience as a trainer; a proven way to achieve personal and professional satisfaction for demonstrated competency and accomplishment; .

For more information, see the National Environmental, Safety & Health Training Association website.


Modesto, California
Modesto, California photo by Foolishfish

Modesto is located in Stanislaus County, California. It has a population of over 202,967, which has grown by 7.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Modesto, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Modesto cost $208,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirteen new homes were constructed in Modesto, down from two hundred eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Modesto are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 16.5% of Modesto residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Modesto is 14.4%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Modesto residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Livingway Tabernacle, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Bethel Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Modesto. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and the Assemblies of God.

Modesto is home to the King-Kennedy Center and the McClure Historical Country House as well as Muncy Park and John Muir Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Shopping Center, Gregory Gardens Shopping Center and Western Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Modesto can choose from Best Western Town House Lodge, Apex Inn and Arrow Inn for temporary stays in the area.