The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job opportunities for special education teachers are expected to increase faster than average through 2014. For this in-demand career, a specialized education is necessary. Special education teachers are trained to educate children and young adults with a range of disabilities. A special education teacher might work with students with learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, mental retardation, orthopedic impairments, and other health problems. Teachers in special education often work with fewer students, increasing the chances for meaningful interaction and a closer bond. Special education teachers form an important educational link to students with special needs.
Special Education Quick Facts
- Most special education teachers work in public schools and nearly half work in elementary schools.
- All states require teachers to be licensed, which generally involves completion of a teacher training program plus a bachelor’s degree.
- With a master’s degree, special education teachers can advance to become supervisors or administrators.
- Tuition Rewards for Special Education Certification
New federal legislation promoting training and employment for special needs individuals is expected to increase the demand for special education teachers. Online education programs offer special education certification courses tailored to the day-to-day challenges that teachers will face when working with special-needs students.
Due to the rising need for special education teachers, the federal government has unveiled a loan forgiveness program designed for them. Up to $17,500 may be available to teachers who work in the field for five years. Further loan forgiveness may be available to teachers who work in special education for ten years. Potential students should research these loan forgiveness options when deciding on their financial aid plan.