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Special Education Teacher Job Overview
Special education teachers teach a variety of ages with an array of socioeconomic backgrounds with the goal of assisting students who have mental, physical, or learning disabilities. They construct lesson plans based on the disabilities of each student or the entire class. These lesson plans aid students in developing basic personal skills, communication skills, and core curriculum such as math, science, and social studies. Most of these teachers work with preschool, elementary, and high school students.
In addition to creating lessons and teaching, special education teachers also develop a close relationship with students and parents, informing them of the progress of their child. This progress is also reported to various administrators to ensure that classroom productivity is satisfactory.
The job requires someone who is patient, caring, and able to deal with problems on a regular basis.
Special Education Teacher Job Education Requirements
All states require special education teachers to possess a bachelor's degree in education, math, or a science-related field prior to obtaining a job. Some universities also offer specific bachelor's degrees in special education. The teacher must then obtain a teaching license from the state.
Special Education Teacher Job Market
Because special education is a relatively new job market and the teacher has a specialized degree, the demand is higher than that of regular educators. However, the influx of special education teachers reduced the overall job growth, which is a mere 6 percent, or about half that of all other occupations.
The diagnosis of learning disabilities, however, is expected to cause an increase in job demand, as more students, especially those with autism, begin their studies in a special learning environment.
Special Education Teacher Job Salary Information
The average median salary for special education teachers is $55,060 annually. There is little variance between the salaries based on age, but preschool teachers earned $52,480 a year, while high school teachers made $56,830 per year.