Gert Rijlaarsdam holds a position as full professor at the Graduate School of Child Development and Education (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands), and from 2013 until 2018 at Antwerp University (Belgium, 50%), and from 2015 until 2018 at Umea University, Sweden (10%). He had an additional position as professor in Language Education at Utrecht University, a position installed by the Dutch Association of Teachers of Living Languages (Dutch: Vereniging voor Leraren in Levende Talen; from 1999-2004). In 2018-2020 he was chairperson of the association of Levende Talen Nederlands, the Dutch association of teachers of Dutch language and literature. From 2018 until now he is the chairsperson of the Working Group on Research and Instruction of this LTN association.
He started as a teacher of Dutch Language and Literature at a school for secondary education, where he taught for 17 years. Meanwhile he studied Dutch Language and Literature (MA; specialism: sociolinguistics), Educational Studies (MA, specialism educational psychology and curriculum) both at Leiden University, and wrote his PhD study on an empirical study about the effects of peer feedback on writing (University of Amsterdam,1986). From 1975 he combined his teacher job and study with a position(10-20) at CITO, the Dutch national testing service, where he designed listening tests and designed and tested functional writing test (national exams in lower secondary education), in 1982. From 1981 he combined his job as teacher with a part-time job at the educational research institute at the University of Amsterdam (called RITP, later SCO). There he got his on the job training as researcher from Hildo Wesdorp (1935-1987), together with Henk Blok, Kees de Glopper, and Huub van den Bergh.
In 1988 he was appointed as associate professor (Dutch: UHD) at the then newly established Graduate School of Teaching and Learning (GSTL) at the University of Amsterdam, with the special task to create -- with two colleagues Geert ten Dam and Fred Korthagen -- an integrative post-graduate university institute for teacher education, in-service training and research. He was involved in teaching, research, and curriculum development. He managed for many years the Development & Services portfolio. From 2006 until 2008 he was responsible for the teacher training curriculum at the GSTL. In 2008-2009 he was programme manager for the EARLI 2009 conference. Since January 2010 he was is back in his role as manager of the division on Curriculum Development and Services, until Autumn 2013, when he accepted a half time professorship at Antwerp University (Belgium), to teach and research in the Master Multilingual Professional Communication. From January 2014 until February 2018 he was appointed (10%) as visiting professor at Umea University (Sweden).