Continuing Education for Special Education Teachers

Continuing Education Courses and Job Opportunities in Special Education

In order to pursue a career as a special education teacher, a candidate will need to possess at least a Bachelor’s degree, although a Master’s degree is often more desirable. Many colleges and universities will offer courses during convenient night and weekend sessions to provide students with other obligations to pursue their education.

Typical Special Education Courses

Coursework for special education programs will be dependent on the college or university that the student attends. However, there are some areas of study that are common to almost all programs, and students can expect to take courses in the following areas:

  • Multicultural Issues in Disability
  • Assessment & Evaluation
  • Child Development & Psychology
  • Advanced Topics in Behavior Analysis
  • Measurement, Design, & Analysis
  • Teaching Reading
  • Communication Disorders
  • Grant Writing
  • Introduction to Educational and Psychological Research

Job Opportunities in Special Education

Special education teachers have a challenging and rewarding job working with special needs students as children or adults. Special education assists individuals who have mental or cognitive limitations, physical disabilities, or learning disabilities. Another are of special education that is sometimes overlooked is students that are gifted, and special education teachers may provide learning opportunities for that group, as well.

Career Outlook for Special Education Teachers

Competition for a career as a special education teacher is moderate, but the need for teachers that can provide individualized attention to students with special needs is extremely high. Many special education teachers also employ teaching assistants, which increases the number of jobs available in this career field.

Average Salary in Special Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a special education teacher ranged from $50,950-$52,900, depending on whether the teacher had students at the elementary or secondary level. The median annual salary for adult education and literacy teachers was $45,920.

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