What is the Employment Outlook for Special Education Teachers?

Special education teachers provide the valuable kind of personalized education for students who suffer from a very diverse variety of physical, emotional and mental conditions. Through the contribution of a special education teacher, students who have certain learning disabilities can benefit from personalized teaching models to supplement their progress in math, writing, reading and other core subject areas.

Students who are taught by special education teachers may have disabilities that range from relatively mild to slightly more serious, and depending on the nature of the disability, the teacher may or may not need to have a certain degree of specialized experience in order to help them in the best possible way.

In most cases, a special education teacher is most commonly employed in the public school sector. The majority of students who a special education teacher will work with are in the K-12 level. Most special-education teachers will work throughout a 10-month public school year, though there are some who work all throughout the year in a number of different settings such as childcare service institutions and private academies.

BLS Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the annual median pay for special education teachers is approximately $57,910 per year. The average entry-level education for a special education teacher is a bachelor’s, though most teachers do go on further to acquire a master’s or more specialized certifications for their specific field of practice.

There is no required work experience in a related occupation required for a teacher to begin in the field, though there will generally be either a residency program or an internship that has to be completed as a form of on-the-job training.

The BLS reported that in 2014, there were approximately 450,700 special education teaching jobs. In terms of job outlook, the BLS reports an expected employment growth of approximately 6 percent; compared to other occupations in the economy, this is a relatively average job growth rate. Should the projection of the BLS come to be true, then there could be as many as 28,100 new special-education jobs by the year 2024.

Source Of Job Change

The source of the greater demand for more specially credentialed teachers has been related to a higher demand for students with certain learning disabilities to be accommodated. The public has gained a greater interest in comprehension of developmental conditions affecting children, and naturally, this has led to a greater interest in the availability of instructors who can account for said disabilities and provide a positive outcome for children who have them.

In addition to the public having more awareness of certain learning disabilities that may necessitate the intervention of a teacher who is specially credentialed to account for them, there are also a large number of teachers who will be leaving the field for retirement.

Due to the fact that many teachers will soon be vacating their positions, the opportunities for occupation by new teachers will increase by a fair amount within the next decade. Though there hasn’t been quite as much enrollment in special education programs in recent years, the ability that professionals have to accurately screen and identify disabilities proactively has increased substantially.