$58k $58k
134k 134k
5.9% 5.9%
3.0/5 3.0/5
Bachelors Bachelors

Overview

A special education teacher program is an natural choice for people who have a passion for teaching and working with children with special needs. This special breed of educator must be motivating, patient, understand children’s special needs, and be able to adapt teaching to each individual student. They must be able to handle stress and have excellent communication and teamwork skills, as well as be creative and adaptable.

It takes a lot of patience, caring, and understanding to be a good special education teacher. Working with special needs students can be a challenge, and many days will be a challenge, but there are many more days that will bring triumph and a great sense of accomplishment. Becoming a special education teacher is not that different from becoming any other type of teacher. There are different types of courses, but the process is still similar.

The road to becoming a special education teacher begins with receiving a bachelor's degree. Many students choose to get a degree in education, and there are several universities that offer a four-year degree in special education. A general education degree is not necessary as it is possible to take the education classes later on while obtaining your teaching certificate.

There are more specialized classes to take when preparing to become a special education teacher. Courses like educational psychology, legal issues in special education, and strategy courses for teachers of children with disabilities are all common. Students should take a lot of courses specializing in children with special needs.

After graduating from a bachelor's degree program, most states and provinces require that students return to school for a credential in special education before being allowed to teach. Some states and provinces allow students to teach while finishing a credential program, and a few don't require the extra year at all. After graduating from this program, students can finish up their teacher certification needed to become special education teachers.

All prospective teachers are required to take teacher competency exams before beginning their teaching careers. These assessment tests are designed to test students on their knowledge of teaching practices and, in this case, issues in special education. Some states require future teachers to take these tests before student teaching, but almost everyone interested in a teaching career has to take them eventually.

The last step to becoming a special education teacher is to apply for certification. After meeting all of the other requirements, this step is easy. There is usually a fee to be handed in with the paperwork, and then, upon approval, a teacher can begin his or her first year officially on the job. It is important to be aware of the fact that different places have different certification requirements.

What are Special Education Teachers like?

Social

Based on our pool of users, special education teachers tend to be predominately social people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Special Education Teachers by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 581 Sokanu users

Are Special Education Teachers happy?

36%Happy

Special education teachers rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 36th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Special Education Teacher Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Special Education Teachers

The most common degree held by special education teachers is Special Needs Education. 9% of special education teachers had a degree in special needs education before becoming special education teachers. That is over 37 times the average across all careers. Psychology graduates are the second most common among special education teachers, representing 9% of special education teachers in the Sokanu user base, which is 1.5 times the average.

Special Education Teacher Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Special Education Teacher, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of special education teachers % of population Multiple
Special Needs Education 9.1% 0.2% 36.8×
Psychology 8.9% 6.1% 1.5×
Teacher Education 3.6% 0.7% 5.2×
Elementary Education 3.3% 0.4% 7.4×
English Literature 3.3% 4.4% 0.7×
Sociology 2.7% 1.9% 1.5×
General Education 2.2% 0.5% 4.1×
Political Science 1.7% 2.7% 0.6×
Communications 1.5% 3.1% 0.5×
History 1.5% 2.1% 0.7×
Fine Arts 1.4% 1.7% 0.8×
Early Childhood Education 1.4% 0.5% 3.0×
Business Management And Administration 1.2% 6.0% 0.2×
Educational Administration And Supervision 1.2% 0.1% 9.6×

Special Education Teacher Education Levels

87% of special education teachers have a bachelor's degree. 13% of special education teachers have a master's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 0%
Bachelor's degree 87%
Master's degree 13%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a Special Education Teacher

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Would you make a good special education teacher? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

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  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good special education teacher? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Jobs in your area
    • Loading jobs...
    View all jobs →
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