Special Education Teacher at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for
    Special Education Teacher

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Special Education Teacher

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average

Best States for Special Education Teacher

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
New York 16,520 $76,350 N/A
California 10,420 $67,310 N/A
Illinois 8,340 $65,750 N/A


Becoming a Special Education Teacher

In order to qualify for special education teacher jobs, candidates must have at least a bachelor's degree. Your major may be in education or a specific content area. This could range from mathematics to science, depending on your specific interests. Programs specializing in special education are also popular in many education departments. These will focus more on different types of disabilities and adaptive teaching practices that best suit students with special needs.

Teachers in public schools must have appropriate certification as outlined by the state where they live. In addition, most private schools still prefer to hire teachers who are licensed or certified. Requirements vary by state, but usually candidates must have a degree from an accredited program, student teaching experience, and a minimum GPA. Below are some common subjects students will become familiar by completing this type of program:

  • Classroom Management
  • Educational Philosophy
  • Learning Psychology
  • Academic Instruction for Students with Disabilities

Those who have a bachelor's degree already, but do not have a background in education, may be able to pursue alternative certification to receive their teaching license. In addition, some states may allow special education teachers to transfer their license from another state. This will all depend on requirements where you live, of course. Those who only have a certificate or associate degree in special education, or are not certified, may still qualify for teaching assistant positions in the field, but prospects will be more limited.