Careers in Special Education

Special education involves teaching of children, adolescents, teenagers and adults who are mentally, physically or psychologically handicapped and whose needs cannot be met in a traditional classroom environment. Different methods and techniques of teaching are used in order to keep in account the needs and requirements of the handicapped student. Those with degrees in special education can be employed in a number of places. These include private and public schools, as well as private learning centers. Careers in special education can also be found in correctional and mental health facilities.

Some of the careers in special education can lead to roles such as:

  • Primary school special education instructor
  • Teacher for the visually impaired
  • Teacher for the hearing impaired
  • Learning disabilities expert
  • Art therapist
  • Music therapist
  • School counselor
  • Speech therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Life skills coach

Special education teachers develop individual teaching plans for each student depending on his or her requirements. Apart from academic education, special education instructors also teach behavioral and social skills. As in any other field, the higher the level of education and experience you have, the higher the salary you can avail. A special education teacher can earn between 34,000 to 55,000 US dollars on average depending on whether the instructor is teaching at the primary, middle, secondary or high school level. The more the experience that is acquired, the higher the salary will be.

Special Education Degrees and Programs

Those interested in building careers in special education can choose from a range of programs available at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Teacher training, curriculum development and behavioral management are some of the subjects taught during a special education program. Students learn to design and implement different syllabi based on an individual child’s disabilities. Also taught during the course of a special education program is how to handle disruptive behaviors in the classroom and make the environment conducive to learning. Other subjects taught include educational psychology, child development and communication techniques. Child assessment methods, counseling and behavioral support are also taught.

An undergraduate degree is the minimum requirement for a special education teaching job. However, employers prefer to hire those who have a graduate degree in the field. Doctoral degrees in special education are useful for those who wish to work on the administrative side or wish to carry out research in the area. Some of the programs available in special education include:

Special education teachers are required to be licensed. License requirements vary from state to state. Most states require the completion of coursework and supervised teaching practice. An examination also needs to be taken to obtain a teaching license.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 16600.111.2618.1337720
Florida 11300.141.6817.9737370
Illinois 9600.161.9217.937240
Texas 7600.070.7816.6234570
New York 6500.070.8520.1241840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:While reading on the career in special education, there was mention of the course on Managerial Finance. What are the contents of this course?

A:It is common to get to read about the course on Managerial Finance while reading on the career in Special Education. This course usually is worth 2 credits in total. It is designed to provide students with strong understanding of the examination of the different financial theories as well as the applications which are needed in controlling the various aspects that the environment of finance has.

Q:Looking for careers for BA in special education, I discovered Bachelors in Educational Leadership and Administration, what are the future prospects of this degree?

A:The present-day job market is experiencing a very high demand for professionals with a degree in educational leadership and administration. Which is why it is highly feasible to pursue this degree for a lucrative career in fields like: religion and social services, child daycare centers, businesses, governments schools, colleges, universities and other educational departments.

Q:What are the various careers in special education?

A:Professionals with degrees in special education have quite a lot of career choices they can pick on after graduation. From private to public, all kinds of sectors have openings for people with this degree under their belt. These people can also choose to enter government employment by taking on teaching and therapy positions in correctional and mental health facilities. Some of the most appropriate fields of employment for these individuals are special education instructors in primary schools, teacher for the visually and hearing impaired individuals, people with learning disabilities expert, art and music therapist and occupational therapist to name a few.

Q:I was looking for information on careers with a bachelor in special education and came across careers in adult education. What are these?

A:A career in Adult Education opens up a whole world of opportunities for professionals who graduate with this degree. Career in this field is focused on education and so graduates will find themselves mostly in academic settings in the private as well as public sector. They mostly find employment in colleges, universities or different companies supporting or involved in academics. Some of the jobs available to professionals with this degree are educator, teacher, administrator and corporate training specialist.

Q:Can I pursue careers in special education field with only a bachelor degree in special education?

A:Yes, you can prepare for a career in special education with a bachelor degree in this field. The program will equip you with teaching skills and knowledge about the learning process. You can also apply for a teaching license in your state with this degree. On the other hand, if you want to pursue more high paying leadership roles in the education sector, a masters degree would be necessary to earn.

Q:Can you give me some information about counseling careers for masters of special education?

A:Special education is a branch of education that caters to the academic needs of children with mental and physical disabilities. With a degree in this specialization area, one can pursue a career as a counselor as well. Counseling careers are growing in demand as special education is gaining more importance.

Q:Tell me about Minnesota special education teacher license salary with masters qualification?

A:If you are asking about how much a special education teacher who is licensed and has a master's degree would earn in Minnesota then an exact figure cannot be given. The salary would depend on experience as well as other factors. Roughly a special education teacher makes around 34,000 to 55,000 US dollars.

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