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Become A Special Education Instructor

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Working As A Special Education Instructor

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $58,500

    Average Salary

Example Of What A Special Education Instructor does

  • Grade 6 Language Arts - resource Science - resource Science - (collaboration)
  • Prepare and evaluate individualized education programs (IEPS), and provide input during annual reviews.
  • Continue to bridge instruction for students with special needs with non-IEP students through intensive teacher observation and professional development.
  • Conduct independent reading, writing, and mathematics lessons.
  • Helped prepare daily lesson plans for activities and lessons.
  • Assist in managing a caseload of 15 students in progress monitoring and instruction for Individual Education Plans.
  • Instructed high school students with learning disabilities in the Pre-GED Program.
  • Assist in maintaining classroom discipline in order to provide a positive learning environment for all students.
  • Supervised special education case management, education planning, and discharge planning for 75 students.
  • Assist regular and special education teachers with inclusion students in classroom activities.
  • Collaborate with general education teachers.
  • Teach art and computers in the Special Education program.
  • Attended district-wide in-service on classroom management and PMT.
  • Promoted to teach special needs children based on outstanding performance reviews.
  • Work with families and daycares, with children birth-3 with special needs.
  • Work with small groups of students to reinforce instruction provided by the teacher.
  • Interpreted test data and work history of match applicant with the appropriate job.
  • Support students with emotional or behavioral problems and help develop their social skills.
  • Maintained complete and accurate student records.
  • Provide special instruction therapy to children birth-3 years old with developmental delays.

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How To Become A Special Education Instructor

Special education teachers in public schools are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree and a state-issued certification or license. Private schools typically require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, but teachers are not required to be licensed or certified. For information about teacher preparation programs and certification requirements, visit Teach.org or contact your state’s board of education.


All states require special education teachers in public schools to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some earn a degree specifically in special education. Others major in elementary education or a content area, such as math or science, with a minor in special education.

In a program leading to a bachelor’s degree in special education, prospective teachers learn about the different types of disabilities and how to present information so that students will understand. These programs typically include fieldwork, such as student teaching. To become fully certified, some states require special education teachers to complete a master’s degree in special education.

Teachers in private schools do not need to meet state requirements. However, private schools may prefer to hire teachers who have at least a bachelor’s degree in special education.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed. A license is frequently referred to as a certification. Those who teach in private schools are not required to be licensed. Most states require teachers to pass a background check.

Requirements for certification vary by state. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, states also require teachers to complete a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching. Some states require a minimum grade point average. Teachers may be required to complete annual professional development classes or a master’s degree program to maintain their license.

Many states offer general licenses in special education that allow teachers to work with students with a variety of disabilities. Others offer licenses or endorsements based on a disability-specific category, such as autism or behavior disorders.

Some states allow special education teachers to transfer their licenses from another state. Other states require even an experienced teacher to pass their state’s licensing requirements.

All states offer an alternative route to certification for people who already have a bachelor’s degree. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately, under the close supervision of an experienced teacher. These alternative programs cover teaching methods and child development. Candidates are awarded full certification after they complete the program. Other programs require prospective teachers to take classes in education before they can start to teach. They may be awarded a master’s degree after completing either type of program.


Some special education teachers need to complete a period of fieldwork, commonly referred to as student teaching, before they can work as a teacher. In some states, this program is a prerequisite for a license to teach in public schools. During student teaching, they gain experience in preparing lesson plans and teaching students in a classroom setting, under the supervision and guidance of a mentor teacher. The amount of time required for these programs varies by state, but may last from 1 to 2 years. Many universities offer student teaching programs as part of a degree in special education.


Experienced teachers can advance to become mentor or lead teachers who help less experienced teachers improve their teaching skills.

Teachers may become school counselors, instructional coordinators, assistant principals, or principals. These positions generally require additional education, an advanced degree, or certification. An advanced degree in education administration or leadership may be helpful.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Special education teachers discuss students’ needs and performances with general education teachers, parents, and administrators. They also explain difficult concepts in terms that students with learning disabilities can understand.

Critical-thinking skills. Special education teachers assess students’ progress and use that information to adapt lessons to help them learn.

Interpersonal skills. Special education teachers regularly work with general education teachers, school counselors, administrators, and parents to develop Individualized Education Programs. As a result, they need to be able to build positive working relationships.

Patience. Working with students with special needs and different abilities can be difficult. Special education teachers should be patient with each student, as some may need the instruction given aloud, at a slower pace, or in writing.  

Resourcefulness. Special education teachers must develop different ways to present information in a manner that meets the needs of their students. They also help general education teachers adapt their lessons to the needs of students with disabilities.

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Special Education Instructor jobs

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Special Education Instructor Career Paths

Special Education Instructor

Special Education Instructor Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Arabic

  • Portuguese

  • Braille

  • German

  • Swedish

  • Chinese

  • Vietnamese

  • Dakota

  • Japanese

  • Amharic

  • Greek

  • Hindi

  • Dutch

  • Mandarin

  • Italian

  • Thai

  • Russian

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Special Education Instructor

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Special Education Instructor Education

Special Education Instructor

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Real Special Education Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Instructor With Special Provision University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC Jul 01, 2014 $115,000
Special Instructor The Pennsylvania State University Parkesburg, PA Aug 01, 2013 $71,352
High School Special Education Visually Impaired Classroom Instructor Fayette County Public Schools Lexington, KY Mar 06, 2016 $60,800
Special Education Instructional Coordinator Chesapeake Lighthouse Foundation, Inc. MD Aug 18, 2012 $60,460
Bilingual Special Education Instructional Speciali Amigos POR Vida-Friends for Life Housing & Educati Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $56,834
Special Education Instructional Coach Barnwell School District #45 Barnwell, SC May 25, 2016 $56,202
Bilingual Special Education Instructional Speciali Amigos POR Vida-Friends for Life Housing & Educati Houston, TX Oct 28, 2011 $56,125
Bilingual Special Education Instructional Speciali Amigos POR Vida-Friends for Life Housing & Educati Houston, TX Nov 07, 2011 $56,125
Special Education Instructor Klien's Educational and Health Care Services, Inc. Silver Spring, MD Nov 02, 2011 $49,045
Special Education Instructional Coordinator Milo International Corporation Weston, FL Aug 17, 2012 $47,798
Special Education Instructor (Focus) Intermediate District 287 Richfield, MN Sep 09, 2015 $43,422
Director of Programming/Special Education Instruct Mountain West Montessori Inc. El Paso, TX Feb 01, 2010 $42,560

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Top Skills for A Special Education Instructor


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Top Special Education Instructor Skills

  1. Special Education Teachers
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Core Curriculum
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinate with special education teachers to ensure compliance with special education procedures.
  • Shared responsibility for classroom management.
  • Developed Individualized Education Plans for children with various disabilities to include Common Core curriculum objectives.
  • Address behavioral issues and work with the student, teachers and administrators to reach positive resolutions.
  • Promoted to teach special needs children based on outstanding performance reviews.

Top Special Education Instructor Employers

Special Education Instructor Videos

A day in the life of a Special Education teacher

A Day in the Life - Special Education Teacher

The Life of a Special Education Teacher