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Special Education Jobs Offer Rewards Beyond Money

Special Education Jobs Offer Rewards Beyond Money

by Joe Taylor
March 20, 2008

Special education students have frequently made headlines in stories showing how they have thrived in a regular school environment. In New York, a teenager with autism became a national hero when he scored twenty points in the final two minutes of a varsity basketball game. The design on Utah's state quarter is based on an idea submitted by a special education class. A California teenager with Down Syndrome and alopecia recently was voted prom queen at her high school.

Demand Growing for Special Education Teachers
Increasing legislative requirements for training and special education jobs mean the outlook for jobs in teaching special education is excellent. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, special education teachers recently earned a median annual salary of about $46,000, with some special education teachers making more than $74,000.

While the costs of special education jobs are expensive, school districts continue to look for funding for these all-important programs. For creative, caring teachers, the field of special education offers many opportunities for years to come.

Break into the Special Education Field
Federal mandates require public schools to offer classes for special needs students, and trained special education teachers are in demand. Some special education programs, including online university degree studies, offer four-year bachelor's degrees in special education, but many are now requiring a fifth year or graduate-level classes.

Special education programs mix general education classes with specialized instruction, such as:

  • Behavior management
  • Intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Psychology of education

Licensure is required in all states for special education teachers, and taking classes through an online degree program can be a convenient way for teachers to fulfill educational requirements. Many university programs offer bachelor's and master's degrees and both campus and online PhD programs in special education.

About the Author
Author and business coach, Joe Taylor Jr. helps professionals change careers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.