There are currently an estimated 131,900 special education teachers in the United States. The special education teacher job market is expected to grow by 7.4% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are special education teachers?

CareerExplorer rates special education teachers with a C employability rating, meaning this career should provide moderate employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 13,300 special education teachers. That number is based on 9,700 additional special education teachers, and the retirement of 3,600 existing special education teachers.

Are special education teachers in demand?

Although student enrolments, in general, are expected to grow slowly, the increasing number of students requiring special education services is expected to generate demand for teachers with specialized training. Due to medical advances children are more likely to survive serious illnesses and accidents. Learning disabilities are being diagnosed at earlier ages. These factors, combined with government legislation and educational reforms focused on training and employment of individuals with special needs, are resulting in more opportunities for special education teachers. Demand for special education teachers is expected to be higher in rural areas and inner cities than in urban centres. Candidates trained to work with children afflicted with multiple disabilities or severe conditions such as autism will be better equipped to enter the profession. Increasingly diverse student populations will favour bilingual teachers and those who have been exposed to multi-cultural environments. The retirement or transition of some special education teachers to general education will also contribute to available jobs in the field.

What’s the supply of special education teachers?

The special education teacher industry is concentrated in New York, Texas, California

Special Education Teacher job market by state

State Name Employed Special Education Teachers
New York 16,880
Texas 11,590
California 10,060
Illinois 7,500
Pennsylvania 7,220
Ohio 6,810
New Jersey 6,550
Massachusetts 4,370
North Carolina 4,330
Virginia 4,250
Florida 3,970
Minnesota 3,450
Georgia 3,280
Tennessee 2,860
Missouri 2,690
Louisiana 2,680
Maryland 2,650
Arizona 2,530
Colorado 2,220
Kentucky 2,170
Washington 2,020
Michigan 1,870
Indiana 1,850
Connecticut 1,800
South Carolina 1,420
Iowa 1,320
Oklahoma 1,250
Mississippi 1,180
Arkansas 1,160
Utah 1,090
Wisconsin 1,040
Nebraska 980
New Mexico 970
West Virginia 960
Oregon 880
Kansas 860
Maine 860
New Hampshire 720
Montana 700
Alabama 600
Nevada 590
District of Columbia 580
Vermont 540
South Dakota 480
Rhode Island 400
North Dakota 400
Wyoming 340
Idaho 290
Delaware 270
Alaska 270
Hawaii 180
Puerto Rico 100