Career Detail


Teacher-Special Education
work with children and youths who have a variety of disabilities.
The Job
The various types of disabilities that may qualify individuals for special education programs include specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, multiple disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, autism, combined deafness and blindness, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairments.
Work Environment
Special education teachers enjoy the challenge of working with students with disabilities and the opportunity to establish meaningful relationships with them.
College Majors
bachelor's degree
Minimum Qualifications
All States require special education teachers to be licensed, which typically requires at least a bachelor's degree and completion of an approved training program in special education teaching. Many States require a master's degree.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Teachers must be creative and apply different types of teaching methods to reach students who are having difficulty learning.
Quick Facts
  • All States require teachers to be licensed; traditional licensing requires the completion of a special education teacher training program and at least a bachelor's degree, though many States require a
  • Many States offer alternative licensure programs to attract college graduates who do not have training in education.
  • Excellent job prospects are expected due to rising enrollments of special education students and reported shortages of qualified teachers.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages in May 2008 of special education teachers who worked primarily in preschools, kindergartens, and elementary schools were $50,020. The middle 50 percent earned between $40,480 and $63,500. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,770, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $78,980
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