How Much Do Instructional Designers Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

2021 Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

Instructional Designers

Instructional Designers develop instructional materials and products and assist in the technology-based redesign of courses. Assist faculty in learning about, becoming proficient in, and applying instructional technology.

Becoming One
Very Hard
Master's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$70160 per year
Hourly wage
$34 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$39,270 to $51,720 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$19 to $25 per hour

Entry-level Instructional Designers and Technologists with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $39,270 to $51,720 per year or $19 to $25 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

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Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Instructional Designers and Technologists to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $51 $105,650
Senior (Top 25%) $41 $86,100
Middle (Mid 50%) $32 $66,970
Junior (Bottom 25%) $25 $51,720
No experience (Bottom 10%) $19 $39,270

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
DC $48 $100,350
CT $47 $97,840
OR $42 $86,390
VA $39 $81,220
NJ $38 $79,460
NY $38 $78,210
MD $37 $77,190
HI $37 $77,040
MN $37 $76,820
MA $37 $76,600

Another simple way to increase your salary as an Instructional Designer and Technologist is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at DC might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Instructional Designers are in the states of DC, CT, OR, VA and NJ.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Federal Executive Branch $99320 $47.75
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution $96440 $46.36
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services $85370 $41.05
Office Administrative Services $82440 $39.63
Motion Picture and Video Industries $82350 $39.59
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $82020 $39.44
Employment Services $80310 $38.61
Home Health Care Services $78840 $37.91
Scientific Research and Development Services $78350 $37.67
Specialty Hospitals $77920 $37.46
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations $76910 $36.98
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $76890 $36.96
Nondepository Credit Intermediation $76770 $36.91
Offices of Physicians $76000 $36.54
State Government $73760 $35.46
Educational Support Services $73550 $35.36
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $73510 $35.34
Other Information Services $73130 $35.16
Telecommunications $72510 $34.86
Insurance Carriers $72280 $34.75
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers $72110 $34.67
Elementary and Secondary Schools $72070 $34.65
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $71840 $34.54
Local Government $71800 $34.52
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services $71340 $34.30
Software Publishers $70900 $34.08
Grantmaking and Giving Services $70770 $34.03
Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities $70660 $33.97
Management of Companies and Enterprises $70040 $33.67
Other Ambulatory Health Care Services $69600 $33.46

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