Special Education Teachers


Employment Prospects


Approximately 490,780 special education teachers are employed in the United States. The majority of special education teachers teach in public and private schools. Others work in state education agencies, homebound or hospital environments, or residential facilities.

Starting Out

Because public school systems are by far the largest employers of special education teachers, this is where you should begin your job search.

You can also use your college's career services office to locate job leads. This may prove a very effective place to begin. You may also write to your state's department of education for information on placement and regulations, or contact state employment offices to inquire about job openings. Applying directly to local school systems can sometimes be effective. Even if a school system does not have an immediate opening, it will usually keep your resume on file should a vacancy occur.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement opportunities for special education teachers, as for regular classroom teachers, are fairly limited. They may take the form of higher wages, better facilities, or more prestige. In some cases, these teachers advance to become supervisors or administrators, although this may require continued education on the teacher's part. Another option is for special education teachers to earn advanced degrees and become instructors at the college level.

Tips for Entry

Visit the following Web sites for job listings and career information: https://jobboard.specialedcareers.org and http://aasep.org/career-center/special-education-positions-available-through-aasep.

Read industry publications, such as Teaching Exceptional Children and Exceptional Children (both are available at https://www.cec.sped.org/Publications/CEC-Journals), to learn more about trends in the profession.

Become certified by the American Academy of Special Education Professionals and/or the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in order to show employers that you have met the highest standards set by your profession.

Participate in student-teaching opportunities or volunteer as a tutor.