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What Can You Do With A Major In Special Education?   

Special Education teachers help students learn and apply concepts in a variety of subjects, except they work with individuals with disabilities, so they must plan according to the needs of each individual.  Teachers work in public, private, or parochial institutions. They must also be open to a diversity of people for they work with students differentiating in age, sex, and race, along with different ethical and religious backgrounds.  Along with educating the students, the teacher is also responsible for planning, evaluating, and assigning lessons; preparing, administering, and grading tests; listening to oral presentations; and maintaining classroom discipline.  They also must prepare the student in the behavioral aspect, building comfort in different situation for life after graduation.

Typical Job Titles

Autistic Teacher   Learning Disabilities Teacher
Special Education Administrator   Resource Room Special Education Teacher
Special Needs Teacher   Behavioral Specialist
Speech And Audio Therapist   Vocational Training Paraprofessional
Counselor: Resident, School, Youth    


Typical Employers/Work Settings

  • Hospitals
  • Day care centers
  • Residential facilities
  • Public Schools
  • Private institutions
  • Elementary schools
  • Social Assistance Agencies

Match This Major To Careers

Magnifying Glass And Exploration


Skills Needed For This Career 

Oral Communication   Ability to organize and coordinate
Creativity   Ability to motivate
Listening   Special Education Skills
Persuasive skills   Written communication skills
Interpersonal skills   Mathematical skills
Mathematical abilities   Curriculum development
Language skills   Counseling skills
Group dynamics    


Beginning Salary Range

$34,000 with a bachelor's degree; $38,000 with a master's degree- Based on information from the National Association of Colleges and Employers- Spring 2008

Salary Resources

Links To Professional Associations

Professional Associations are important to explore because many offer student memberships and can give you access to other professionals and their experiences, research, convention or workshop opportunities, professional development and most importantly job databases 

Parent Pals.Com   

Internet Special Education Resources  

Special Education Network    

Adapted Physical Education Teacher- American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Audiologist-American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Occupational Therapist-American Occupational Therapy Association

Physical Therapist-American Physical Therapy Association

Recreational Therapist-American therapeutic Recreation Association

Rehabilitation Counselor-American Rehabilitation Counseling Association

School Social Worker-National Association of Social Workers

Speech-Language Pathologist-American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

OSERS Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services 

American Federation of Teachers 

National Association of State Boards of Education 

National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA) 

National Education Association (NEA) 

Job Search Information

Teacher's Employment Network  



National Educators Employment Review 

Special Education GuideOur goal with the site is to present information on the challenges current and aspiring teachers of children with special needs face (such as establishing a parent-teacher partnership and collaborating on an IEP). We provide a state-by-state guide to teacher certification requirements, and we recently added a section on how to earn a Master's degree in special education that your visitors might find helpful -

Teaching Job Search Resources

Office of Academic Support and Information Services

Graduate School

Applying To Graduate and Professional Schools

Link To UNF Academic Programs

The Exceptional Student and Deaf Education Department at the University of North Florida.

Career Action Plan

  • Conduct an informational interview and/or shadow a professional in the field
  • Join a professional association for this career field
  • Develop leadership skills by participating in on-campus activities (RA, Peer Advisor, Student Government, Presidential Envoys, Fraternities, Sororities, Student Clubs)
  • Look to do an internship in your junior and/or senior year to gain experience in this field
  • Obtain teaching experience working with target age group by doing volunteer or part-time work
  • Consider taking a public speaking course to develop your presentation skills
  • Attend job fairs and networking events to meet with employer representatives and to explore options