eLearning Developer Jobs & the Skills You Need to Get Hired
Wondering what an eLearning Developer does and whether it’s the right digital learning role for you? Explore this job and how you can succeed in it.
eLearning developers create interactive digital learning for a variety of learning experiences. They design and develop interactive online modules, mobile training, and microlessons. The demand for this role is growing as part of the effort to make digital learning more accessible.
In today’s rapidly changing world, the need for eLearning developers extends far beyond corporate learning. Both educational and non-profit organizations also need professionals who can support the digital learning and professional development essential to the modern workplace.
This increased focus on helping employees, learners and students take control of their learning means eLearning Developers are in high demand right now and for the foreseeable future. But what does an eLearning Developer do?
What Does an eLearning Developer Do?
eLearning Developers use software to develop digital learning experiences that can be put into a learning management system (LMS) or content management system (CMS). The most popular software are:
- Articulate Storyline
- Adobe Captivate
- Lectora Online
- iSpring Suite
Using these tools, eLearning developers build lessons to fit both the instructional designer’s plan and the confines of the technology. They bring together the training and development plan, graphics, text, and multimedia that make up eLearning courses.
Developers may create new web-based courses, reusable learning objects, or other eLearning solutions. They may update or customize existing courses and are often asked to convert existing training into a digital format or online learning modules.
Who Will You Work With Most Closely?
Instructional designers and eLearning developers often work together, although each is responsible for a slightly different stage of the project.
Some instructional designers are just as skilled at eLearning development as they are at instructional design. These professionals are in high demand since their understanding of eLearning design and development can make projects more efficient. They may even be able to fill both roles.
eLearning content writers, videographers, and graphic designers may help the eLearning developer create the elements for a project. Developers also rely on subject matter experts to ensure that the course material is accurate.
Where to Find Your Next eLearning Developer Job
The Teamed Job Board is a great place to start looking for learning and development positions. Whether you’re looking for part-time, entry-level, or remote opportunities, you’ll find options here.
Types of eLearning Developers
There are three main types of eLearning Developers. Understanding each one can help you figure out where you fit in the development ecosystem. Building the right skills can help you excel in these roles.
The eLearning Developer focuses on the development of eLearning modules. They use eLearning software to create interactive modules informed by design documents, storyboards, scripts, graphic and multimedia assets, narration, and style guides.
These professionals are often experts in eLearning software such as Articulate Storyline, Articulate Rise, or Adobe Captivate. Using these software tools, they create basic to custom learning modules with branching pathways, quizzes, and activities. The development team relies on the eLearning Developer to understand the types of learning experiences that can be created using the available web development tools.
They also understand how to upload and publish SCORM packages to an LMS and how to update outdated modules to a new version of the software.
Creative eLearning Developer
The Creative eLearning Developer does all of the above, but is also skilled at creating most or all of the graphic and multimedia assets for the course. They have robust graphic design and other multimedia development abilities. Many have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.
Creative eLearning Developers are skilled in developing strong UI/UX and designing the look and feel of the course. They may create graphic assets like banners, lower thirds, iconography, animations, and more. Most creative eLearning Developers will have advanced skills in the full suite of products, such as Articulate 360 and Captivate Creative Cloud.
Full-Cycle Instructional Designers/Developers
A full-cycle Instructional Designer/Developer works with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to design the learning experience. Together they define the outcomes, create a chunked and scaffolded learning plan, and develop storyboards and scripts. Then the Full-Cycle developer builds the eLearning modules or templates.
Many have basic proficiency in graphic design and other multimedia production and authoring tools. These skills enable them to create all of the visual and multimedia assets needed for an online course.
Even if you’re a full-cycle instructional designer, you should still have specialties. Employers will want to know where you really shine in terms of tools and the phases of the ADDIE process. Understand your strengths so you can speak to them in your resume and job interviews.
Who Hires eLearning Developers?
The short answer is everyone. Corporations, non-profits, government agencies, universities, publishers, K-12, and more are all hiring. In early 2022, even the Denver Broncos announced 3 new key hires that included an Instructional Designer. Demand for eLearning developers across industries is strong and likely to stay that way.
How Much Does an eLearning Developer Make?
According to Glassdoor, an eLearning developer can expect to make between $72,000 and $109,000 per year. Education, experience level, location and industry can all impact where on this spectrum your salary falls.
Are There Remote eLearning Developer Jobs?
eLearning developers can and often do work remotely. Some are freelancers or contract workers, but many are employed part-time or full-time by an organization.
Some organizations offer short-term and long-term contracts for eLearning developers. This work might include converting instructor-led training to web-based training (ILT to WBT), republishing for version updates, and functionality, optimizing for mobile compatibility or reshaping learning into micromodules.
Whether remote or in-person, the work environment tends to be fast-paced and collaborative. The ability to work well with others while managing multiple priorities is essential to success in this role.
Would You Be a Good eLearning Developer?
Do you have strong technical skills and an understanding of the latest pedagogy and learning theory? Do you have design skills? Then you might be a good eLearning developer.
Curiosity can take you a long way. If you’re the kind of person who is always looking for ways to make a course just a little bit better, this job might be the right fit for you. The ability to collaborate while also taking full responsibility for your piece of course development is essential.
What Do You Need To Become One?
Most employers are looking for experience in instructional design, eLearning development, or instructional technology. If you have a degree or certificate in any of these areas, you could be a strong candidate. You should be familiar with instructional design frameworks like ADDIE and technical standards like SCORM.
You’ll need expertise in either Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate, to be a successful eLearning developer. Knowing these tools means you can immediately add value to learning creation and proactively solve issues. If you’ve never used this software, sign up for a free trial so you can practice and create sample eLearning projects to share with potential employers.
Experience in graphic design, animation, video production, or content development can help you stand out among other applicants.
Education Level Requirements
Many employers will require a bachelor’s degree and prefer a degree in instructional design, educational technology, computer science, or other related subjects.
A degree in one of these preferred areas may not be necessary if you have relevant experience and strong samples in an online portfolio. Master’s degrees are often held among eLearning developers. Having one could make you stand out, but it’s rarely a requirement.
eLearning Developer Skills: Prepare For Your Job Search
Take a look at your resume and see if you can honestly add these eLearning developer skills:
- eLearning Software: Articulate Storyline 360 or Articulate 360, Adobe Captivate or Creative Suite, Lectora Online, iSpring Suite
- Other Software Tools; Camtasia, Screenflow, H5P, Premier Pro, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, Vyond, Illustrator
- Familiarity with SCORM standards
- Adult learning theory and instructional design best practices
- Storyboarding and scripting
- Understanding of User Experience
- Design principles
- Eye for detail
- Project management
Make sure you include any education or certifications that highlight your qualifications, including your experience in related roles like instructional design. Be prepared to share samples of your high-quality work. A simple portfolio is essential for eLearning developers to show off your skills.