Instructional designers are found in various industries, from education (kindergarten to university) to the private sector, public sector and even the military. IDs can work on their own as a consultant, as a one-person team, or as part of a design and development team.
Working as an instructional designer can be a stable job. Based on the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in instructional design will increase 13 percent within the next ten years, and have a median salary of $60,050. 
An instructional designer has to own a versatile set of skills to perform their responsibilities effectively. They must have expertise in learning management systems, a balance of both course design and development, as well as educational communications and technology. [ 2] Instructional designers must be able to:
Specifically, IDs must have the following qualifications and professional foundations: 
Perhaps the most popular and effective instructional design model is the ADDIE model, which stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.
ADDIE is a step-by-step framework used by instructional designers, training developers, and learning and development specialists to create educational or training programs. ADDIE is an instructional design model that aims to organize content, streamline development, and ensure a structured framework for every course.
This article will follow the ADDIE model to describe the various responsibilities of an ID:
An Instructional Designer goes through a thorough process of understanding learners and their needs. An ID must ensure that learning objectives are met, hence the need to perform a learning needs assessment. This involves identifying and defining the target audience, or the online learning participants.
An ID must also analyze the learning environment, available resources and those that need to be availed to provide effective training. They must also look into existing and up-and-coming technologies that may be used to facilitate learning, as well as decide on the relevant techniques and format to comprise the content of the course.
IDs design the program and curriculum. They identify the modules and how they should be broken down to ensure effective learning. They also decide on the design and development model and process for a particular course, and select and develop the most appropriate instructional materials to use given the learning group. They determine the subject matter experts to provide input for the content of training materials.
IDs roll out and manage the training program and instructional design projects. They foster collaboration and partnerships while promoting teamwork among those involved in the design project. They also apply various business skills in designing and developing the course, ensuring the most “bang for buck” and Return on Investment (ROI) for the course.
IDs know that a successful training program does not end with the roll out. It is a continuous process of improvement and iteration. Thus, they must also know how to evaluate the effectiveness of the course and measure its impact for both learners and the company.
As mentioned earlier, becoming an Instructional Designer requires a versatile set of skills and a balance of course design and development, as well as educational communications and technology. But it is also important to note that there is no standard route for becoming an ID.
Instructional Designers may have started as educators, communication managers, human resource experts, tech engineers, artists, graphic designers, military personnel, public servants, or many other occupations. But the one shared path towards becoming an ID is a passion for eLearning.
If you possess a passion for eLearning, here are some tips to becoming an effective instructional designer:
Instructional Designers are uniquely qualified to bring together the creativity, teaching strategies, and technical know-how it takes to build an effective learning experience. Whether you’re thinking about hiring one for your team or becoming one yourself, now you know what makes instructional designers so valuable to any number of companies and organizations.